Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris

Title: Grave Secret
Author: Charlaine Harris
ISBN: 9780425230152, Berkley Prime Crime, 2009
Genre: Amateur Sleuth, #4 Harper Connelly mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Paperback Swap

First Line: "All right," said the straw-haired woman in the denim jacket.

Harper Connelly was struck by lightning at the age of fifteen. She survived... with an extra "gift". She can locate dead bodies and deduce the cause of death. She and her stepbrother, Tolliver, make a living from this gift.

Harper is hired by the wealthy Joyce family to find some answers behind the death of their patriarch, Rich, but they're shocked at what Harper sees. When Harper's life is threatened, she realizes that the death of Rich Joyce may tie into her own family history. To further complicate matters, Tolliver's drug addict father is out of jail and wants a reunion. All this dredges up the pain of Harper's sister's disappearance eight years ago. Will she be able to find all the answers?

Perhaps because it has so much to do with tying up loose ends in her own past, Grave Secret is a rather somber book. Harper and Tolliver had horrible childhoods, and they've worked hard to overcome it all. Having Tolliver's father show up and bring back memories of her sister makes Harper determined to find the answers she's been looking for for over eight years.

Although I am trying to keep this review spoiler free for those who may want to read earlier books in the series, I like how Harris addresses the uneasiness readers may feel at the relationship between Harper and Tolliver by showing how other characters react.

The uneasiness I feel has nothing to do with Harper and Tolliver. It has everything to do with the continuation of the series. In another favorite series of mine written by Harris, once she said what she wanted to say about the main character, the series was finished after only five books. Harris tied up a lot of loose ends in Harper's story, but I'd still love to see a few more books about her. Let's hope Harris has more to say about this very interesting character.


  1. I keep meaning to read this series. I'm assuming the 5-book series is the Lily Bard Shakespeare series? I loved that one. Charlaine Harris is so talented. Series all over the map. Long may she write.

  2. I tried one of Harris's Sookie books last year and it was just okay to me. This one sounds more like something I would like.

  3. Don't mean to burst your bubble, but I went and saw Charlaine Harris for an author appearance and book signing earlier this month and I think she may have said she is finished with the Harper Connelly series.

  4. This sounds like an interesting book series. I think I'll look for it.

  5. I've heard a lot of good things about this series so I may have to check it out. I've read the first Sookie book and while I enjoyed it, I'm not sure I will read the rest of them.

  6. I was glad to read your review (and glad you liked it). I'm been up in the air on if I wanted to continue with this series or not, but since this one ties up some loose ends..I'm more on the side of reading it now.

  7. Kay-- Yes, I was referring to the Lily Bard series, which I really enjoyed.

    Kathy-- It probably is. I just can't get myself all fired up to read all the vampire/ zombie books that are flooding the market right now.

    Julie-- It wouldn't burst my bubble; I'd just be a tad disappointed. There's a lot to be said for short series.

    kkuhar-- I hope you enjoy it if you get the chance. Thanks for stopping by!

    Ryan-- Like I said to Kathy, I just can't get fired up about vampire books. I think Anne Rice cured me of that. I don't even care if the author is someone I really enjoy reading!

    Kris-- It ties up a lot of loose ends. That's why I think it may be the last in the series. It just has that "feel" to it.

  8. Oh, that cover is also sombre.

    The series sounds interesting, and I love amateur sleuths, but paranormal? I´ll have to think about that.

  9. Dorte-- The paranormal bits are minimal and handled very well. I'm not a huge fan of "woo woo" myself. :)

  10. I really should give this series a chance. I'm having fun with Sookie.

  11. Beth-- Harris is a wonderful writer to have so many of us hooked with her various series!

  12. I am one who struggled with the relationship aspect of this series. I liked the series overall, but that was one distraction.

  13. Marg-- I was a bit uneasy right at the beginning, but once it was explained to me, I didn't have a problem with it. I can see where other people would continue to, however.

  14. I wouldn't have had an issue about it except they continued to refer to themselves as family members.

  15. Marg-- It's a sticky aituation and one that I'm glad I'm not in. It would be much easier for both of them if everyone who knew them as family members would suddenly develop amnesia about that one thing. :)


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