The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #4)

The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #4)

by Laurell K. Hamilton

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First time in trade paperback: the fourth novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Vampire hunter and zombie animator Anita Blake is an expert at sniffing out the bad from the good. But in The Lunatic Cafe-now in trade paperback for the first time-she's about to learn that nothing is ever as it seems, especially in matters of the not-so-human heart.

Dating a werewolf with self-esteem issues is stressing Anita out. Especially when something-or someone-starts taking out the city's shapeshifters.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101147412
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/02/2008
Series: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series , #4
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 28,437
File size: 584 KB

About the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton is a full-time writer and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series and the Merry Gentry series. She lives in a suburb of St. Louis with her family.


St. Louis, Missouri

Date of Birth:

February 19, 1963

Place of Birth:

Heber Springs, Arkansas


B.A., Marion College

Read an Excerpt


It was two weeks before Christmas. A slow time of year for

raising the dead. My last client of the night sat across from

me. There had been no notation by his name. No note saying

zombie raising or vampire slaying. Nothing. Which probably

meant whatever he wanted me to do was something I

wouldn’t, or couldn’t, do. Pre-Christmas was a dead time of

year, no pun intended. My boss, Bert, took any job that

would have us.

George Smitz was a tall man, well over six feet. He was

broad shouldered, and muscular. Not the muscles you get

from lifting weights and running around indoor tracks. The

muscles you get from hard physical labor. I would have bet

money that Mr. Smitz was a construction worker, farmer, or

something similar. He was shaped large and square with

grime embedded under his fingernails that soap would not


He sat in front of me, crushing his toboggan hat, kneading

it in his big hands. The coffee that he’d accepted sat cooling

on the edge of my desk. He hadn’t taken so much as a sip.

I was drinking my coffee out of the Christmas mug that

Bert, my boss, had insisted everyone bring in. A personalized

holiday mug to add a personal touch to the office. My mug

had a reindeer in a bathrobe and slippers with Christmas

lights laced in its antlers, toasting the merry season with

champagne and saying, ‘‘Bingle Jells.’’

Bert didn’t really like my mug, but he let it go, probably

afraid of what else I might bring in. He’d been very pleased

with my outfit for the evening. A high-collared blouse so

perfectly red I’d had to wear makeup to keep from looking

pale. The skirt and matching jacket were a deep forest green.

I hadn’t dressed for Bert. I had dressed for my date.

The silver outline of an angel gleamed in my lapel. I

looked very Christmasy. The Browning Hi-Power 9mm

didn’t look Christmasy at all, but since it was hidden under

the jacket, that didn’t seem to matter. It might have bothered

Mr. Smitz, but he looked worried enough to not care. As

long as I didn’t shoot him personally.

‘‘Now, Mr. Smitz, how may I help you today?’’ I asked.

He was staring at his hands and only his eyes rose to look

at me. It was a little-boy gesture, an uncertain gesture. It sat

oddly on the big man’s face. ‘‘I need help, and I don’t know

who else to go to.’’

‘‘Exactly what kind of help do you need, Mr. Smitz?’’

‘‘It’s my wife.’’

I waited for him to continue, but he stared at his hands.

His hat was wadded into a tight ball.

‘‘You want your wife raised from the dead?’’ I asked.

He looked up at that, eyes wide with alarm. ‘‘She’s not

dead. I know that.’’

‘‘Then what can I possibly do for you, Mr. Smitz? I raise

the dead, and am a legal vampire executioner. What in that

job description could help your wife?’’

‘‘Mr. Vaughn said you knew all about lycanthropy.’’ He

said that as if it explained everything. It didn’t.

‘‘My boss makes a lot of claims, Mr. Smitz. But what

does lycanthropy have to do with your wife?’’ This was the

second time I’d asked about his wife. I seemed to be speaking

English, but perhaps my questions were really Swahili

and I just didn’t realize it. Or maybe whatever had happened

was too awful for words. That happened a lot in my business.

He leaned forward, eyes intense on my face. I leaned forward,

too, I couldn’t help myself. ‘‘Peggy, that’s my wife,

she’s a lycanthrope.’’

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