Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand

Kitty and Ben now engaged.  Like all things in Kitty’s life… nothing goes as planned.  They decide to elope and have a Las Vegas wedding.  Ozzie, her boss, approaches Kitty about doing a live studio show while she’s there.  It’s her chance to do a tv show on her terms this time.  The trip turns into a working vacation.  Her mother insists on being there for the ceremony.  And guess what?  The hotel just so happens to host a gun enthusiast convention at the same time which might not be so bad if some of those enthusiasts didn’t make their living as werewolf hunters.

The lights, crowds and sounds set the wolf sides of Kitty and Ben on edge because it dulls their senses.  Vaughn gets the setting on the Las Vegas strip completely right.  I was in Las Vegas two years ago for a friend’s wedding and this book brought back some good memories.  Even the details about the weather  at various times of day are spot on.

While Ben plays poker, Kitty meets the Las Vegas Master vampire and becomes intrigued by two acts she’d like to feature on her show.  The first is magician Odysseus Grant who seems to use real magic in his act.  The second is the trained animal act (lions, and tigers but no wolves, oh my!) of Balthasar, King of Beasts.  Kitty wants to know if the were-felines are there against their wishes or not.  Odysseus and Balthasar don’t get along either which makes Kitty curious about their history.

This book felt like a long setup for Kitty Raises Hell so I’m glad these two books were published a month apart.  There is a lot of action in this one and it’s possibly the sexually raciest of the series.  Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand continues the theme of The Long Game which was introduced in Kitty and the Silver Bullet when Kitty learned more about vampire politics than she cared.

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