When Branson, Missouri, is hit with a death wave? four unsolved murders?it doesn't take an expert to realize that all is not well. But luckily for the locals, Anita Blake is an expert in the kinds of preternatural goings-on that have everyone spooked. And she's got an ?in? with the creature that can make sense of the slayings??the sexy master vampire known as Jean-Claude.
About the Author
Hometown:St. Louis, Missouri
Date of Birth:February 19, 1963
Place of Birth:Heber Springs, Arkansas
Education:B.A., Marion College
Read an Excerpt
IT WAS ST. Patrick’s Day, and the only green I was wearing
was a button that read, “Pinch me and you’re dead
meat.” I’d started work last night with a green blouse on, but
I’d gotten blood all over it from a beheaded chicken. Larry
Kirkland, zombie-raiser in training, had dropped the decapitated
bird. It did the little headless chicken dance and
sprayed both of us with blood. I finally caught the damn
thing, but the blouse was ruined.
I had to run home and change. The only thing not ruined
was the charcoal grey suit jacket that had been in the car. I
put it back on over a black blouse, black skirt, dark hose,
and black pumps. Bert, my boss, didn’t like us wearing
black to work, but if I had to be at the office at seven o’clock
without any sleep at all, he would just have to live with it.
I huddled over my coffee mug, drinking it as black as I
could swallow it. It wasn’t helping much. I stared at a series
of 8-by-10 glossy blowups spread across my desktop. The
first picture was of a hill that had been scraped open, probably
by a bulldozer. A skeletal hand reached out of the raw
earth. The next photo showed that someone had tried to
carefully scrape away the dirt, showing the splintered coffin
and bones to one side of the coffin. A new body. The bulldozer
had been brought in again. It had plowed up the red
earth and found a boneyard. Bones studded the earth like
One skull spread its unhinged jaws in a silent scream. A
scraggle of pale hair still clung to the skull. The dark,
stained cloth wrapped around the corpse was the remnants
of a dress. I spotted at least three femurs next to the upper
half of a skull. Unless the corpse had had three legs, we were
looking at a real mess.
The pictures were well done in a gruesome sort of way.
The color made it easier to differentiate the corpses, but the
high gloss was a little much. It looked like morgue photos
done by a fashion photographer. There was probably an art
gallery in New York that would hang the damn things and
serve cheese and wine while people walked around saying,
“Powerful, don’t you think? Very powerful.”
They were powerful, and sad.
There was nothing but the photos. No explanation. Bert
had said to come to his office after I’d looked at them. He’d
explain everything. Yeah, I believed that. The Easter Bunny
is a friend of mine, too.
I gathered the pictures up, slipped them into the envelope,
picked my coffee mug up in the other hand, and went for the
There was no one at the desk. Craig had gone home.
Mary, our daytime secretary, didn’t get in until eight. There
was a two-hour space of time when the office was unmanned.
That Bert had called me into the office when we
were the only ones there bothered me a lot. Why the secrecy?
Bert’s office door was open. He sat behind his desk,
drinking coffee, shuffling some papers around. He glanced
up, smiled, and motioned me closer. The smile bothered me.
Bert was never pleasant unless he wanted something.
His thousand-dollar suit framed a white-on-white shirt
and tie. His grey eyes sparkled with good cheer. His eyes are
the color of dirty window glass, so sparkling is a real effort.
His snow-blond hair had been freshly buzzed. The crewcut
was so short I could see scalp.
“Have a seat, Anita.”
I tossed the envelope on his desk and sat down. “What are
you up to, Bert?”
His smile widened. He usually didn’t waste the smile on
anybody but clients. He certainly didn’t waste it on me.
“You looked at the pictures?”
“Yeah, what of it?”
“Could you raise them from the dead?”
I frowned at him and sipped my coffee. “How old are
“You couldn’t tell from the pictures?”
“In person I could tell you, but not just from pictures. Answer
“Around two hundred years.”
I just stared at him. “Most animators couldn’t raise a zombie
that old without a human sacrifice.”
“But you can,” he said.
“Yeah. I didn’t see any headstones in the pictures. Do we
have any names?”
I shook my head. He’d been the boss for five years,
started the company when it was just him and Manny, and
he didn’t know shit about raising the dead. “How can you
hang around a bunch of zombie-raisers for this many years
and know so little about what we do?”
The smile slipped a little, the glow beginning to fade from
his eyes. “Why do you need names?”
“You use names to call the zombie from the grave.”
“Without a name you can’t raise them?”
“Theoretically, no,” I said.
“But you can do it,” he said. I didn’t like how sure he was.
“Yeah, I can do it. John can probably do it, too.”
He shook his head. “They don’t want John.”
I finished the last of my coffee. “Who’s they?”
“Beadle, Beadle, Stirling, and Lowenstein.”
“A law firm,” I said.
“No more games, Bert. Just tell me what the hell’s going
“Beadle, Beadle, Stirling, and Lowenstein have some
clients building a very plush resort in the mountains near
Branson. A very exclusive resort. A place where the wealthy
country stars that don’t own a house in the area can go to get
away from the crowds. Millions of dollars are at stake.”
