Books by Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris is the author of the Sookie Stackhouse books and several other series. She lives in southern Arkansas with her husband, three children, two dogs, two ferrets, and a duck. An avid reader, mild cinemaphile, and occasional weightlifter, her

A LONGER FALL by Charlaine Harris
Released: Jan. 14, 2020

"The indomitable, quick-on-the-draw Lizbeth remains an irresistible heroine, and Harris proves she still has the magic touch."
In the second installment of Harris' weird Western series set in an alternate former United States (after An Easy Death, 2018), gunslinger/bodyguard for hire Lizbeth "Gunnie" Rose must accompany a mysterious crate to its destination, but things go terribly wrong. Read full book review >
AN EASY DEATH  by Charlaine Harris
Released: Oct. 30, 2018

"A refreshing and cinematic, weird Western starring a sharp-as-nails, can-do heroine. Harris' many fans will surely follow Gunnie Rose anywhere."
In the opening novel of Harris' new series, set in a dangerous and largely lawless alternate United States, a young gunslinger for hire hits the trail to track down a descendant of Rasputin. Read full book review >
SLEEP LIKE A BABY by Charlaine Harris
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"Harris writes cozies to reckon with. But her world is surprisingly insular. Kids are often bullies or delinquents, Jewish neighbors whiny and demanding, African-Americans irresponsible or criminal. Can't Harris, who endowed Sookie Stackhouse with a fantastic array of vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, and fairies, spare some diversity for Lawrenceton?"
Librarian Aurora Teagarden copes with motherhood and murder. Read full book review >
ALL THE LITTLE LIARS by Charlaine Harris
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Reshelving periodicals would provide more joy than the latest adventure of Harris' plucky librarian, which provides scant detection and none of the domestic details series readers crave."
A Georgia librarian's first pregnancy is complicated by her brother's kidnapping. Read full book review >
MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD by Charlaine Harris
Released: May 6, 2014

"A little magic, a little mystery and a lot of imagination make for a story that is both fun and edgy, and some unresolved details will keep readers coming back for more."
An online psychic settles in Midnight, Texas, an unusual small town where all the residents have shadowy pasts and a lingering mystery brings unwanted attention. Read full book review >
DEADLOCKED by Charlaine Harris
Released: May 1, 2012

"A dull, overly complicated entry in the swampy gothic romance that feeds fans and starves newcomers. "
Vampires and werewolves and fairies, oh my: just another day in the life of Harris' navel-gazing southern belle. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 30, 2011

"The previously unpublished novella is charming, but the rest of the book is for hardcore Sookie completists only."
After 11 novels in her Sookie Stackhouse supernatural mystery series, as well as an extremely popular TV adaptation (HBO's True Blood), Harris (Dead Reckoning, 2011, etc.) has provided her dedicated fanbase with this mostly superfluous companion work. Read full book review >
ALL TOGETHER DEAD by Charlaine Harris
Released: May 1, 2007

"Harris's vampire series (Dead as a Doornail, 2005, etc.) is slated to become an HBO program that will presumably prune the excess verbiage that competes here with scores of fascinating characters."
No doubt about it: It's hard for a girl to lead a normal life when she's surrounded by vampires and shape-shifting Weres. Read full book review >
GRAVE SURPRISE by Charlaine Harris
Released: Sept. 28, 2006

"Believers and skeptics alike will enjoy Harper's search for the truth and her changing relationship with Tolliver."
Being struck by lightning has given Harper Connelly (Grave Sight, 2005, etc.) the ability to find dead bodies and know what killed them—a spooky talent that earns her a living and places her in frequent danger. Read full book review >
GRAVE SIGHT by Charlaine Harris
Released: Oct. 4, 2005

"Despite her nifty gimmick, Harris's whodunit is unlikely to raise the dead."
The creator of telepathic Sookie Stackhouse (Dead as a Doornail, May 2005) and other paranormals sets her latest heroine the unenviable task of finding undiscovered corpses. Read full book review >
DEAD AS A DOORNAIL by Charlaine Harris
Released: May 3, 2005

