Guilty Pleasures (novel)

Guilty Pleasures (novel)

infobox Book |
name = Guilty Pleasures
orig title =
translator =

author = Laurell K. Hamilton
cover_artist = Steve Gardner (Ace edition)
country = United States
language = English
series =
genre = mystery, horror
publisher = Ace Books (Ace edition)
release_date = 1993 (Ace edition)
media_type = Print
pages = 266 p. (Ace edition)
isbn = ISBN 0-441-30483-4 (Ace edition)
preceded_by =
followed_by = The Laughing Corpse

"Guilty Pleasures" is a horror/mystery novel by Laurell K. Hamilton.

Plot introduction

"Guilty Pleasures" introduces the character of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter and her world, an alternate history where magic, vampires, werewolves and other supernatural elements are known to exist. Blake, a zombie animator and licensed vampire executioner, is forced to investigate a series of vampire murders, and in the process comes into contact with many of the supernatural characters of her home city of Saint Louis. The novel blends elements of supernatural and hardboiled detective fiction.

Explanation of the title

Within the novel, "Guilty Pleasures" is the name of a vampire strip club operated by Jean-Claude, one of the main characters. Hamilton has continued the pattern of titling the novels after a location within each novel for most of the books in the series.

Plot summary

lives in St. Louis, Missouri, in a world where magic, vampires, werewolves, and the like are "out of the closet" and, in some cases, even legal. Anita is an "animator," with the ability to raise or inter zombies. Anita also works as a "vampire executioner," killing vampires (by court order) and advising the police on supernatural crimes. This first book takes place in July when Anita is 24.

In "Guilty Pleasures", Anita is blackmailed by , the vampire master of the city, into investigating a series of vampire murders. During the course of this investigation, Anita begins her relationship with Jean-Claude, another master vampire, and receives two of the four marks necessary to make her Jean-Claude's "human servant." Ultimately, Anita identifies the murderer, but by that point has sufficiently antagonized Nikolaos and her underlings that she is forced to confront them. Ultimately, with help from Jean-Claude and , a human associate who specializes in assassinating supernatural targets, Anita kills Nikolaos and many of her followers, making Jean-Claude master of the city.

Characters in "Guilty Pleasures"

Major characters

"Guilty Pleasures" introduces the following characters.
* Anita Blake: Anita is a hardboiled detective — contrary, sarcastic, and has a protective streak — with the ability to raise the dead. While she is a respected vampire hunter, Anita still has a healthy fear of their superior strength, speed, and metaphysical abilities. She strongly believes that vampires are irredeemable monsters, which will change as the series progresses.
* : The primary villain of the novel, Nikolaos is a very old, very powerful, and very threatening vampire.
* Jean-Claude: The novel also introduces Jean-Claude, and offers hints of some of his defining qualities, particularly his manipulative and strategic personality, his seductive charm, and his attraction to Anita.

Other recurring characters

* "Guilty Pleasures" introduced a number of recurring characters including Anita's civilian boss, , best friend coworkers , police officers and , and recurring characters , , , and .

Non recurring characters


Nikolaos's human servant, Burchard was centuries old. He was bald, skilled with weapons, and carried himself like a soldier. Anita killed Burchard in "Guilty Pleasures".


A former "pomme de sang" (literally: "apple of blood"; a person who regularly donates blood to a specific master vampire) to Jean-Claude. Phillip was a "vampire junkie" and a stripper at Guilty Pleasures, and was the first in a long line of beautiful but wounded strippers who have looked to Anita for healing and protection. He was killed by Valentine and Aubrey, raised as a zombie, and then re-interred by Anita, all in "Guilty Pleasures".


Built like a circus strongman, Winter was a human employee of Nikolaos. He nearly killed Anita, but Anita killed him in "Guilty Pleasures".

Death toll

* The death toll in "Guilty Pleasures" includes murder victims and Phillip and a long list of victims of Anita and Edward - Nikolaos, , , , Burchard, Winter, and an unnamed vampire.

Major themes

"Guilty Pleasures" combines elements of supernatural and detective fiction to create a formula that lasts through the next several novels. The novel also introduces a number of themes that develop throughout the series.
* Anita's uncomfortable relationship with the supernatural and with her own powers is at its high point in this book. Through the series, Anita becomes progressively more comfortable with her abilities, her relationship with the vampires of Saint Louis, and her sexuality.


The Anita Blake series is being adapted into a by Dabel Brothers Productions and Marvel Comics. The first issue, adapting "Guilty Pleasures", was released on October 20, 2006.

Release details

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