“What’s the old cemetery have to do with it?”
“The land they’re building on was in dispute between two
families. The courts decided the Kellys owned the land, and
they were paid a great deal of money. The Bouvier family
claimed it was their land and there was a family plot on it to
prove it. No one could find the cemetery.”
Ah. “They found it,” I said.
“They found an old cemetery, but not necessarily the
Bouvier family plot.”
“So they want to raise the dead and ask who they are?”
I shrugged. “I can raise a couple of the corpses in the
coffins. Ask who they are. What happens if their last name
“They have to buy the land a second time. They think
some of the corpses are Bouviers. That’s why they want all
the bodies raised.”
I raised my eyebrows. “You’re joking.”
He shook his head, looking pleased. “Can you do it?”
“I don’t know. Give me the pictures again.” I set my coffee
mug on his desk and took the pictures back. “Bert,
they’ve screwed this six ways to Sunday. It’s a mass grave,
thanks to the bulldozers. The bones are all mixed together.
I’ve only read about one case of anyone raising a zombie
from a mass grave. But they were calling a specific person.
They had a name.” I shook my head. “Without a name it
may not be possible.”
“Would you be willing to try?”
I spread the pictures over the desk, staring at them. The
top half of a skull had turned upside down like a bowl. Two
finger bones attached by something dry and desiccated that
must once had been human tissue lay next to it. Bones,
bones everywhere but not a name to speak.
Could I do it? I honestly didn’t know. Did I want to try?
Yeah. I did.
“I’d be willing to try.”
“Raising them a few every night is going to take weeks,
even if I can do it. With John’s help it would be quicker.”
“It will cost them millions to delay that long,” Bert said.
“There’s no other way to do it.”
What People are Saying About This
“Highly-charged, well-written, no holds-barred… jaw-dropping.”—Denver Post
“Breathtaking.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“What The Da Vinci Code did for the religious thriller, the Anita Blake series has done for the vampire novel.”—USA Today
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Whats starts out as a high priced animator job, soon turns to something much bigger and and more dangerous. We meet Mangus and Dorcas Bouvies as the Fey owners of the bar/nightclub Bloody Bones. The name Bloody Bones comes from an Irish legend of a boogyman creature named Rawhead and Bloody Bones. And we get to meet him in this book. This is the 5th Anita Blake book out of 17 currently available. My advice would be to start with the first one and work your way through. If vampires, warewolves, and things that go bump in the night are your thing; don't pass up this series.
This was one of my favorite because Anita gives in a bit to her desires with one of her lovers that I happen to favor! I have read all 17 Anita Blake books and I have laughed, cried and loved with her. This is my favorite book series I have ever read and I can't wait for a book 18.
I bought the first book because it seemed semi interesting, but in the back of my mind I thought I'd end up discarding it mid read. This series is great. Anita is sarcastically funny and the characters become more well developed with each book. I highly recommend it.
I have reviewed many iof Hamilton's books scathingly. I admit it. But this book was, by far, my FAVORITE. There was a plot! a PURPOSE! I wish Hamilton could write more books like this one.
Laurell K Hamilton once again has you riding on the seat of your pants waiting to turn the next page. Love her books! Can't wait for Anita's next adventure. I've read the entire series in a month. I'm already thinking about re-reading the entire series
Laurell Hamiliton is an extremely gifted writer, with a wonderfully active imagination. The children have Harry Potter, and thankfully the adults have Anita Blake.
After reading the first four books and never wanting to put one down until I was done, I didn't think anyother books could be so exicting and drawing! I guess there's just no other way to say that this is by far the most enticing series I have ever read.
I just got done reading Bloody Bones, and wow! I tell you what! WOW! I first got turned to Anita Blake in Blue Moon, and then i found out there as a whole series! I cant wait to read them all! and buy them all!
Well, I would like to say I enjoyed 'Bloody Bones' a lot. At first I thought it wouldn't be all good with the little office thing at the beginning but the St. Patrick's thing was cute I guess. Well, I read it and it was very interesting and keep my attention. Having fairies (fey) in the book was a nice touch and good example of creativity and linking of the whole story together. I like the way the book is descriptive on the way things and people look. When authors do that I can get a visual in my head and that is a good thing to have when reading a book. I kinda like Jean-Claude more then Anita. But Anita is still a good character. I like the way they (Anita and Jean-Claude) got closer in this book. I think Richard is wrong for her but it is a nice time captivating thing to have Anita going out with 2 guys, and 2 guys of totally different personalities and looks and being different monsters might I add. I do think it is a little weird having her being a vamp executor and dating a Vamp but it just shows that people can over come their differences. I Do Recommend this book!
love the anita's Blake series!
