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Grave Surprise

(Harper Connelly #2)

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  33,631 ratings  ·  1,321 reviews
When I was fifteen, I was struck by a bolt of lightning through an open window of the trailer where we lived...I recovered, mostly. I have a strange spiderweb pattern of red on my torso and right leg, which has episodes of weakness. Sometimes my right hand shakes. I have headaches. I have many fears. And I can find dead people. That was the part that interested the ...more
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Berkley Publishing Group (first published September 1st 2006)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  33,631 ratings  ·  1,321 reviews


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Rachel Reads Ravenously
3.5 stars!

“I love the South, don’t get me wrong; but it does lag behind the times in social developments.”

The second book in a series of four, you must read Grave Sight before reading this book. Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver travel the US, using Harper's ability to find dead bodies and to know how they died as a means of employment. This came about when Harper was struck by lightning when she was a teenager. Harper and Tolliver are called to Memphis for a grave reading in
...more
Jilly
I don't know why some readers are freaked out about the relationship between Harper and Tolliver, her "brother". The way I see it, these two are completely in love with each other, but are too afraid to tell the other so they pretend that they accept this sibling role when they are in no way related. They live as if they are a married couple, but go out and have sex occasionally with other people to take the edge off. Maybe if they had grown up together since childhood, I could see their ...more
Vintage
Great series. I tried the Sookie series as well as Aurora Teagarden and they just didn’t do anything for me. Charlaine Harris’ Harper Connelly series is an edgier read. Harper was hit by lightning as a teen and can now identify the dead. Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver now travel the United States as she tries to find bodies for families that are grieving. She can also identify how the person died. On top of the baggage of being the survivor of lightning strike and associated with the dead ...more
John
Aug 21, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, mystery
Definitely need to read "Grave Sight" first; this one doesn't stand on its own. Story developed nicely ... until the end. Read as though the author had stopped short, put away the manuscript, and returned close to the contract deadline to tack on a thrown-together ending.
Patti
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
Okay, I tried. I really tried. I got another book from this series, just to see if it left me feeling icky. And it did. Oh, it did.

Once again, the creepy relationship between Harper and Tolliver was there for all to see. Every time she mentioned him "holding" her or kissing her, I just wanted to pull my eyeballs out and scrub them. Once again, Harper had to talk about how Tolliver was all about having sex with waitresses. Why waitresses? I mean...why would the author include that? Why not just
...more
Josephine (Jo)
A thoroughly enjoyable book in the Harper Connelly series. Harper is no ordinary young woman, when she was a teenager she was struck by lightning and was left with both physical scars and a new mental ability, she can find missing dead people and also sense how they died. Harper and Tolliver had been employed over a year ago to find the body of a little girl called Tabitha Morgenstern aged eleven. Sadly at the time Harper was unsuccessful but when she is invited by anthropology professor Dr. ...more
Jim
Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
Not a bad book, but not quite as good as the first due to redundancy. Very similar to the first in the plot & all. Again, the heroine isn't very upbeat nor is the story line. Same issues with folks accepting her for what she is/does.

The biggest drawback was background of the heroine. We're treated to several pages where she crams in all the background info we learned through the first book & then she dishes it out again through out the book. OK, she & her step-brother had a rough
...more
Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Quick review:

Cover: Interesting
Rating: R
Thumbs Up: 4
Overall: I enjoyed it
Characters: Well Done
Plot: giving the finger to the doubters
Page Turner: Yes
Series Cont.? Yes
Recommend: Yes
Book Boyfriend: Tolliver

SUMMARY (50 words or less)
The lightning strikes again. I really like this series. I think I like Harper much more than Sookie. I like that this book seems to have a lot more going on than the mystery set in front of us. This one kept me guessing longer than the last book.

For a full review
...more
Luce
4 Stars rounded up from 3.5 stars for audiobook.

I am re-reading this series, but this time the audiobooks. Same reader as the first book - actually they keep the same narrator throughout the 4 book series (Alyssa Bresnahan). I like her. Does she have it easier, because it is written in the first person (Harper)? She doesn't really have to do voices? No matter, she does a good job.

