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Kiss the Dead is book number twenty one in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series of horror/mystery/erotica novels by Laurell K. Hamilton. The book was released in June 5th 2012.


The book is set in May in the year following Hit List.

Time markers:

  • Time of year:
    • Late spring. Kiss the Dead, chapter 15: "I took a deep breath of the fresh late-spring air, and let it out slow." Chapter 19: "I was driving on old Route 21 with the early-morning light streaming through the late-spring trees."
    • Kiss the Dead, chapter 46: "I've lived with Nathaniel for three years, four in June." It's late spring, and spring ends in June, but it isn't June yet. This places the novel in May. (Note that the reference to years since Narcissus in Chains is an inconsistency.)
  • Time since previous novels:
    • Almost one year since Hit List (August). Kiss the Dead, chapter 46: "Almost a year ago, in the summer, he'd (Lisandro had) gotten shot helping us defeat the Mother of All Darkness." Kiss the Dead, chapter 46: "I had an image in my head of a werewolf I'd seen burn last year from being too close to a rocket when it launched."
    • One year since Bullet (July). Kiss the Dead, chapter 40: "Asher might force us to send him away, but I'd miss him, and I hadn't been his main sweetie for a year like Dev had."
    • Two years since Flirt (August). Kiss the Dead, chapter 32: "We've (Anita and Nicky have) been lovers for almost two years, but I'm not sure you feel anything for me." Chapter 34: "He'd (Nicky'd) been at my side for two years."

Other time-related information:

  • Anita Blake is 30 years old. Kiss the Dead, chapter 24. Note that Anita's age in the novels has some inconsistencies; see the inconsistencies section of the Timeline article.
  • Cynric is 18 years old. Kiss the Dead, chapter 24.
  • Matthew Vespucci is three years old. Kiss the Dead, chapter 20.
  • Zerbrowski - Anita estimates that he's "only about nine years older" than her in Kiss the Dead chapter 15, placing him at about 39. However, in Dead Ice he corrects her that he's thirteen years older than her, so his age in Kiss the Dead is actually about 43.

There is an inconsistency regarding how much time has passed since the events of Narcissus in Chains. Anita says that in June it'll be four years since then (chapter 46), but in June it'll be only three years since then. Note that in the following novel, Affliction, Anita corrects this, saying it's been three years since then.


When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people—kids, grandparents, soccer moms—all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there’s one martyr, there will be more…

But even vampires have monsters that they’re afraid of. And Anita is one of them…


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Main Characters[]

Recurring Characters[]

New Characters[]

  • Benjamin: a vampire who survived the death of his bloodline, and thinks the whole blood-oath thing is based on lies and meant to give the leaders more power by stealing it from their subjects.
    • Human servant: Mr. Weiskopf
    • Followers, who have taken the cause further than Benjamin ever meant it to go:
      • Barney Wilcox
      • "Blondie"
      • "Grandma"
  • police:
    • Officer Taggart: member of RPIT, although might not be for long if he's having a crisis of faith
    • Lieutenant Ray Billings
    • Urlrich: uniformed officer, partner of Stevens.
    • Stevens: uniformed officer, partner of Urlrich. Gets injured, but is expected to heal.
    • Mulligan: uniformed officer, killed by vampires when checking on a location for a kidnapped girl. (Deceased)
    • unnamed uniformed officer, killed by vampires when checking on a location for a kidnapped girl. (Deceased)
    • Sergeant Greco: leader of a SWAT team
    • Arlen Brice: federal marshal
  • paramedics
  • reporters



  • There is some confusion whether the preternatural college league started the previous year already or is still something that is being set up. Chapter 20 leans to the former, chapter 24 to the latter direction. In either case Cynric is being scouted by coaches from some serious colleges. A professional league is still on the way, but there is likewise some confusion whether it's expected to happen in the coming months or is still a bit further away. Either way, it seems likely to happen for football at least.
  • Anita says she's been dating Jean-Claude for about seven years. However, Anita is now 30, and she was 24 in Guilty Pleasures, and even if she is rounding up from six-and-something years, they didn't actually start dating back then yet, unless she's counting from when Jean-Claude started chasing her.
Anita Blake Series

01. Guilty Pleasures • 02. The Laughing Corpse • 03. Circus of the Damned • 04. The Lunatic Cafe • 05. Bloody Bones • 06. The Killing Dance • 07. Burnt Offerings • 08. Blue Moon • 09. Obsidian Butterfly • 10. Narcissus in Chains • 11. Cerulean Sins • 12. Incubus Dreams • 13. Micah • 14. Danse Macabre • 15. The Harlequin • 16. Blood Noir • 17. Skin Trade • 18. Flirt • 19. Bullet • 20. Hit List • 21. Kiss the Dead • 22. Affliction • 23. Jason • 24. Dead Ice • 25. Crimson Death • 26. Serpentine • 27. Sucker Punch (novel) • 28. Rafael

Short Stories Magic Like Heat Across My SkinBlood Upon My LipsThe Girl who was Infatuated with DeathThose Who Seek ForgivenessSelling HousesBeautyDancingShutdownA Girl, a Goat, and a ZombieWoundedSweet Seduction
Comics The First DeathGuilty Pleasures & HandbookThe Laughing CorpseCircus of the Damned