Seventh in the Anita Blake series. In the previous volume, Anita killed Gabriel and Raina. With help from Edward and Harley, she also freed Jean-Claude and Richard from their captors.
In this novel, Anita is hired by Captain Pete McKinnon of the Fire Department to investigate a series of unusual fires. He had been referred to Anita by Sergeant Rudolph Storr, leader of RPIT (Regional Preternatural Investigation Team). McKinnon thinks these fires have all the signs of a firebug, a pyrokinetic arsonist. He had previously encountered such a psychic talent and does not want to repeat those experiences.
After McKinnon left, Anita receives a call from a co-worker asking for a ride. Larry -- a vampire executioner trainee -- had gone to the morgue to stake the bodies of two vampire victims who did not want to rise from the dead. After completing that job, a hospital attendant had wheeled in another body to be staked.
Since the third body did not have the proper paperwork, Larry refused to stake it. While they are waiting for the paperwork to be recovered, Larry went to talk to the medical examiner. When he returned to the morgue, he found the attendant trying to stake the body with his own equipment. He removed her from the body, but then she tried to stake him.
Anita takes Larry home and puts him to bed. Then she returns a call and learns that Nathaniel -- a wereleopard stripper at Guilty Pleasures -- has been hurt by a violent customer. Steven -- a lycanthrope from Richard's pack -- was on Nathaniel's contact list and had called Anita from the hospital.
Unfortunately, Zane -- another wereleopard who is trying to protect the shapeshifters after the death of Gabriel -- is trying to take Nathaniel home. Anita has to shoot Zane twice -- with regular bullets -- to get his attention. She arranges for other werewolves to guard Nathaniel and Steven while they are in the hospital.
In this story, Anita finally gets to her date with Jean-Claude at Demiche's, only to find out that the Vampire Council has sent representatives to St. Louis. They would like to know why Jean-Claude has not taken the Council seat formerly held by Oliver. (Good Grief! Politics among the Monsters?)
Second Jove printing, 2002. Clean, glossy cover with edge and corner wear, mostly along the bottom. Spine has three full-length wrinkles. Pages are white. Binding is flexible but intact.