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

…And I’m back. Hope you all enjoyed your Easter.

Anita is ever-so-slowly reaching out for the doorbell when Raina reaches out, digs her nails into Anita’s wrist, and says that she and Gabriel will break through the back door. Why? Because ‘he can’t ignore us’!

“How will the two of you get in the back door if it’s locked?”

Raina gave me a look worthy of Edward, as if I’d asked a very stupid question. Was I the only one who didn’t know how to pick a lock?

Yes, it was a stupid question. Personally, if I was a crazy bitch trying to break into someone’s house, I’d deploy my helpful lock pick ‘Mister Brick’. But apparently, the concept of breaking in a window and reaching in to try the door handle is too complex for Anita’s little brain.

Rania and Gabriel walk off and great detail goes into describing their footprints.

“Nobody’s going to mistake them for door to door salespeople,” Ronnie said.

Probably because salespeople don’t break into your house.

Ronnie and Anita finally get round to ringing the doorbell and George Smitz opens the door in a blood-stained apron. Riiiight. He’s very polite and Anita is very rude. She insults the décor and declares that his grief is worthy of an Oscar.

Of course, adultery wasn’t murder. He could be guilty of one and not the other. Sure.

…there’s every chance he is guilty of one and not the other. Don’t put the carthorse before the cart.

She continues to be her pleasant self as she talks about how if any husband of hers was cheating she’d kill him, and by sneering at how he’s having to help his 92 year old father-in-law with the butchery business. Ronnie shows him the pictures of his affair and George is furious – he hired her to find his wife, not spy on him. Ronnie then asks him where the body is and he demands them to leave his house.

Raina then bursts in.

Raina was wearing a brown silk teddy, high heeled boots and nothing else. The fur coat was held open, the bloodred lining outling her body dramatically.

The teddy, the perfect item of clothing for a shake down.

Raina strides on in, dropping the furs, and bends over a table so that George Smitz can look up her teddy at her backside.


That’s it. Feminism is officially over. A book about a woman surviving on her own in a dangerous world is now about being blackmailed into a relationship with a man and a antagonist who had to run around in lingerie to feel strong. I mean, what’s the point of asking for a society where men and women can be judged equally on their merits when authors think that sexuality is automatically evil? What was the point of saying that women should be treated the same as men when female authors contribute to the ridiculous rumbling beast that is patriarchy by insisting that female characters who are Bad must be sexualised in order to show how wrong they are in comparison to the chaste and virtuous heroine?

It’s insulting bullshit. And only continues the awful monster of sexism.

This awful insult of a villain continues her Sexual Evilness by stroking and clawing at George, stroking her crotch, whispering to him seductively, asking him where Jason and Peggy are. So, we’re still ignoring the other seven werewolves kidnapped then? She rubs her breasts all over him and he admits that he killed Peggy, burying her inside his shed. She then rips at his crotch and he faints.

Words cannot say how disappointing and disgusting I find Raina as a character.

Somebody had taken eight, no seven shapeshifters. The eighth had been Peggy Smitz. We had her murderer on the carpet with his fly torn out. Who had taken them, and why? Why would anybody want seven lycanthopes? Something clicked. The naga had been skinned alive. If he’d been a lycanthrope instead of a naga, a witch could have used the skin to become a snake. It was a way to be a shapeshifter with all the advantages and one of the bad stuff. The full moon didn’t control you.

There’s only fifty pages of the book left. There’s been no effort into investigating the crimes or any interest by Anita into trying to find seven missing people – and to solve the murder of one innocent victim. And suddenly she’s interested in time to wrap up the book.

In the special parallel world where characters are real, I hope Anita is being killed slowly by Crowley. And then brought back to life just to experience the pain all over again.

Anita strolls out the house and finds Edward, the vampire hunter, waiting outside. He’s been following Raina for days and… I’m confused. He might be jumping on Raina and Gabriel down the road but I have no idea. Then the police show up and Anita heads to the hospital to talk to the naga.

All in all, not an auspicious chapter to return to.

In a PS to one of my regular commenter, RF, there is a temple in India dedicated to holy rats. There are 20,000 of them there. Well worth a visit, I should reckon.


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


    Speaking of problems aside from the sexist mess, there's zero detective work here in this supposed mystery novel. Raina bumps and grinds a confession out of a guy, and Anita just magically clicks two pieces together for the other murders when there's no reason she shouldn't have thought of that, or at least considered it an option, from the beginning. The real mystery is how she solves anything!

    • It’s basically LKH saying ‘Oh, I’ve only got fifty pages left. Better solve the mystery!’. There’s no work gone into the mystery – it’s just surrounding the nonsense of the romantic plot.

      • I’d say that this must be where Meyer learned how to write, if I wasn’t absolutely certain that she wouldn’t even pick up one of these books.

      • The parallels between the two series are quite… well, I’ll use the word ‘scary’ because I can’t think of another. There are too many similarities for Meyer to not know the series at least on a superficial level.

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