"Sorting out her suitors leaves Sookie scant time to worry about why she's become a target: here, the mystery is swamped by the ongoing supernatural-soap-opera romance."
The Witch War may be over, but there's still danger aplenty for the supernatural citizens of Louisiana's Renard Parish. Read full book review >
POPPY DONE TO DEATH by Charlaine Harris
Released: Aug. 4, 2003

"Lots of suspects, but only one real mystery—which, as usual, involves Roe's sex life."
Quicker than you can say "Dewey Decimal," librarian Aurora ("Roe") Teagarden (Last Scene Alive, 2002, etc.) is awash in her shirttail relations' problems. Read full book review >
LAST SCENE ALIVE by Charlaine Harris
Released: Aug. 26, 2002

"A standard two-suitor with some pleasant local color but a thin plot."
If there's anything more entertaining than a string of serial murders, it's a network miniseries based on a string of serial murders. So when Robin Crusoe's true-crime bestseller Whimsical Murders gets optioned for TV, the citizens of Lawrenceton, Georgia, are happier than Junebugs, especially when they learn that the exteriors will all be filmed right in their hometown. Librarian Aurora (Roe) Teagarden (A Fool and His Honey, 1999, etc.) is the one holdout; her key role in solving the grisly murders, along with her recent widowhood, leaves her with scant appetite for a fictional replay. But her longstanding friendship with Robin persuades her to visit the set, where she's invited to dinner with his ex-lover, Celia Shaw, the actress who plays the movie version of Roe. The dinner goes badly—all Celia wants is to study Roe and copy her mannerisms—and next day's filming goes even worse, since before the first scene is shot, Roe's stepson Barrett finds copycat Celia dead in her trailer. Detective Arthur Smith's entrance causes Roe still more grief; besides being overprotective, he's obviously jealous of her blossoming romance with Robin. And a mysterious stalker attacks Roe outside the library, perhaps the last sane place left in Lawrenceton. Roe may be able to get Josh Finstermeyer to pay his overdue fines, but will she stop a killer before she checks out herself? Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 12, 2001

"The least convincing of the Shakespeare series, saved from total disaster only by Lily's still-intriguing persona."
Welcome once more to Shakespeare, the second most famous fictional town in Arkansas—home to Lily Bard, housecleaner to some of the best families in Shakespeare. Newly and secretly married to p.i. Jack Leeds (Shakespeare's Trollop, 2000, etc.), Lily is still trying to exorcise the memory of a brutal gang rape she suffered years before in Memphis. She's joined a small therapy group headed by Tamsin Lynd, wife of computer specialist Cliff Eggers, and for years the prey of a stalker who seems to have followed her from Cleveland to leave such trophies as the dead squirrel hung over her front door and the naked body of Saralynn Kleinhoff left on the floor of her office at the therapy center. That death is followed by the fatal stabbing of local police patrolman Gerry McClanahan, the Eggers neighbor who turns out to have been well-known pseudonymous crime writer Gibson Banks. A call from Tamsin asking Lily for her domestic services brings the cleaner to the Eggers house in time to witness the last act of this utterly improbable scenario. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2000

"Plot lines and suspense get lost in a glut of minor characters, aimless chitchat, and a bit too much soul-searching. A neat surprise ending will reward Lily's ardent fans without winning new ones."
Another visit to Shakespeare, Arkansas, where housecleaner Lily Bard (Shakespeare's Christmas, 1998, etc.) takes comfort in her karate classes and in her lover, p.i. Jack Leeds, and tries never to think of the vicious attack that long ago left her scarred in body and soul. Her latest distraction is Deedra Dean, the promiscuous local girl who lives in the neighboring apartment house owned by fellow karate student Becca Whitley. But Deedra soon becomes a more weighty concern. Driving one day to her job, Lily, spotting a metallic red flash in the woods, finds Deedra's car, its owner naked and dead in the front seat—clothes and jewelry strewn on the ground—killed, according to the autopsy, by a massive blow. Sheriff Marta Schuster takes charge of the case, even though it's common knowledge that her brother Marlon was even more attached to Deedra than most of her swains. Meanwhile, Lily, ever alert, spots an intruder and a fire at the cottage of nasty old Joe C. Prader, another of Deedra's clients. She manages to save him, to his heirs' likely chagrin. When Deedra's mother Lacey seeks Lily's help in cleaning out her daughter's apartment, it's there, in a most unlikely missing object, that Lily discovers the motive for Deedra's killing and barely escapes with her life. Read full book review >
A FOOL AND HIS HONEY by Charlaine Harris
Released: Sept. 3, 1999