In this second book, Harper is hired by a college professor, Professor Nunley to read the dead people in the graves
...more
Tiffy
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlaine Harris does it again. I really enjoyed this one. In the 2nd installment of this series Harper comes face to face with a case she couldn't solve. She has to try to figure it all out before she gets herself in trouble or killed. Looking forward to next book.
LJ
GRAVE SURPRISE (Paranormal Suspense-Memphis-Cont) – VG
Harris, Charlaine – 2nd in series
Berkeley Prime Crime, 2006- Hardcover
*** Harper Collins and her stepbrother Tolliver have come to Memphis at the request of Professor Clyde Nunley. He has asked Harper to demonstrate her unique ability to find the dead and know how they died. When she comes the grave of a centuries-old man she not only identifies him, but a second corpse buried on top—the body of a girl Harper had been hired, but failed, to
...more
Steven
Harper's second adventure (at least our second adventure with her) was just as fun as the first. Not too predictable, always interesting, and with great characters. The only issue I had was that we didn't get as much action as the first. Yeah, there were a few murders and twists, but I felt like a lot of time was spent at the hotel discussing who could possibly have done it, as opposed to the first where they were out there getting their hands dirty. I still enjoyed it, and know that cases have ...more
Aarann
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fun, library-has-it
Okay this is another one I finished ages ago, and I'm going to try to remember it for the purposes of cleaning off my goodreads shelves and getting a review on here. This review will be short and sweet, with just a few impressions so I don't spoil anything.

First, just like in the first book, the villain was laughably obvious (actually even more so this time). Harris is taking a premise and making it paper thin with each book. Harper's job as a corpse finder should be done once the body was found
...more
Jess the Audiobookworm
Grave Surprise was the installment that change the way I viewed the series. There were plenty of words eaten from my first review. And Grave Surprise certainly dispelled the notion of this being a cozy mystery series. The tone shifted to something much more intense and unsettling, more reminiscent of horror.

Grave Surprise was also where romantic shenanigans of a Greg and Marcia Brady variety began to appear. In my review of the first installment, I expressed delight and relief that Harris seems
...more
Nico
Nov 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Generally, these books are not the fillet mignon of books. They're the carnival corn dogs. This book, like a corn dog, is bad for you, but yet somehow you eat it anyway.

I've often said that Charlaine Harris's books are like the trash tv equivalent of the book world, and even though the characters are awful, disgusting people, I can't help but read this crap.

Harper and her step brother Tolliver still have this weird, co-dependent relationship with each other. And at least on Harper's part, she
...more
Hallie
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, dlr-library
Enjoyed this a lot, although I'm not totally certain why it was quite so engaging. I liked the set up for Harper finding this mystery's dead body, with the snotty professor so arrogant and so sure she'd fail in her demonstration of her powers to his class. I also liked that there was a bit less of the Unclean! Abomination! response to her than there was in the first book. It was a bit on the needlessly repetitive side for such a short book (seriously, did anyone *not* get that Harper and ...more
Melissa McShane
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot more than I liked the first; the story is more engaging and the mystery more complex. There's the college professor who invites Harper to demonstrate her talents so he can debunk her, and then there's the mystery that arises when in the course of this demonstration Harper finds an extra body in a grave. And when the extra body happens to be that of a girl Harper had been hired to find, and failed, several months back, the mystery deepens. Harris continues to think through ...more
Lauri Saplad
Offbeat 2nd installment in the Harper Connelly series. Harper is unique in several ways. 1) She's a lightning strike survivor. As a result of that 2) she can sense dead people! AND 3) she can tell what the body's cause of death was. And even stranger yet: 4) she makes a living locating mostly missing persons' bodies...

Harper with her stepbrother Tolliver travel the country locating dead bodies. Usually they're called in as a last resort. Her talents don't include finding living persons. Some
...more
Flannery
I was excited to check out this series because I really enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse series. Eh, no. While an interesting and entertaining listen, I found the plot to be predictable and the incestuous undertones a little disturbing. Just because someone is not your relative by blood doesn't mean they can't still be considered your brother. And he is described as being skinny, pock-marked, and with a ponytail! Get real!

Anyway, when I first began this one, I did not know it was the second in the
...more
Caty
May 25, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who are not bothered by odd boundary issues
This is another series by Charlaine Harris. I have read two and will not read more. The heroine and a stepbrother (odd, odd boundary issues here that get in the way of the plot) travel from town to town using the heroine's ability to communicate with the dead to resolve death's and settle spirits. Good premise. Good read. Creep factor too much to bother with again.
Matt
Oct 16, 2019 added it
Shelves: fiction
Let's be real: I really just want to read Kerr's review of this one. Laughably bad as it may be in places—OMG the fixation on irrelevant specifics, like what chairs people sat in, or the stripes on their shirt—it's still a fun way to fall asleep.

