Book Review: Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand

Posted September 17, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand

Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand


Carrie Vaughn

It is part of the Kitty Norville #5 series and is a urban fantasy that was published by Grand Central Publishing on February 1, 2009 and has 282 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Dark and Stormy Knights, Kitty Goes to Washington, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, "Kitty Meets the Band", Hex Appeal, Kitty and the Silver Bullet, Kitty Raises Hell, Kitty's House of Horrors, Kitty Goes to War, Kitty's Big Trouble, Kitty's Greatest Hits, Kitty Steals the Show, Kitty Rocks the House, Kitty in the Underworld

Fifth in the Kitty Norville urban fantasy series about a werewolf radio talk show host who discusses the supernatural and generally based in Denver, however, this story takes place in Las Vegas.

My Take

It is pretty funny how wedding-phobic Kitty is and how terrified she is of telling her mother. It just would have been so much safer if she’d stayed in Denver and stuck it out. Sure, Ben wouldn’t have learned about his poker skills until later, but they’d both have been so much safer.

What is it with people who think you’ll be safer if you don’t know anything? I don’t get that. Especially with someone as nosey as Kitty is. She may be a werewolf, but her curiosity is gonna get her killed one of these days. Still, it’s interesting to read of her adventures with her combination of reporter, the supernatural, and a refusal to take no for an answer. She and Ben are just everyday people outside their werewolf personas and it’s always fun to see how Vaughn transcends the normal with Kitty.

Gimme a break. I get that Kitty loves Ben. Does this mean she has to go off half-cocked? What an idiot.

The Story

Kitty and Ben are planning the wedding and are overwhelmed with the details and the COST! It’s all the hassle and the expense that trips them into the idea of a wedding in Vegas. Even better, do one of her shows live on television from Sin City. This live, televised broadcast would be under Kitty’s control this time!

Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans. Who knew there was going to be a supernatural bounty hunter convention in Vegas?

The Characters

Kitty Norville is alpha for the pack in Denver, and she and Ben are getting married. Ben O’Farrell was her lawyer. Since he was bitten, he’s become Kitty’s lover. Gail and Jim Norville are her parents, and they come along for the ride. Ellen O’Farrell is Ben’s mom, a rancher’s wife who became a waitress when her husband went to jail.

Shaun is her beta and runs the New Moon restaurant in Denver. A casual meeting place for any lycanthrope. Ozzie is the show’s producer and the manager for KNOB-Denver. Matt is her Denver-based engineer. Rick is the new vampire Master of Denver.

Ben’s bounty hunter “friends”
Boris and Sylvia are a partnership; he’s the scary-looking one. She IS the scary one. Brenda and Evan are…friendlier.

Odysseus Grant is a magician — stage and real. Balthasar performs with his show as the King of Beasts with a pride of tigers in his act. Only they are much more than mere tigers, and they have something special planned for Kitty with the priestess of Tiamat, a goddess of chaos, leading the pride. Dom is the Master of Las Vegas, supposedly.

Detective Mike Gladden is with the Las Vegas PD, and he’s in charge of Ben’s missing person case. Faber is a petty Vegas crime lord who seems too interested in Ben.

The Cover and Title

The cover is golden in its brilliance from the sun and the lights on the Strip. They still manage a moon in there as well as a yellow tiger to threaten a cocky Kitty in her black cropped tank top and low-cut jeans that reveal her tramp stamp. As pretty as she looks, Kitty is ready for action with her hands on her hips and her golden hair pulled back in a single braid down her back.

The title is both a reference to Kitty’s trip to Las Vegas and it could be that Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand had an ace up her sleeve. One of which even she wasn’t aware.