I'd So Rather Be Reading: Book Review: Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly #2) by Charlaine Harris
She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. Dancer Layla Rue Le May's childhood prepared her to handle just about anything, including her aloof partner, Sean McClendon, a year-old, redheaded vampire. Even so, when she somehow acquires a stalker, Layla Rue is surprised to find that Sean is the only one she can trust.
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While the League hopes to hold on to secrecy for a little bit longer, they're preparing for the worst in terms of human reactions. They need a plan, so they look to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where humans and supernatural residents have been living in harmony for generations. Lindsey is getting into her groove as the director of the Briar Creek Public Library when a New York editor visits town, creating quite a buzz.
Lindsey's friend, Beth, wants to sell the editor her children's book. But Beth's boyfriend, a famous author, gets in the way. When they go to confront him, he's found murdered - and Beth is the prime suspect.
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Lindsey has to act fast before they throw the book at the wrong person. Once again, year-old Riley Smith is the new kid in school and her dad's career has her back to being dubbed a freak. Truth is, she's a much bigger freak than her classmates think. The only company she keeps these days is the dead who follow Dad home from work.
She can see them. She can speak to them. And Fate seems to think she can help them solve their last problems, so that they can move on to the other side. Which is odd, because with the loss of her mother and her father's alcoholism, she's got enough problems of her own. Twenty-something Harper Connelly has a gift. After being struck by lighting as a child, she discovered an eerie ability to locate the deceased.
In Memphis, skeptical Professor Nunley wants her to demonstrate her skill at an ancient cemetery. There, Harper stands atop a grave and says there are two bodies entombed: one centuries old, but the other, a young girl named Tabitha. Her assertion holds water.
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Tabitha has been missing for two years - and now the police are suspicious of Harper. So with her loyal stepbrother, Tolliver, Harper begins to amass clues that will solve the case.
I loved the narrator, so I disagree with the previous reviewer - but then everyone looks for something different when hearing a story. The premise of this story was so odd - but it held me from the beginning. I liked it so much, I went back and downloaded the first one in the series - Grave Sight - and loved that one, too. This was the first Harper Connolly book I have "read". Since I so loved the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, I was excited about starting this series.
It took me just a bit to get into the story, but the storyline was good, the characters well developed and I had a hard time stopping the listen. I wanted to listen to it until it was over!
The narration was not bad, but I felt it was too unemotional and made the main character seem very bland. There were some humorous remarks in the story, but they came across bland and no emotion due to the narration. All in all, I would recommend this book and the series. I recently discovered the Sookie Stackhouse series and went through them so fast I was happy the author has other books. Oddly enough, I find Harper Connolly much more serious and much darker than the series where vampires are running around.
I encounter the same problem as a previous reviewer; I want to finish the entire narration at once. While I was listening to this book about am, I hugged my dogs out of fear. I would not say the plot kept me in suspense because it is apparent, to me, whom is guilty from early in the story. It is more an ambient psychological fear that I do not have the talent to describe. I have not been hit by lightening but I have another condition that makes me feel a connection to Harper.
The example Harper Connolly provides me is a positive one - that maybe we can't all mask our oddities and blend in with the crowd but we can survive and make choices to be healthy I am fascinated with the author and intrigued by what background and knowledge provides the author with the talent to write such series as Sookie Stackhouse and Harper Connolly. Although I'm a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, I can't recommend this one. First, I really didn't care for the narrator, I found her voice unpleasant and her inflections monotonous.
I would never buy another book by the same narrator. The novel itself was so-so, the characters weren't very fully developed and you can see the answer to the mystery a long way off. I really liked this story, it has interesting and likeable characters, kept me guessing and the narrator was easy to listen to.
I will definately read the other books in the series and even added a Sookie Stackhous book to my wish list. I am not a paranormal fan so don't let that scare you away. I enjoyed this story. The protagonist is unusual with her gift--it is such a novel premise. It is not extremely suspenseful but it does keep you guessing for a good portion of the novel and the characters are interesting.
As an aside, it does illuminate what ANY individual faces from the general population when they are perceived as "different"--be it her gift or something more common place. I have read the whole series in like a little appearance of man food from the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries and midnight crossroad is well. But the main character really comes across as such a scared little mouse constantly. I understand the trauma that's taken place in her life but I just wish she was stronger.
It's a rare time when Harris writes a weak character. And the last two books in the series really do have way too much back-and-forth with her and her stepbrother, and less mystery. But the audio performance is still wonderful. The narrator does a really great job and trying not to give away the story. Thoroughly pleasing sequel although I think it's capable of standing alone. It fleshes out the characters and their backgrounds and furthers their relationship.
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- Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly, book 2) by Charlaine Harris!
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I look forward to the sequel. Thanks and I'll be back! Thank you June!
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I have so many reviews posted because I've kind of been on a reading bender lately. I've been home sick from work quite a bit and have had lots of time to read. I hope you enjoy the site! I think you'll enjoy the Harper series, Ladystorm.
Grave Sight is not as good as the next two books, so don't stop reading the series if the first book doesn't grab you right away. Word verification stinks but spammers are worse. Thank you for your patience!
Harper Connelly Mysteries
At the request of anthropology professor Clyde Nunley, Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver come to Memphis to demonstrate Harper's unique talentin an old cemetery. Nunley is skeptical, even after Harper sensesand findstwo bodies in the grave beneath her feet. One of a man centuries dead. The other, a young girl, recently deceased, whom Harper had once tried, and failed, to locate.
This was a lot better than the first Harper book Grave Sight. I enjoyed the plot of Grave Suprise much more than Grave Sight. Of course, there are very few series in which the first book is as good as the subsequent books. Exceptions to the rule of the first book being a little slow are Vampire Academy and The Hunger Games , and also Twilight.
Okay, I've been thinking. About halfway through this book I realized that Harper loves Tolliver. Now, they are not related by blood, just by marriage her mother and his father and her mother is now dead. I know it's not illegal for two previous step-siblings to marry, but it just seems weird. It is socially unacceptable and morally questionable.