On to the third book soon enough...
Susan
Feb 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
From back cover blurb:
When I was fifteen, I was struck by lightning. I recovered, mostly. I have a strange spiderweb pattern of red on my torso and right leg. I have headaches. I have many fears. And I can find dead people. That was the part that interested the professor…

At the request of anthropology professor Clyde Nunley, Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver come to Memphis to demonstrate Harper's unique talent-in an old cemetery. Nunley is skeptical, even after Harper senses-and
...more
Nikki
Aug 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fantasy
Yeah, I can't help it, I like Charlaine Harris' books. This series is popcorn for my brain, but that's not a bad thing: so is Georgette Heyer, in a different way. I've been spoilered as to future developments in the series, and it doesn't put me off a bit: I was sort of expecting it to go this way. I mean, I've dipped in and out of fandoms since I was twelve. But just in case anyone has a really bad squick and needs to check that it's not going that way, the spoiler is (view spoiler) ...more
Barbara ★
Harper Connelly finds dead people and once found can tell you exactly how they died. Yup creepy as hell but cool too. At 15, Harper was struck by lightning and now has this weird ability and a bunch of health issues as well. As her manager, her brother Tolliver travels the country with Harper keeping her appointments and assists her physically when needed. Harper and Tolliver had a rather bad childhood which made them very close and dependent upon each other. Of course Harper and Tolliver are ...more
Dawn Michelle
Mar 03, 2009 rated it really liked it


I am really enjoying reading the different series by Charlaine Harris. I really like her writing style and how I never confuse Sookie for Harper and vice-versa.

The book finds Harper and her "brother"/best friends/traveling companion Tolliver in Memphis at a college to do a "reading" (for lack of a better word) at an old cemetery. They have been called/invited by a professor (who's college he works for is part of the cemetery, though on the outskirts of the actually college) who wants to debunk
...more
Alexandra
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another great book in the Harper Connelly series. I think I liked this one a little more than the first. Of course, the first book was great for setting up Harper and Tolliver's background and how they came to do what they do but this book took it further and you find out more information about their childhood and their family.
One revelation in particular that Harper has is quite disturbing.

But even the murder mystery in the book was more exciting than in Grave Sight. Harper goes to a cemetery
...more
Dee
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 stars

I seem to be in the minority, but I enjoyed this a bit more than Grave Sight Harper Connelly 1. I love when an innocuous seeming character rubs their skills in people's faces so the opening scenes set me in a great place with Harper showing the disbelieving Clyde her corpse mojo. Then there was the fact that references made in book one were followed through here with the discovery of Tabitha - continuity pleases me considerably. We got a bit more paranormal too with ghosts and psychics
...more
Tatiana
Apr 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Surprisingly, this series is becoming a favorite of mine and dare I say, this series is the best written of Harris’. There is of course no smoldering Viking vampire in these books. Tolliver with his moustache and long hair lacks any kind of sex appeal for me personally, but the structure of the books, the plots, the casts of characters are much superior to those in the latest disappointing Sookie books. I rather like morbid feel of Harper's adventures - she spends a lot of time searching for or ...more
Zarah
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Boooriiiing!
The plot is thin, the characters are cardboardey, the MC's are weird and not very likable - and ms Harris keeps mixing up her facts, which ruins books for me.
Another pet peeve is characters that keep repeating and rehashing things they've already gone over in previous instalments (or earlier on in the book). Yep. Gotcha, thanks. Not stupid - move on, please! This book does that all-the-frickin'-time.

I'm NOT gonna read the rest of these books.

(view spoiler)
...more
Carolyn F.
Mar 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
2nd re-read - this time by audiobook - Have the paperback too.

This is the book where Harper realizes how she feels about Tolliver. Some people things it's cringy that she's in love with her step-brother, but to me it's not a problem for the following reasons:

1. They are not blood relatives at all;

2. Their parents didn't marry until both were in their teens;

3. They took a really long time before they realized they loved each other more than just as family. They really thought it out.

So to me,
...more
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30,967 followers
Charlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over thirty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Charlaine lives in Texas now, and all of her children and grandchildren are within easy driving distance.

Though her early output consisted largely of ghost stories, by the time she hit college (Rhodes, in Memphis) Charlaine was writing poetry
...more

Other books in the series

Harper Connelly (4 books)
  • Grave Sight (Harper Connelly, #1)
  • An Ice Cold Grave (Harper Connelly, #3)
  • Grave Secret (Harper Connelly, #4)
“I love the South, don’t get me wrong; but it does lag behind the times in social developments.” 0 likes
“Nothing could stop tragedy from visiting your home. The angel of death would not pass over, leaving you unscathed, no matter how large your house was.” 0 likes
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