Mama Reads
Book Review — Charlaine Harris


So,when I walked into my local library in a few months back and saw not one, but TWO new Charlaine Harris books on the shelf waiting for me, I was in fan heaven. The first one,A Touch of Dead (Sookie Stackhouse: The Complete Stories) is the latest offering in her popular Sookie Stackhouse series that serves as the basis for the HBO series True Blood.  (Brief aside:  a friend sent me a bottle of tru blood for Christmas which made me laugh for a good 5 minutes.  Who knew they even made such a thing?)   This is a collection of short stories which take place at different times in Sookie’s history.  I wanted to like this book. But between the fact that I don’t particularly like short stories and the weak writing it was just a letdown.  (I was also disappointed in the last full length offering, Dead and Gone. The writing is weak and the plotting abysmal. Not at all up to usual Sookie standards.) I realize this was a chance to flesh out some secondary characters and revisit some deleted scenes, but I ended up skimming fairly quickly and was tempted not to finish.

On the other hand, Grave Secret (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 4), was a nice return to form.  This series is centered around Harper Connelly who has had an affinity for the dead ever since she was struck by lightning as a teenager.  She travels the country, with her step-brother (who became her boyfriend in the last book) and people hire them to find the bodies of lost loved ones.  Once Harper finds a body, she can usually tell how they died etc.  This time they are going “home” to Texas and their latest case seems to have ties to their own troubled childhoods.  This series is a little darker than the Sookie Stackhouse series but seemed to be a little deeper as well.  Unfortunately, it looks like Harris may be wrapping up the series to concentrate on other things as she ties up a lot of plot lines that have been developing through all four books.  If it is the end, at least it was a strong one!

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