The engaging start of a wonderful series that morphs into erotica partway through.
If you like V.I Warshawski, Kinsey Milhone,and other female gumshoes, and you like some fantasy, you will definitely like this series in the beginning. Normal world, normal woman, except that vampires (and other supernatural critters) are real, some have civil rights and coexist with humans more or less peacefully, and the protagonist is a 5'2" gun toting butt kicking necromancer. Her day job is raising the dead for a company that specializes in it so that answers about wills, etc., can be settled once and for all. Her other job is a vampire executioner which makes her a federal marshal, because you can't just run around and stake some poor vampire on sight unless you want to get arrested. The monsters are living among the humans now, and Ms. Hamilton does a wonderful job of looking at exactly what that would entail. What about mixed marriages What kinds of jobs would vampires have How would the ACLU fit into this What about religion And so on and so forth. At this point, Anita Blake's world is black and white. Vampires bad. Humans good. There are no shades of gray for Anita. This book reads like a decently written female detective book with the small twist of the kind of world the detective exists in and how that impacts her investigation and her life.
You must start with the beginning in this series or you'll miss some fascinating twists and turns as Anita's world starts to acquire shades of gray and she starts to grow up a little bit. What happens when the monsters go out of their way to rescue you from the humans who want to kill you What happens when the scariest thing in your world is a human, not a monster What happens when the monster thinks you're kinda cute and asks you out on a date
Later in the series, Ms. Hamilton gets so busy exploring the social interaction side of things (what happens when ALL the monsters want to date you. At the same time.) that the mystery solving part goes bye bye, which is a shame. And right around Narcissus in Chains, Ms. Hamiltin abandons any pretense at plot and starts writing not so vanilla porn. But the series right up to that point is a solidly written, engaging and nicely layered series that can be addictive.
And the fact of the matter is that not one of the other authors who have picked up on this oh so popular genre of female with unexplored powers doing something dangerous in a supernatural world has come close to what Ms. Hamilton managed to accomplish with Anita Blake.