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

I have the best news, guys. THE BEST.

I’ve been offered a place to study for a Master’s Degree in Creative Entrepreneurship. From September, I will be studying to become a Master.

I’m going to eat so much ice cream and milkshake tonight and it will be glorious. (Long term readers will know that I have lactose intolerance and eating ice cream is a real treat for me.)

Anita wakes up. It is a Sunday. She berates herself for not going to church, proving that after ignoring the issue since Guilty Pleasures she is still religious. She heads over to Washington University to talk to Dr. Louis Fane, a biologist and wererat, because Anita demanded that he specially come in to see her. Anita, you could go in on a day that wasn’t his day off. But no, no one can deny Anita Blake what she wants.

Louis has been examining the shapeshifter prints from the murder in the snow. You remember, the murder that didn’t trigger any plot except showing off that ZOMG ANITA IS A BADASS? He thinks it’s a wolf because the print is from a big canine and it’s certainly not a dog. What other options do they have? Anita talks some crap about a human foot being mixed in with the print and then asks if it was made by Peggy Smitz.

How is Louis supposed to know? I don’t think he’s got a record of the foot prints of all the shapeshifters in St Louis.

“Peggy could control herself really well. Why would she kill someone?”

“I don’t know. Why wouldn’t she kill someone?”

I don’t know. Maybe she’s a decent human being, unlike someone I could name.

Louis asks why Anita is talking to Richard about this and makes jokes about ‘trouble in paradise’. This then evolves into a talk about how shapeshifters manage relationships by just pretending they aren’t what they really are because Hamilton has heard of this concept called ‘conflict’ and is now trying to shove it in our faces. Anita has a moment of emotion by agreeing it is a fairly shitty way to live. It doesn’t last long.

Anita then starts to think of how dreadful this whole investigation is and that it’s really police business she shouldn’t be involved in.


I live for these brief moments of clarity.

The conversation moves onto Raina, so we can all be reminded of what an evil bitch she is. She totally fights for Marcus and EVEN WORSE she’s actively trying to seduce Richard by making him star in films with her.

Here we have it folks, the sole motivation behind why Rainia is a bad woman – she’s trying to sleep with Richard.

She’s history’s greatest monster!

And oh, we’ve moved onto a talk about the ‘beast inside’. Joy. Louis talks about how they can control the beast and Richard must have been close to changing last night. How come Louis knows everything? He knows about Alfred’s murder but I should think that story’s spreading like wildfire so people know to avoid the bitch with the bad perm and a short temper. And Raina’s totally going to attack Anita!


This is a very clumsy segue into talking at length about how brilliant and wonderful and caring Richard is. I’m sure a discussion of all of Richard’s amazing qualities will help the missing shapeshifters and the two murder victims. Louis is such a good friend to Richard – who is an amazing guy, if you couldn’t tell – that he wants to make sure that the most caring man in the world won’t have his heart stomped on by mean old Anita. I’d be more worried that she’d kill him in his sleep.

Louis badgers Anita about whether she loves him or not. Luckily for him and the upcoming nuptials, Anita does. Huzzah. I was worried that some crime fighting or detection might happen this chapter. Instead, we’re treated to five pages going on about how amazing Richard is and how their love affair is under threat from Raina. The only thing that gets progressed is the Elvira Drew subplot: Louis can be her wererat interview.

Anita leaves Louis to go talk to Marcus about getting the police involved. Normally I would be all for this because Anita doesn’t know why her reflection is upside down when she looks into a spoon. However, the St Louis police force are physically incapable of finding their arses with both hands so I don’t trust them either.

I raised zombies and slew vampires. Who was I to throw stones?

Who indeed. Apart from the fact you judge, condemn and mock people all the time. You are always flinging stones about Anita, like a monkey pelting people with shit. At some point, you have to drop it all and become a good person.

I need a lie down. The amount of whiplash of mood in this chapter was ridiculous.


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

  1. Congrats! Enjoy the ice cream!

    You mentioned an Anita Blake radio drama in the last review…was that really on? I’ve never heard of one before.

    • It was an audio drama/reading recorded for Radio 4, part of a season of ‘gothic’ literature. It was after Angela Carter’s ‘lady of the house of love’ and… Gah, one of my favorite horror short stories is now tainted.

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