Great premise - a group who enjoy discussing real-life murders become the victims or implicated as suspects in copycat killings, and it seems certain...moreGreat premise - a group who enjoy discussing real-life murders become the victims or implicated as suspects in copycat killings, and it seems certain that one of them is actually behind it. An engrossing mystery.(less)
Keeping up my slightly random tradition of reading a Charlaine Harris novel at New Year for the third year, and having caught up on the Sookie Stackho...moreKeeping up my slightly random tradition of reading a Charlaine Harris novel at New Year for the third year, and having caught up on the Sookie Stackhouse series, I thought I'd start on Harper Connolly.
After being struck by lightning, Harper was left with the ability to find dead bodies and know how they died and she started to earn a living letting the bereaved have some closure. This was usually a quick in-and-out job, but when she and her stepbrother Tolliver travel to the small town of Sarne to find a teenage girl, missing and presumed dead, they get stuck there and have to investigate further - someone is trying to keep a secret well hidden.
I enjoyed this, and I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series.(less)
I understand why some people are a little disappointed with the latest Sookie Stackhouse novel from Charlaine Harris: it's a change of pace for Sookie and the first two-thirds of the book are full of information rather than action-packed. But give the girl a break - how many wars between supernatural factions has she been at the centre of now? So one book without vampires, weres or fairies trying to kill her is only fair. Wait... They still are trying to kill her?
While Sookie and the vamps are recovering from the devastating Fairy War in 'Dead and Gone' (with Bill suffering from silver poisoning), the world of the supes is still moving on. Now that the the weres and shifters have 'come out', resistance from people is leading to government plans to force them onto a register. Closer to home, Sookie learns that there are two bodies buried behind her house (one of which she can immediately identify) and that, while most fairies have left, there are still some fae in the area. When Eric's maker arrives with his new 'protégé', Sookie feels the effect of them both through the blood bond. As if they didn't already have enough to worry about with the possibility of a takeover attempt by Victor.
It's true that there is a lot of explaining rather than action and telling rather than showing in this book, but we learn a lot about vampire politics and human government reaction to the revelation of the weres and shifters. To be fair it would be difficult to reveal anything about politics in any form without explanation as it is possibly the least action-packed part of any society. While it does make this entry in the series rather information-heavy, I like this knowledge and it's important to know this background to the societies involved. The problem is not that we learn these things, it's that 'Dead in the Family' seems a bit like an information-dump, explaining what's gone before and providing the motivations behind what may happen next in the series.
That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the book - I've loved every Sookie Stackhouse novel so far including this one. The series provides great characters to follow, making it easy to just slip into the next volume. So it's comfort-reading. Y'know, with death and monsters...
A good mystery, without the paranormal elements that Harris fans may expect based on her more recent series, though one line suggests the germ of the idea behind the Harper Connelly series: When Catherine Linton has discovered her second dead body within a few days, she thinks to herself facetiously "People should hire me as a divining rod, to find dead bodies".
Didn't spot the solution coming - A good mystery.(less)
December is always my month for audiobooks: there are so many fiddly, hand-requiring but low-brainpower jobs to do that it's great to be able to liste...moreDecember is always my month for audiobooks: there are so many fiddly, hand-requiring but low-brainpower jobs to do that it's great to be able to listen to a book while you get on with them. I love the narrator on this series as well - Johanna Parker has just the right Southern drawl that I hear in my head when reading Sookie and she does a great job voicing the other characters too.
So, while the freezer defrosts ready to be filled with Christmas food, do I decorate the tree or start wrapping presents? I think I'll put the next in the series on my phone before I start...(less)
Another audiobook while attempting to sort through the pre-Christmas chaos. The Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mysteries series may not be the cla...moreAnother audiobook while attempting to sort through the pre-Christmas chaos. The Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mysteries series may not be the classiest example of literature (Exhibit A: "Mr Happy") but they're good fun to read/listen to.(less)
31/12/12: Listening to the audiobook of Dead as a Doornail this month reminded me that I have yet to read the Lily Bard series since Lily turns up inv...more31/12/12: Listening to the audiobook of Dead as a Doornail this month reminded me that I have yet to read the Lily Bard series since Lily turns up investigating the disappearance of Debbie Pelt in the Sookie Stackhouse series...(less)