Monday, 14 May 2018

Book Review: Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand by Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville #5)

Already the alpha pair of Denver's werewolf pack, Kitty and Ben now plan to tie the knot human-style by eloping to Vegas. Kitty is looking forward to sipping frou-frou drinks by the pool and doing her popular radio show on live TV, but her hotel is stocked with werewolf-hating bounty hunters.

Elsewhere on the Strip an old-school magician might be wielding the real thing; the vampire community is harboring a dark secret; and the irresistible star of a suspicious animal act is determined to seduce Kitty.

Sin City has never been so wild, and this werewolf has never had to fight harder to save not only her wedding, but her very life.

My Review: 
Kitty and Ben are getting stressed with the thought of planning a wedding and decide that it would be easier to elope to Las Vegas. Kitty is excited by the idea of lounging around the pool for a few days but her producer sees the chance to do a live TV show for maximum publicity which is taking up all her time. The fact that she has been booked into a hotel hosting a gun convention full of anti-werewolf former friends of Ben has her even more anxious. When Ben disappears during a poker game, it is going to be up to Kitty to find some allies to help her track him down and save him.

Kitty finds plenty to occupy herself while Ben is playing poker. Rick asks her to go and see the Master Vampire Dom who runs the city, taking official greetings from Denver. He tells her about a magic based show that has real weres performing as animals which both intrigues and bothers her greatly. A hotel magician, Grant, refuses to appear on her show and warns her not to go anywhere near Balthasar's strange shows as it is dangerous to her. He is unwilling to say any more than Balthasar wanting Kitty for his property but Kitty decides to go and see it anyway. Ben is focused on playing poker and even decides to postpone the wedding by a few hours so he can play in the big game, which is when he vanishes.

Kitty wonders if the werewolf hunters have turned on their former friends, now seeing him as an enemy and thinks they might have something to do with his disappearance. Brenda has already threatened Kitty in the hotel bar but are she and Evan involved? Does it have something to do with Balthasar wanting to have a werewolf in his show? Is the mysterious Grant involved in some way? Or has Dom being playing some kind of power game while pretending to be her friend? Whoever is involved, Kitty needs to find out what has happened to Ben, while watching out for the people who are following her.

I saw very mixed reviews for this book on Goodreads so to be honest I wasn't really expecting to like it much but I was pleasantly surprised. The end of book four is the part of the series where I really started to connect with the characters and plot and everything just kicked into gear. I went from just liking the series to really enjoying it and this book played a big part in it. I liked the actual plot threads involving all the new characters, particularly Grant and the werewolf hunters. It was interesting to see how his former friends reacted to Ben now that he was one of the enemy. Dom was interesting because he never really seemed to show what side he was on, preferring to ignore any issues in favour of having a quiet life. 

I still don't quite get the relationship between Kitty and Ben and it seems that I'm not the only one who has that issue. Don't get me wrong, I like Ben as a character and I don't mind him being Kitty's parner but I just don't feel the chemistry between them in the way that book one had with Kitty and Cormac. I feel that the author needs to do more to show them being connected instead of just a random sex scene which does nothing to help. But really, other than that I don't have any real complaints about the way the series is going. I really enjoy the actual range of characters that we get in the series, though most don't really appear in this book as Rick and the Pack are back in Denver. The plots are interesting and different in each book along with the continuing story. 

I look forward to seeing what else is coming for Kitty as the series progresses! I have read a few more in the series, which I did during my series read earlier this year and I'm still enjoying them. I need to get back to it when I'm caught up on my series reviews!

Read January 2018. 
4 stars


  1. I'm glad you're still enjoying this series. 4/5 is still a pretty good rating for this far along in the series.

    1. I've very much enjoyed 4-7! I need to get back to this series and get it finished but I'm enjoying my creature features at the moment!

  2. The fact that the last two books in this series made you like it even more is a sign that I should give these books a try. :D

    1. Overall it has kept up a pretty good standard up to and including book seven. I need to get the rest of the series read.

  3. I am glad you liked this but book 4? You just started connecting with the characters. I would have given up after book two. I don't have that kind of stamina for books. If I don't like it after the first - I most likely won't read any more in the series. I am glad you did enjoy it tho.

    Have a great day!


    1. That's not actually accurate. What I said in the review is that in book 4 I went from liking the series to really liking the series, not that I hadn't liked it previously. If I hadn't been liking the series, I wouldn't have went beyond book 1. I said that I 'really' connected fully with the characters in book 4-that's where the series took off for me. I didn't say that I had never connected with the characters previously. Had that been true, I wouldn't have read beyond book 1.

    2. Sorry, that sounds a little harsh reading it back! I was just trying to explain, not have a go at you or anything honest!