cover image Serpentine


Laurell K. Hamilton. Berkley, $28 (496p) ISBN 978-0-425-25568-1

Hamilton’s middling 26th Anita Blake paranormal (after Crimson Death) brings friends and frenemies together for a destination wedding in New Mexico. After seven years, Anita’s fellow U.S. Marshal Edward is headed to the altar with Donna—unless Donna’s insecurities or bridesmaid Dixie’s vicious gossip derail their big day. Anita and her partner Micah promise to set work aside and focus on each other and their partner Nathaniel, but they fall back into old habits and hurt Nathaniel’s feelings. When female guests go missing from the wedding hotel, this getaway turns into a vampire hunter reunion. Anita, Edward, and their colleagues Bernardo and Olaf must stop the monster preying on women before a corrupt cop magically coerces Nathaniel into taking the blame. Hamilton is slowly shifting the focus away from Anita’s personal relationships and sexcapades and back toward mystery and action, but that shift won’t move fast enough to satisfy many longtime fans of the series, and it leaves this installment feeling disjointed. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Aug.)