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Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand (Kitty Norville) Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: Kitty Norville (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Original edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446199532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446199537
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 4.1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Vaughn's universe is convincing and imaginative, providing enough series mythology to satisfy without slowing down the narrative."—Publishers Weekly on Kitty Takes a Holiday

"Funny, heart-wrenching, and thought-provoking."— on Kitty Goes to Washington

"Vaughn's clever new take on the supernatural is edgy and irreverent . . . will have readers clamoring for the next installment."—Romantic Time BOOKreviews Magazine on Kitty and the Midnight Hour

About the Author

Carrie Vaughn had the nomadic childhood of the typical Air Force brat, with stops in California, Florida, North Dakota, Maryland, and Colorado. She holds a Masters in English Literature and collects hobbies---fencing and sewing are currently high on the list. She lives in Boulder, Colorado. Her website is

More About the Author

I was born in California, but grew up all over the country, a bona fide Air Force Brat. I currently live in Colorado, with my miniature American Eskimo dog, Lily. I have a Masters in English Lit, love to travel, love movies, plays, music, just about anything, and am known to occasionally pick up a rapier.

I've never been a DJ, but I love writing about one.

Here's my website:

Customer Reviews

Popular Discussion Topics

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  • "Writing" 21
  • "Characters" 15
  • "Action" 9
  • "Funny" 5
  • "Romantic" 5
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By R. Howell on February 12, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kitty and Ben decide to head off to Las Vegas to get married. The supernatural in Vegas is only rivaled by the gun show (not to mention the slew of bounty hunters) at the same hotel that our alpha werewolves get booked in. Ben learns a new skill based on his hypersenses only to go missing. Kitty must now seek out Vegas' Master vampire Dom for help, all to no avail. Balthasar's cat show is more than it seems and just how far do Odysseus Grant's powers reach into the realm of magic?

For this fifth book in the series, there is really nothing here this time around. Slow going, no tension, little action, and a dead story. However, this does seem to be heading into something big for the next book, Kitty Raises Hell, where hopefully we'll see more of Odysseus, Evan and Brenda. Overall, this book is flat and just seems to be filler and set-up for the next book. Even though I enjoyed this book, it falls far below the standards set by the previous four books.
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35 of 46 people found the following review helpful By C. C. Decker on February 9, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm bewildered! I thoroughly enjoyed the first four books in Vaughn's Kitty Norville series, and I completely trusted her to turn in another competent installment. What happened to this book?

Dead Man's Hand is too hastily paced. The character's observations are superficial when they're not cliched, and her interactions with other characters feel flat and obligatory, the dialogue empty of anything but basic generalities. The protagonist meets the master vampire of the city, and an illusionist who might be a real magician, and an animal act that might be employing lycanthropes. As intriguing as the ideas are, they don't go anywhere for the first half of the book. She meets the characters, they tell her they won't give her an interview, and after shaking hands, she leaves! There's no sense of menace or foreshadowing or even wonder; these are basic introductions. This novel reads like inept fan fiction.

More irritatingly, the book takes place in Las Vegas as Kitty performs her first live show the same weekend she intends to marry. The author unnecessarily reinvents Caesar's Palace and the Luxor with brand-x replacements (the Greek-themed "Mount Olympus" and a ziggurat pyramid-shapped "Hanging Gardens"); as though the readers or maybe the real casinos would be offended if she didn't use coy symbolism to reference them. It gives the book's Las Vegas setting a weirdly foggy, distancing effect, unlike, say, the more precise and recognizable rendering of Rachel Caine's Las Vegas in the Weather Warden Series. For all that Vaughn says she researched Las Vegas in her dedication, the setting doesn't feel authentically Vegas.

Moreover, the heroine is staying in the same hotel and casino she's performing in, and - gasp! - there's a gun show convention in the same building!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Seabreeze on February 2, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kitty and Ben, the werewolf alpha pair, have gone to Las Vegas to get married. Kitty is also going to do a televised version of her radio program while in Sin City. She meets the vampire Master of the City, encounters a magician and an animal act that both seem to be more than meets the eye and her hotel has a gun convention populated by werewolf and vampire hunters. If that is not enough, Ben wins a place to play in a poker tourney and potentially win a million dollars. All creative ideas and seems like more than enough to keep the reader interested and on the edge of their seat, but it doesn't turn out that way.

It took me a while to get interested because even with all the things mentioned above, nothing was really happening that could keep me reading for any length of time. It is not until more than half way into the book that the story starts to get interesting. Things picked up, but even then there was something missing, that something that gets a reader anxious about what happens to characters. Cormac is mentioned several times and I kept wishing he was there. CV needs to parole him or break him out of prison, soon.

This story continues to the next book, which is out in March. I can't help but feel this was unnecessary. Dead Man's Hand needed to be tighter and then combine the next book with this one for one book. Hopefully this would have resulted in a better paced, exciting story.

I also thought the title didn't quite fit the story. Yes, there is poker but it is really just a vessel to put one of the characters in danger.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Judah on September 3, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I almost skipped number five because the featured reviews are low stars, and that would have been a mistake. It's not that bad. Recently I've read a great deal of *really bad* urban fantasy, and oddly, Carrie Vaughn is a good enough author that even her 'bad' books are OK. What makes this low quality is a factual anomaly --- gun show in Vegas. Vegas hotels don't have gun shows; they handle tons of money, and concealed carries and other weapons are not allowed. Magical Vegas still handles the same cash, so it's hard to understand why Vaughn's Vegas would invite easy armed robberies.

If you can get past that, then the book still has Kitty's uniquely humorous take on the supernatural. The one-liners were great. The actual plot had Kitty running around being not very effective, but my expectations were exceeded. I don't read these to see Kitty be a hero, I read them for the 'Midnight Hour' supernatural spoofing. While definitely not in the top half of this series, I found enough inside to think it 'OK'.
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