A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Laughing Corpse’ chapter twenty nine

I’m watching The Untouchables while writing this. Sean Connery is such a boss.

The St. Louis County morgue was a large building. It needs to be. Every death not attended by a physician comes to the morgue. Not to mention every murder. In St. Louis that made for some very heavy traffic.

I should imagine that every morgue is pretty big then, but whatever, I’ve never been to one. Like Hamilton, I suspect. Anita goes to the morgue a lot, to stake suspected vampire victims so they wouldn’t raise. So not only can Anita kill vampires without trial when they’ve committed a crime, she can kill them when they come to life just in case they kill someone? I don’t think you’re allowed to punish someone for a crime that they might commit one day. Also, how does the vampire population expand if people are just killing them as soon as they’re made?

John Burke was as I remembered him. Tall, dark, handsome, vaguely villainous. It was the little goatee that did it. No one wears goatees outside of horror movies. You know, the ones with strange cults that worship horned images.

merida exhausted

I’m so glad you manipulated him into taking care of two small children.

The two go into the morgue and the guard at the front entrance talks about how vampires keep getting up and walking out the building. There was so much point of Anita talking about how she has to stake ’em then. Why aren’t there more people to deal with this apparent raging vampire problem? And if vampires have been recognised as another race of people, why is it legal to control their numbers? Isn’t it a little… well, fascist?

Anita talks about how quiet the morgue is at the weekend, despite the murder rate going up on the weekend. It’s probably because the police don’t work on the weekend. They just sit around having pina coladas.

Dr. Marian Saville is a small woman with short dark hair bobbed just below her ears, an olive complexion, deeply brown eyes, and fine high cheekbones. She is French and Greek and looks it. Exotic without being intimidating. It always surprised me that Dr. Saville wasn’t married. It wasn’t for lack of being pretty.

Okay, major mistake – slipping into present tense. Anita’s narrative has always been in the past tense and the sudden switch to the present is a major mistake. Major boo-boo. And then there’s the horrible sexism of Dr. Saville not being married. What is Hamilton’s obsession with marriage about? Some people marry. Some people don’t. It doesn’t guarantee happiness. It doesn’t guarantee anything. My grandmother has been married three times and it’s only her last one that’s been happy. My mum only got married two years ago. I may never get married because I don’t believe it’s valid in society anymore. The implication that men are only interested in ‘pretty’ women is also abhorrent. If Saville was ugly, well then, we all know why she’s not married! It’s not as if personality plays a major part in romance. Looks only matter. Why else do you think Anita keeps attracting guys?


Feminism – the Great and Powerful Anita Blake does not need to find fulfilment on her own! Women are only valid in society when they are involved with men! And if you’re not interested in men – well, then you’re a dirty non-woman.

Marian is there to oversee Anita and John going through Peter Burke’s stuff. Oh look, someone following regulation! I think I could fall in love. She hands out surgical gloves and Anita has to help John with his, because apparently he has difficulty putting on gloves. I am not shitting you. They search through the belongings and find a gris-gris made of human bones. John gets upset as it means that Peter was involved in human sacrifice, because ‘someone died to make this charm’.

Let’s look at a real gris-gris, shall we?

A gris-gris is a hoodoo, not Voudun, charm which brings good luck or protects the wearer from harm. It’s a small bag, containing a number of ritual objects associated with the wearer like stones or dolls, and inscribed with verses from the Qur’an. The custom was brought to America by African slaves where it was appropriated into Haitian voodoo. In Haitian Voudun, they are good amulets. In Louisianan communities, it’s seen as a symbol of black magic but the connotations began with the misunderstanding of native customs by slave masters.

A gris-gris is still one of the top three methods of contraception in some areas of Africa. It is not used to ‘enable a less powerful necromancer to raise older dead, to borrow the power of some much greater necromancer’.

The lack of effort put into research is starting to get to me. It’s just fucking offensive how little efforts she puts into researching another culture. She just assumes ‘ OH VOODOO BAD‘ and puts no more thought into it than that. She doesn’t attempt to look into the culture and practice of another religion, just turns into a vehicle for her fucking stupid ideas of human sacrifice and zombies.

John tells Anita that they can trace the gris-gris back to the original owner because ‘it’s a piece of his soul gone missing’.

That’s so wrong I almost feel sorry for your deluded little mind, Hamilton. Almost.

They find a remnant of a charm bracelet, a treble clef charm, amongst the belongings, and if you can remember back to searching the cemetery, Evans said when the corpse’s throat was cut she had been wearing a bracelet with a musical notes and hearts. This means that Peter Burke raised the zombie and Dominga Salvador helped him! This still makes no sense!

Anita asks Marian if there were any young women brought in at the same time as Peter Burke with their throats slit. Marian says yes and immediately takes Anita to see the corpse. Oh, Marian, you had such great promise. It’s a shame you are now blindly following the whims of the Great and Powerful Anita Blake.


3 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Laughing Corpse’ chapter twenty nine

  1. Pingback: A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Circus of the Damned’ chapter fifteen « Dottie Smith's Verbal Menagerie

  2. Wait, so Anita “Strong Independent Woman” Blake, who earlier in this same book got pissy because a friend’s wife was bothered by her being single, is confused by another woman also being single.

    I guess the whole “feminism” thing only applies to Anita.

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