I’ll start by saying that Danse Macabre is a very odd book in the Anita Blake series.
One reason is that even though it’s quite a long book, as evidenced by the time it took me to read it, even as time poor as I am, it actually takes place over a very short space of time. Essentially it starts one day and pretty much finishes the next.
The other reason that contributes to the oddity is that nothing grisly happens. No one dies. At all.
I know, I said it was odd.
That said, I did say it was quite a long book and just because there is nothing for Anita to investigate doesn’t mean that there is nothing going on. Far from it.
First off, Anita thinks that she may be pregnant and given that she now has a lot of partners, which is something Ronnie, her best friend, has an issue about, Anita’s not too certain who the father could be. Not only that, she also has to consider her lifestyle.
Whilst most of the men who could be the father are not too bad at handling the news, her former fiancé, Richard, who I’ve not been impressed with since, well, ever, is just a complete asshat about the whole thing. For a supposed alpha werewolf he’s just not. He’s more like a spoiled child or a throw back to the 1950s. Given that LKH has made all her male characters very high maintenance, I wish she’d take a look at Shelly Laurenston a.k.a G.A. Aiken. Now there’s an author who knows how o write alpha characters.
So there is the pregnancy but there is also the fact that Jean Claude is hosting an all vampire dance troupe at Danse Macabre, one of his clubs. Apparently, this a very big thing. Like the Bolshoi, I would imagine. As a result, various vampiric dignitries are travelling to St. Louis and given the revelation that Anita still doesn’t have a handle on her ardeur, could and does cause problems for her and her friends.
Whilst on the subject of the ardeur, as is expected, there is a lot of sex in this book but there’s one thing that bothers me and that’s LKH’s usage of the word ‘go’ for an orgasm. Yes, orgasms are quite messy and LKH writes in a style that is erotic but not pornographic but when the character’s have no problem in saying stuff like "Fuck me!", instead of saying "I’ll come when you do", they say "I’ll go when you do." Go? What are they going to do? Leave? It disrupts the flow, if you’ll pardon the expression.
Because there isn’t a crime to investigate, any of the characters from the RPIT such as Storr and the ever funny Zerbrowski are missing completely. However, the rest of the major players are there; Ronnie, Jean Claude and Richard as I’ve mentioned. Micah and Nathanial and Jason. Claudia, too, who is becoming a favourite of mine. Despite being a wererat, musclebound and well over six feet tall, she seems to be the most normal person there.
There is more interaction from Marmee Noir who is slowly being set as the ‘big bad’.
The ballet itself is wonderfully written. So well, that I didn’t have any difficulty picturing it. Of course, it doesn’t go smoothly. But then, does anything in Anita’s life?