All books in the series can be read as stand alone
These books are popular enough that I find them around, but I'm definitely not seeking them out. There's WAY too much zombie gore and way too little vampire romance. There are suggestions that maybe she'll get somewhere with Jean Claude eventually, but so far nothing. I'm really not going for this, "I'm so tough I shoot people and raise the dead and my only interesting characteristic is my collection of penguins." Lots of killing=boring. Even the fairies that show up in this aren't interesting.
Another great book in the series. I can not get enough!
Love all of the series .
While not perfect, I think this has been the best of the series so far. I've always loved the plot action in these books but found the over-the-top caricaturization of the main character incredibly annoying. In this installment Anita actually makes mistakes, she experiences doubts, desire, and even some defeat which goes a long way towards making her a character rather than just a caricature. Giving her a side-kick, and thereby a mirror in which to see herself differently, really helped add dimensions to her. Yes we still have to hear about her black Nike's and her inner-pants holster (time after time), but she comes across as much more natural in this book. That, along with a wide and varied host of new monsters, made for an excellent read.
This takes Anita to another state, and then gets her into trouble with the FBI, her employer and some very nasty fairy characters as well as vampires.Now these vampire encounters introduce the reader to protocol when dealing with other vampires, various kinds of vampires and the scariest vampire of all for Anita. One who promises her the most impossible thing of all..... well, you will just have to read it to find out what. (Evil grin.)
Great book, fast paced, fun read with romance,blood and guts. Anita is out of town on animator business, she needs to raise all of the bodies of a disturbed graveyard to settle a land dispute. The problem is that the bodies are really old and all need to be raised in one night. Meanwhile there is a possible serial killer, of supernatural powers (possibly a vampire), rampaging the small town she is visiting. Anita is called to assist he local police, but they don't seem to appreciate her help.
Oy. I've tried to be positive about the Anita Blake books, but this book has been the worst in the series, by far. I almost gave up on it a few times, but I stuck with it.There weren't as many issues with this one & the blatant copy-paste issue that existed in The Lunatic Cafe or other books from the series, but I would've almost traded anything to have those instead of the awkward prose that did exist. I wondered at times if maybe I got a version of the book that just had a choppy writing technique, but I have a feeling that there was no difference in the edition I had as compared to the original hardback version.The plot was not as easy to follow, and the bad guys were all way too transparent. The only character that really had any decent development was Jean-Claude. (His past was nice to learn about.) Anita's past, though, became almost too annoying to constantly go over. I understand why her past had to be covered, but I almost felt like reading about her "pain" was some kind of cruel chore that an abusive parent might force a child to do.I don't understand why Anita, as the narrator, cannot be more of sympathetic character. Sometimes, it seems like reading her thoughts is like having insight to the school bully. She's such a jaded and rude character that her snide remarks don't come off as some kind of snarky wit, but instead come off as the ideas of a character that thinks that she is truly better than anyone else in existence. That arrogance is extremely off-putting. She's also extremely fragmented in her personality when it comes to monsters. Anything or anyone who has any sort of superhuman ability seems to be labeled as a monster & all monsters must be killed, but if she has any kind of warm fuzzy feelings for you, then you're safe. This seems to be a major conflict in her mind, and (since she's the narrator) it gets brought up over and over. It makes me, and probably others, just wish that some big bad monster would off her already.And why must we keep being reminded that she hold such a moral standard with regards to sex? It's disgusting to read about her saint-like prudence, and then turn a page and see that she will kill anyone and not have the slightest bit of grief over their death. She's practically a sociopath when it comes to violence, so it makes the quasi-virginal attitude all the more intolerable to read about. I will continue to read the novels, but I hope the rest get better.
So tell me, who is the beautiful vampire Jean Claude? This book really takes you deeper than any of the others into his character. You find out a bit about his making and how his first years as a vampire were. Maybe that¿s why he¿s the way he is now? All in all, it was a good read, but I would have liked to see a little more of Richards character. Oh and let me say ¿Anita, Why are you waiting for Marriage!?¿
Bloody Bones was just really good. Anita seems so much more human. It's funny because she's always going on and on about the other "monsters" and how Jean Claude the vampire isn't human but Anita had too much of an idealistic quality about her before this book. You could see changing starting in Lunatic Cafe, the title before this on, but the changes are really happening.It's hard for me to imagine this as a stand alone title because so much of the previous books brings meaning to this one.All in all...continuing a great series for vamp fans.
Decent. Nice to see a little change of scenery, and some other sides of the magic world there.
I just don't get tired of the Anita Blake books. The dialogue here may be a bit more trite than in some of the others, but the story is there and the characters as interesting as ever.
This is my absolute favorite Anita Blake book, which may be because I accidentally read it before any other book, but it has everything I like about the series: paranormal police investigations, Larry Kirkland, Jean-Claude (pre-NiC), vampires, and other preternatural nasties. It's a great, well-rounded novel.
The 5th in a series about Anita Blake, vampire hunter.An incredible, exciting, sexy book. Full of horror and romance. Edge of your seat read. So much fun to read. This series is highly addictive.
This is one of the weaker of the series. It is still good though.