This is the first in the Anita Blake series. Anita is an animator, she is able to raise the dead. She is also known as The Executioner, because she is a vampire hunter, she chases and kills vampires who have been convicted to death (in Anita's world, vampirism has been legalized, there is living, dead and undead... ) In this novel, the Master of the City (vampire) hires Anita, against her will, to solve a series of vampire murders happening in St. Louis (Anita's home city). Along the way we learn some of Anita's history, and meet some of her friends.
I have read this series before, and I really like it, it was just what I am in the mood to read for the next little bit.