Friday, December 12, 2008

Author Profile: Charlaine Harris

A Southern writer with charm to spare, Charlaine Harris started writing mystery novels in the early 1990s, with her tales of Aurora (“Ro”) Teagarden, librarian extraordinaire and part-time, accidental crime solver. Once Ro had found her happily ever after in the ten-book series, Harris wrote for Lily Bard, from Shakespeare, Arkansas, the kind of girl even bad guys didn’t want to mess with. Finally, and most recently, Harris writes about Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic barmaid, and Harper Connelly, grave reader. Sookie’s famous right now because of the HBO series “True Blood,” which has just finished its wildly successful first season.

Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden)
When Ro’s “Real Murders” club finds themselves and their members taken down by, well, real murders, it’s up to Ro and the club to figure out who’s behind it all, and stop them!

Shakespeare’s Landlord (Lily Bard)
Lily, a fiercely private cleaning woman and self-defense student, finds the body of her landlord hidden in the dumpsters behind her home. When she realizes that her prints are on the body, she starts to question her customers, and strikes up a relationship with the police chief and her karate instructor to get to the bottom of the murder mystery. Lots of action and excitement colors Lily’s world in this first novel.

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse/ Southern Vampire)
If you’re reading the Sookie books because you loved the television show True Blood, you might be in for a surprise. While most of the characters and plot elements are the same, there are some differences that needed to be made to make the show pop. This novel is the basis for the first season, when young women who have associated with now-legal and “out” vampires, keep turning up dead in tiny Bon Temps, Louisiana.

Grave Sight (Harper Connelly)
Harper was struck by lightning when she was a teenager, and ever since, has been able to ‘read’ graves – she can stand over someone’s resting place, and tell who’s under the ground, and sometimes, how they died. Seeking to make peace with her past – she has, thus far, been unable to find her missing, presumed-dead little sister – she travels the country trying to help people find their missing loved ones, with her stepbrother and manager, Tolliver.
Available on CD and as an E-Audiobook at TPL

While you can read each series out of order, Harris does reference previous books a lot in her works, so here’s the chronological list for each series:

Ro Teagarden
Real Murders
A Bone to Pick
Three Bedrooms, One Corpse
The Julius House
Dead Over Heels
A Fool and His Honey
Last Scene Alive
Poppy Done to Death

Lily Bard
Shakespeare’s Landlord
Shakespeare’s Champion
Shakespeare’s Christmas
Shakespeare’s Trollop
Shakespeare’s Counselor

Sookie Stackhouse/ Southern Vampire
Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse
Dead and Gone (coming May 2009!)

Harper Connelly
Grave Sight
Grave Surprise
An Ice Cold Grave

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