A series of urban fantasy novels written in hard boiled detective first person style, with Anita Blake as the narrator and protagonist. The story takes place in the St. Louis of an alternate reality Earth where not only do vampires, werewolves and magic exist, but everyone knows they exist. For example, several years before the start of the series, the U.S. supreme court granted civil rights to vampires, and now you need a warrant to kill them.

Anita's regular job is with Animators Inc., where she raises the dead so customers can ask them questions: is this your real will or is it a forgery, where did you hide the money, and so on. Through Animators Inc. she is on retainer as a consultant for the Preternatural Crime Task Force of the St. Louis police, derisively known as the "Spook Squad". Lastly, Anita is Missouri's licensed vampire killer, and has the most legal vampire kills of any human in the U.S.; she is known among Vampires as "The Executioner". She has an acquaintance, Edward, who has even more, non-legal kills under his belt; the vampires simply refer to him as "Death".