A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Lunatic Cafe’ chapter one

Hi guys! Here begins my descent into the fourth Anita Blake book, The Lunatic Cafe. Which is spelt wrong. The full set of Circus of the Damned reviews will be up in a few days, hopefully.

I’ve been at Bosworth field all day, which was pretty suss. I got to hold a sword.

Right, it Anita world, it’s two weeks before Christmas. I’m betting that Anita hates Christmas.  She certainly hates the next client for not syaing why he’s coming to see here.  Mister George Smitz is tall and muscular.

Not the muscles you get from lifting weights and running around indoor tracks. The muscles you get from hard physical labor.

Muscle is muscle.

I was drinking my coffee out of the Christmas mug that Bert, my boss, had insisted everyone bring in. A personalized holiday mug to add a personal touch to the office. My mug had a reindeer in a bathrobe and slippers with Christmas lights laced in its antlers, toasting the merry season with champagne and saying, “Bingle Jells.”

Bert didn’t really like my mug, but he let it go, probably afraid of what else I might bring in.

…. because that mug is so risqué? I mean, it’s fairly ordinary. I’m betting my mum’s school has half a dozen mugs exactly the same. It’s not exactly offensive, is it?


A high-collared blouse so perfectly red I’d had to wear makeup to keep from looking pale. The skirt and matching jacket were a deep forest green.

Okay, two things.

  1. Well, aren’t you a pale little woman of Mexican extraction?
  2. You are wearing green and red. Green and red. Two colours you are never supposed to wear together because otherwise you look like an elf. They are bad things to wear together.

Plus she is wearing a Christmas angel pin. She should not be allowed to dress herself.

George Smitz has come to see Anita because his wife Peggy, a werewolf, has gone missing and he doesn’t want the police to get involved; if they do, people might find out what she does and she’ll loose her butchery business.

But I could see why she’d lose her job. Food preparation with a potentially fatal disease. I don’t think so. I knew, and the health department knew, that lycanthropy can only be transmitted by an attack in the animal form. Most people don’t believe that.

I don’t believe that because it’s not true. Richard, Anita’s boyfriend, became a werewolf after getting vaccinated from a contaminated batch of anti-werewolf vaccine. Clearly, one does not have to be attacked by a werewolf to become a werewolf. And since when has lycanthropy been a fatal disease? What, you choke on a hair ball?

Anita, because she isn’t an investigator, passes on the client onto Ronnie Sims, her private investigator friend. Who is a lot nicer and a lot less likely to be an unreasonable arsehole. Anita proceeds to have a long and lengthy conversation about her date with Richard tonight with Ronnie, while George Smitz is sat in front of her. Such a consummate professional.

Best friends, a concept that most women never outgrow. Ask a man who his best friend is and he’ll have to think about it. He won’t know right off the top of his head. A woman would. A man might not even be able to think of a name, not for his best friend. Women keep track of these things. Men don’t. Don’t ask me why.

I don’t know, maybe they think it’s rather daft to arbitrarily assign categories to their friends after the age of ten? And that it’s insulting to imply that men don’t value platonic friendships as much as women do?

Anita arranges a time for George to see a competent human being. After he leaves, Anita arranges a time with the night secretary, Craig.

look at us dance

What an enthralling journey into this new undiscovered work of genius.


4 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘The Lunatic Cafe’ chapter one

  1. “Muscle is muscle.”

    Actually, how a person is muscled (the location, how visible it is, etc.) can be different depending how they got it. Like how swimmers get the big upper bodies. There is a ‘look’ for manual labor muscle in terms of where it tends to be distributed, but I forget what it is. And it probably depends on the labor too. Anyway, that’s probably what she was referring to.


    ANITA IS PALE. Like, as in, paler than other white people even. That’s canon. No amount of makeup will keep her from looking pale…unless she’s wearing makeup that is darker than her skin tone. Which would look…odd to say the least.

    Lycanthropy is potentially fatal? yeah, I’m wtfing over that one too.

    Also, why don’t most people believe that it can only be spread by attacks (and vaccines)? Maybe it’s the AIDS metaphor again? But AIDS is a recent thing compared the therianthropy, which in this universe has ALWAYS been around. People have had a lot more time to learn about it.

    Men do this, women do that. Women don’t do this, men always do that. These absurd divisions over things you’d never think could be gendered (like who has best friends) will crop up a lot, as I’m sure you’ve realized by now.

  2. “ask a man who his best friend is and he’ll have to think about it. He won’t know right off the top of his head. A woman would. ”

    well that’s a pile of crap. has she never heard of the whole best man concept before?

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