Aurora (Roe) Teagarden (Dead Over Heels, 1996, etc.) is enjoying newlywed life with businessman Martin Bartell in Lawrencetown, Georgia, when Martin's niece Regina from Ohio suddenly appears, accompanied by an infant named Hayden. Within the next 24 hours, Regina has disappeared, with her car but without her clothes or her baby; and her ne'er-do-well husband Craig has been found, a hatchet through his head, on the stairs leading to their garage apartment. Then his best friend and former jailmate Rory also turns up, appearing stunned by Craig's death. It's soon decided that Hayden will have to be brought back to Corinth, Ohio, where Martin grew up and where there are relatives who might take the baby in. Martin owns an old, refurbished farmhouse on the outskirts of town where Craig and Regina had been living. Now, he and Roe can stay there until matters are settled. Once arrived, Roe struggles with the complex details of child care as she and Martin try to find the reason for Regina's disappearance and a permanent home for the baby. Their neighbors Margaret and Luke Granberry try to be helpful, but Martin's sister Barby is off on a cruise and other possibilities for Hayden's care seem nonexistent. Then all hell breaks loose: Regina reappears; heroics abound, and heroism too, as the convoluted plot comes to its end. Gossipy, blithe, often funny—with a wind-up that's fierce, shocking, and poignant. A winner for Harris this time out. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 10, 1998

But it's neither Shakespeare nor Christmas, actually, since Lily Bard, the most formidable cleaning woman in Shakespeare, Ark., leaves her adopted hometown in the opening chapter to return to her family's queasy bosom in Bartley for her sister Varena's wedding, a Christmas Eve affair that's bound to upstage the usual round of holiday festivities. What it doesn't upstage is a long-unsolved kidnaping—the snatching of newborn Summer Dawn Macklesby from her family's porch eight years before, a crime that springs to alarming life again courtesy of an anonymously donated newspaper clipping announcing that Summer Dawn is one of the three eight-year-olds pictured. The candidates: Varena's next-door neighbor Eve Osborn, her minister's daughter Krista O'Shea, and Anna Kingery, daughter of Varena's intended. Lily, who's herself the survivor of a brutal abduction and would rather be working than socializing anyway, isn't about to back down from this challenge, particularly after she and Varena stumble on the bodies of Dr. Dave LeMay and his nurse Binnie Armstrong—a powerful reminder that the Macklesby kidnaping has yet to be laid to rest. The detection is routine (Lily snoops around as she cleans the suspects' houses), and bucolic Bartley is no Shakespeare. Only Lily herself, in full attack mode, carries the day. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 19, 1997

The author's strong, often silent heroine, Lily Bard, and Shakespeare, Arkansas, her adopted hometown, in a second appearance (Shakespeare's Landlord, 1996). Lily cleans houses for a living and works out at the Body Time Gym. There, early one morning, she and young Bobo Winthrop discover the body of fitness enthusiast Del Packard—crashed by a weight-laden bar. Accident or murder? Police Chief Claude Freidrich, Lily's neighbor and would-be lover, doesn't have a clue. Meanwhile, Packard's death seems yet more evidence of the town's sinister atmosphere, a sense of unease going back to the not-long-ago beating death of black Darnell Glass and the killing, a few weeks later, of white farmer Lee Elgin—neither murder ever solved. Now, the racist fliers placed in car windows around town don't help. Then there's the pony-tailed stranger seen with Hollis Winthrop Jr.—one of Lily's employers and head of his family's lucrative sporting-goods business now that patriarch Hollis Sr. has retired. A frightening act of violence in the black community church prompts the stranger to reveal his tree identity to Lily, and it's she, with help from an unexpected source, who rescues him as the whole ugly scenario unravels. Wheels within wheels in a suspenseful story packed with nasty characters, a few good guys, some graphic sex, and more exercise and karate lore than you ever wanted to know. Lily's stubborn, moody, gutsy persona holds it all together, and most readers will be with her to the finish. Read full book review >
DEAD OVER HEELS by Charlaine Harris
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

