THE COMPLETE STORIES
A TOUCH OF DEAD
by CHARLAINE HARRIS
Charlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over twenty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Now she lives in southern Arkansas with her husband, her three children, three dogs, and a duck. The duck stays outside.
Though her early output consisted largely of ghost stories, by the time she hit college (Rhodes, in Memphis) Charlaine was writing poetry and plays. After holding down some low-level jobs, she had the opportunity to stay home and write, and the resulting two stand-alones were published by Houghton Mifflin. After a child-producing sabbatical, Charlaine latched on to the trend of writing mystery series, and soon had her own traditional books about a Georgia librarian, Aurora Teagarden. Her first Teagarden, REAL MURDERS, garnered an Agatha nomination.
Soon Charlaine was looking for another challenge, and the result was the much darker Lily Bard series. The books, set in Shakespeare, Arkansas, feature a heroine who has survived a terrible attack and is learning to live with its consequences.
When Charlaine began to realize that neither of those series was ever going to set the literary world on fire, she regrouped and decided to write the book she’d always wanted to write. Not a traditional mystery, nor yet pure science fiction or romance, DEAD UNTIL DARK broke genre boundaries to appeal to a wide audience of people who just enjoy a good adventure. Each subsequent book about Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic Louisiana barmaid and friend to vampires, werewolves, and various other odd creatures, has drawn more readers. The southern vampire books are published in Japan, Great Britain, Greece, Germany, Thailand, Spain, France, and Russia.
In addition to Sookie, Charlaine has another heroine with a strange ability. Harper Connelly, lightning-struck and strange, can find corpses . . . and that’s how she makes her living.
In addition to her work as a writer, Charlaine is the past senior warden of St. James Episcopal Church, a board member of Mystery Writers of America, a past board member of Sisters in Crime, a member of the American Crime Writers League, and past president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance. She spends her “spare” time reading, watching her daughter play sports, traveling, and going to the movies.
I will have to admit, I am a little behind the times as I haven't read the SOOKIE STACKHOUSE series but have heard so much about them, I just needed to find the time, and the books! Lucky for me I was able to get a copy of A TOUCH OF DEAD by Charlaine Harris, Sookie's author, and it is 5 short stories about Sookie and the characters in her books. From what I gather, you don't have to have read any of the books to enjoy this, as I liked it as a fun Halloween time read and got to know the Stackhouse gang. People who are die hard fans of the series say this was an easy and fun read that holds them over as they wait for the next Sookie book to come out in a few months. I quickly learned that Sookie is a small-town waitress who becomes a paranormal detective and not really by her own choice. Sookie has been such a hit with her books that HBO's southern vampire inspired series TRUE BLOOD owes a lot of its success to Sookie. (and I don't get HBO, so I am out on that one as well....sigh!)
Some highlights from the stories that I read were in "Dracula Night" when the vampires celebrate the Count's birthday at a huge party set up by Eric, and Sookie arrives never expecting THAT kind of party. In "Luck", Sookie and her roommate Amelia, who is a witch, are hired by an insurance agent named Greg to find out who is breaking into his files. It is evidently causing havoc for the residents of Bon Temps. One other I want to mention, since this is a BINGLE BELLS BOOK CHOICE, is the story called "Gift Wrap". Poor Sookie is lonely at Christmas as she has no family to be able to share the holiday with. You will also meet characters like Claudine and even Sookie's cousin, well sort of, as he has died and Sookie goes to his funeral where she meets the vampire Queen of New Orleans!
These stories I learned have been printed before but never in one book. So it makes sense that by putting them together, it is a good introduction for those who don't know Sookie, or for those who just want to sit back and read a little bit about her and her "friends" in one sitting. I know it didn't take long to realize a bit of a Sookie format for she always seems to be trying to do her own thing when she suddenly finds herself in the middle of some kind of paranormal problem! This would make a perfect holiday gift for fans of the vampire genre that is now so popular as well, of course, for all Sookie Fans!
Thanks to Kaitlyn at Penguin
Publishing, I have one copy
of this fun book to give away.
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