Before Charlaine Harris wrote the Sookie Stackhouse vampire novels that are so deservedly popular, I read all of her Aurora Teagarden mysteries, and I am very glad that they are being reissued in paperback. These are mysteries in a setting very similar to the English villages that gave rise to coziesa small Southern town. Harris does a good job of showing how even in a place where you think you know everyone and everyone's business, the one secret you didn't know may be a killer. The Southern setting and the dangerous secrets are devices that she brought to new levels in her supernatural novels later, but even earlier in her mysteries, she reminds us that a small town is a microcosm of a world that is sometimes colder, and sometimes warmer than we know.
An Aurora Teagarden mystery..Roe discovers her sister-in-law's body and must solve the mystery of who killed Poppy and why. At the same time, Roe is dealing with her teenaged half-brother who has run away from home and arrives on her doorstep with plenty of emotional baggage. This was a good, quick read. I love the Roe Teagarden character!
I like this, don't get me wrong, it was what I consider a good beach read, but I didn't like it as much as some of the other Aurora Teagarden mysteries by this author. I do seek out the Teagarden series, but I prefer 2 other series by the same author, the Lily Bard Shakespeare series (starts with Shakespeare's Landlord or Shakespeare's champion, I can't remember) - its really well drawn psychologically. I also like the southern vampire series, starting with Dead Until Dark. I like that one a lot because of the nifty supernatural stuff and I like 'em enough to re-read them from time to time - but actually, I feel that the Lily Bard mysteries have more depth. Either way you go - Charlaine Harris, unlike so many authors, is never a dissapointment to me. Even when she's not at her best, she's soooo much better than many others.
On the way to a lunch meeting of her local book discussion group, the Uppity Women, small-town Southern librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden is shocked and dismayed to find her sister-in-law Poppy lying bloody and dead right outside her own back door. Poppy had her flaws, certainly-she and her husband were having trouble staying faithful to each other-but she didn't deserve to be so brutally murdered.
Investigating a case like this is never easy, of course, given the gossipy atmosphere of any small town, what with Poppy and her husband's extramarital affairs, the local police detective (who also happens to be a former boyfriend of Roe's) and his seemingly unresolved feelings for Poppy, and the need to protect Poppy's family. But Roe is also coping with a burgeoning romantic relationship as well as the sudden appearance of her teenaged half brother. All in all, it's a lot for one woman to have on her plate, even one as together as Roe.
Longtime readers and new fans alike will delight in Roe's exploits as she employs her impeccable knowledge of small town politics and enchanting Southern charm to solve the crime in this wonderful installment of Charlaine Harris' terrific cozy series.
I just finished reading this complete series (8 books) and love the way Charlaine Harris ended this series. I feel she did an excellent job with the characters, unexpected twists and plots. I often read an entire book in one setting so I could find out who did it and why!
Small-twon Georgia librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden may be petite in stature, but her backbone is pure steel,and she knows what to do even in the most unnerving of situations.. such as when she finds her stepsister-in-law dead on the kitchen floor.....
Someone kills Aurora Teagarden stepsister-in-law. Aurora finds Poppy's body. Both Poppy and her husband were involved in indiscreet extramarital affairs. Aurora begins to suspect the real reason Poppy was done to death had nothing to do with passion, but rather the cold, merciless intent of a social-climbing killer.
More serious than the last (LAST SCENE ALIVE) but not as lighthearted as the first couple books. Lots of family dynamics here and the lesson that even if you live in a small town and everyone knows your business...they don't know everything. A feel-good ending with a couple loose ends.