More angst for the author's sweet southern heroine Aurora (Roe) Teagarden (Shakespeare's Landlord, p. 860, etc.), now married to mega-mogul Martin Bartell, working part-time at the library, and enjoying the friendship and security provided by Angel and Shelby Youngblood, who live in the apartment over the garage. But everything changes one sunny afternoon when the body of local police detective Jack Burns comes crashing onto her lawn, dropped from a small plane. Roe and Burns were mild antagonists, and so she's subjected to close questioning by Sheriff Lanier of the Lawrenceton police, whose officers include Arthur Smith, once Roe's fianc‚, now separating from wife Lynn, and stoic Paul Allison, briefly married to Roe's reporter friend Sally. Meanwhile, other disquieting incidents are piling up—phone calls with silence on the other end; a ribbon tied on Madeleine the cat; delivery of flowers minus a sender's name; and, most seriously, an attack on Roe's library co-worker after a low-keyed confrontation between them, and yet another on Shelby Youngblood that puts him in the hospital. There's more, but not until much later, in the aftermath of Jack Burns's funeral, does the light dawn for Roe—barely in time to effect a last-minute rescue. Harris's gossipy, just-between-us-girls style is as ingratiating as ever, but it can't begin to redeem a cop-out plot as thin and unconvincing as this one. More meat and less icing might help future episodes of Roe's eventful life. Read full book review >
Released: July 11, 1996

A new heroine for the author of the Aurora Teagarden series (The Julius House, 1995, etc.), and a far cry from that southern belle. Lily Bard owns a tiny house, next door to a small apartment building, in the tiny town of Shakespeare. She cleans houses, offices, and apartments for a living, has made no friends in her four years in Shakespeare, and spends her leisure time in fitness and karate classes run by Marshall Sedaka. Late one night, on a lonely walk, Lily sees a hooded figure pushing her loaded garbage wagon to a park across the street. Its burden turns out to be the body of Pardon Albee, nosy landlord of the apartment house. Lily anonymously calls Police Chief Claude Friedrich to report it, but her fiercely hidden past, now known to Friedrich, raises his suspicions. And so Lily feels driven to look for Albee's killer among his tenants and the townspeople—Marshall's estranged wife Thea; tenants Deedra Dean and Tom O'Hagan; and nasty drunk Norvel Whitbread, the church janitor, are only some of Shakespeare's citizens with things to hide. It takes Lily a while to come up with the right answers, even as her massive psychological sores begin to heal. The gripping tension of the opening chapters evaporates quickly; there's also an overload of sex sessions and karate lore. Still, Lily's an ingratiating heroine, and the author's easy style makes this one an engaging breeze. Read full book review >
THE JULIUS HOUSE by Charlaine Harris
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

Georgia peach Aurora (Roe) Teagarden is set to marry Martin Bartell, the modern Gothic lover/stranger who swept her off her feet in Three Bedrooms, One Corpse (p. 176). Her wedding gift to him, the Ohio family farm where he grew up, occupies the sweet, inconsequential opening chapter of this epithalamium; his gift to her—the house from which the Julius family (father, mother, teenage daughter) vanished six years ago—takes up the rest. Since she's remodeling the house anyway, Roe insists on sifting through the brick and plaster dust for relics of the family, and asks a million soft, nosy questions of the surviving relatives, witnesses, and investigators. This busman's honeymoon would be idyllic if only telltale hints like an attack by an ax-wielding intruder didn't make Roe wonder more and more whether Martin is hiding something from her about the way he makes his living. But she reacts with her usual aplomb—"I instinctively wanted the ax out of the equation, since sharp cutting edges make me nervous"- -until all mysteries, even the most farfetched, yield to her gentle probing. A witches' brew of decorous old bones, whiffs of international intrigue, and helpful wedding tips, interspersed with nightly bouts of tasteful, enthusiastic offscreen coupling. Hands down Roe's most bizarre adventure to date. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1994

