The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton, is the second book in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. It was originally published in 1994
In this book, The Laughing Corpse is the name of a vampire comedy club operated by Jean-Claude. In the earlier novels, Hamilton set the novels around a specific location in St. Louis. After so many fans have tried to find the actual locations in town, Hamilton stopped using specific locations.
The Laughing Corpse continues the adventures of Anita Blake, as she attempts to solve a gruesome set of murders, while while trying to avoid two potential threats to her life from people interested in using her talents as a zombie animator.
Anita is still trying to come to grips with her powers and her relationship with Jean-Claude, the vampire master of St. Louis and Anita's future lover/master. Although Jean-Claude and Anita are not together as a couple yet, the sexual tension is there and each book continues to build on this.
These earlier books also contain more scenes with Lt. Rudolph "Dolph" Storr, Anita's friend and head of the Regional Preternatural Investigation Taskforce, or Spook Squad. I have missed Anita's interactions with Dolph in the last 4 or 5 books, so it was great to reread this book and see him again.
The Laughing Corpse blends elements of supernatural and detective fiction, specifically police procedural and hardboiled fiction in this novel. This book was originally published in paperback form, but has since been re-released in hardcover. This is also the second of the Anita Blake books to be turned into a graphic novel.