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The lunatic cafe: The zombie-raising business gets slow in December, so Anita Blake is starting to see some oddball cases. She's got a neatly typed list of eight missing lycanthropes given to her by Marcus, the leader of the local werewolf pack, who wants her to find them. The trouble is, Anita's occasionally furry boyfriend Richard is locked in a power struggle with Marcus. Jean-Claude, master vampire of the city and Anita's other love interest, is getting jealous as well. To top it off, Anita has to solve some horrific murders and keep her bounty-hunting friend Edward from killing Richard and Jean-Claude. Bloody bones: When Anita Blake's boss at Animators, Inc., informs her that she's expected to raise 300-year-old zombies from a field of jumbled bones just to settle a land dispute, she's understandably annoyed. But as soon as she arrives in Branson, Missouri, to do the deed, the job gets more interesting. A psychotic sword-wielding vampire starts committing multiple murders in the area, and Anita must call on Jean-Claude, her powerful fanged suitor, for help. As always, Anita prevails over the undead, keeping Jean-Claude at arm's length, clearing the cemetery land of an ancient enchantment, and nailing the vampiric killer in one fell swoop. The killing dance: Anita Blake, vampire hunter, is now herself a hunted woman. Who put the $500,000 price on her head--a man or a monster? It's not just her own skin she needs to save; the rivalry between her werewolf boyfriend, Richard, and Marcus, the other alpha werewolf in his pack, has come to full boil. And there's always Jean-Claude, the vampire who's been waiting for just the right moment to slip inside Anita's head and heart.