Sometimes my stubbornness is rewarded. Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series has gathered lots of fans over the years and some have been very vocal about how she's lost her touch, the stories aren't as good, too many characters, too much sex etc. I've even commented that more of the action was in the bedroom than on the streets, but I have to say, this book reverses that trend and was a good read.
"Skin Trade" is the 17th book featuring Anita and a fairly large cast of monsters...some are even human. Anita receives a package from Las Vegas, but this isn't the sort of package you are happy you opened. The Las Vegas vampire executioner's head has been mailed to her, a rather grisly invitation to hit the road and see what Vegas has to offer besides casinos and buffets. Hamilton brings Edward back into the story, as well as assorted other characters from previous books, but the star of this novel is the fact Anita gets to hunt down monsters without all the distractions her many St. Louis men provide.
I wouldn't suggest reading any of the Anita books out of order. A reader needs to follow Anita along and see how she grows, develops and responds to the increasingly preternatural world she inhabits. There is a definite overriding rollercoaster effect to this body of work and you need to get on this ride with book one.