Aurora Teagarden (Roe for short), petite heroine of this amiable series (A Secret Rage, etc.) set in Atlanta exurb Lawrenceton, has left her library job after inheriting a house and other assets from her childless older friend, Jane Engle. Now testing the possibility of part-time work in her mother's real- estate agency, Roe's first assignment is to show the empty Anderton mansion to town newcomer, exec Martin Bartell. There, in the master bedroom, they discover the shackled body of promiscuous realtor Tonia Lee Greenhouse. They also discover a ferocious mutual attraction that proves distracting to Roe as she tries to figure out the who and why of Tonia Lee's murder. A second killing complicates matters, as does the ongoing series of thefts from unoccupied houses on the market. There's no shortage of suspects- -Tonia Lee's wronged husband for one; hardware-store owner Jimmy Hunter, whose hobby is looking at houses for sale, for another. But Roe spots a tell-tale clue and, in time-honored ninny style, puts herself at risk to prove her case. Despite too much girl chatter (clothes, hair, etc.), labored plotting, and some dangling loose ends, there's compensation in the nicely done Southern, small-town ambience, the torrid affair sensitively handled, and the breezy, unpretentious style. Read full book review >
A BONE TO PICK by Charlaine Harris
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

Aurora Teagarden, the author's sweet, southern heroine (Real Murders, etc.), having lost her policeman lover Arthur to another, finds comfort in the substantial legacy willed her by Jane Engle- -even as she wonders at the strangeness of it, since they weren't close friends. Jane's small house is part of the legacy, and—in the aftermath of a break-in there—Aurora finds a skull hidden in a camouflaged window seat. The skull's identity and how it ended up in Jane's house comprise a puzzle that languishes until the final Aurora relates details of her chatty encounters with friends and neighbors; shopping expeditions; dates with the local minister and getting-to-know-you sessions with Jane's pregnant cat Madeleine. A breezily written, harmless but insipid non-happening. Read full book review >
SECRET RAGE by Charlaine Harris
Released: Jan. 1, 1983

Harris follows up her mildly attractive debut (Sweet and Deadly) with a story of rape—told by victim Nickie Callahan, a Southern beauty back home in Knolls, Tennessee, after a few successful years as a New York model. Nickie is now sharing a house with twice-divorced Mimi Houghton, an old school chum; she's falling in love with Mimi's brother Cully, taking classes at Houghton College, But her new life is shadowed by a series of local attacks by an unidentified rapist: Nickie's faculty advisor Dr. Barbara Tucker is the second victim; the assault on Nickie herself soon follows. And the women eventually realize that the rapist must be someone known to them—though their efforts to track him down aren't too successful: a murder ensues before the culprit trips himself up. Sensitive as a chronicle of the rape victim's feelings of fury and impotence, with Nickie an appealing heroine—but lacking in edge, focus, and tension as mystery/suspense. Read full book review >
SWEET AND DEADLY by Charlaine Harris
Released: June 30, 1981

In the tiny southern town of Lowfield, Catherine Linton is recovering from the recent death of her parents in a car crash—the foul-play work of some unknown culprit. Furthermore, Catherine's quiet life—she works for the local paper, renting her doctor-father's old offices to fellow reporter Torn Mascalco—is shattered when she finds the bludgeoned body of Leona Gaites, her father's longtime nurse (a lady with sidelines in abortion and blackmail). Indeed, as Cathy soon discovers, there are lots of guilty secrets in Lowfield. . . which lead to yet another murder. But not until she answers a summons from the Linton family's retired maid does Catherine finally put it all together (with a newspaper-story connection) and finger the villain. Tidy, if not watertight, plotting; a convincing motive; an appealingly three-dimensional romance between Catherine and her editor. It all adds up to a nice, quiet debut—nothing special, but unpretentiously agreeable. Read full book review >