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Grave Secret (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 4) Mass Market Paperback – November 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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More About the Author
After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris launched a lighthearted series "starring" Georgia librarian Aurora Teagarden, with Real Murders, a Best Novel nominee for the 1990 Agatha Awards. Harris wrote eight Aurora titles. In 1996, she released the first of the much darker Shakespeare mysteries, featuring the amateur sleuth Lily Bard, a karate student who makes her living cleaning houses. Shakespeare's Counselor, the fifth--and last-- was printed in fall 2001.
After Shakespeare, Harris created The Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasy series about a telepathic waitress who works in a bar in the fictional Northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps. The first of these, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. Each book follows Sookie as she tries to solve mysteries involving vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. The series, which now numbers nine titles, has been released worldwide.
Sookie Stackhouse proved to be so popular that Alan Ball, creator of Six Feet Under, announced he would undertake the production of a new show for HBO based upon the books. He wrote and directed the pilot episode for that series, True Blood, which premiered in September of 2008. It was an instant success and was quickly picked up for a second season.
In October 2005, Harris's new mystery series about a young woman named Harper Connelly debuted with the release of Grave Sight. Harper has the ability to determine the cause of death of any body. There are now three Harper titles (GRAVE SIGHT, GRAVE SURPRISE, AN ICE COLD GRAVE) with a 4th (GRAVE SECRET) to be released in 2009.
Harris has also co-edited three very popular anthologies with her friend Toni L.P. Kelner. The anthologies feature stories with an element of the supernatural, and the submissions come from a rare mixture of mystery and urban fantasy writers.
Professionally, Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League. She is a member of the board of Sisters in Crime, and alternates with Joan Hess as president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance. Personally, Harris is married and the mother of three. She lives in a small town in Southern Arkansas and when she is not writing her own books, she reads omnivorously!
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Top Customer Reviews
"Grave Secret" is a pretty solid conclusion to Charlaine Harris' short but sweet series about a woman able to sense the dearly departed. Mysteries are solved, plot threads are wrapped up, relatives are dealt with, and dirty little secrets are unveiled -- and while one pivotal secret is rather far-fetched, it handles all the loose threads deftly while keeping the door open for more possible stories about Harper and Tolliver.
After doing a job for the wealthy Joyce family, Harper and Tolliver face their toughest challenge yet: telling super-rigid Aunt Iona, Uncle Hank and their younger half-sisters that they're a couple. It doesn't help that this town is also where they lived as the abused blended family of neglectful junkies, and where Harper's beloved sister Cameron mysteriously vanished. As if their family relations weren't strained enough, Tolliver's creepy dad Matthew appears in town, claiming he wants to mend fences.
At the same time, Harper has been hired by the Joyces to find a missing baby that may be their grandfather's secret love child -- but someone is determined to keep her from finding it. People around her are getting injured, kidnapped and murdered -- even Tolliver has been shot. And as Harper tries to unravel the mysteries from years ago, she realizes that the Joyce family has a long-ago link to her own...
It's fairly obvious in "Grave Secret" that Charlaine Harris is ending the Harper Connelly series, although she leaves the door open for future adventures (if and when she ever wants to continue).Read more ›
The story moves along at a fair clip, and unfortunately relies on contrivance a lot to either prolong suspense or force resolution. At times, Harper and her brother/lover/whatever (and it's pretty weird that they haven't settled THAT bit of vocabulary) make mindblowingly stupid choices to further the plot. There's a lot of peppering description with "she saw someone suspicious out of the corner of her eye, but didn't bother to look closer" and a couple of instances when you wonder if Harper and her brother/lover/whatever have learned anything about caution from their previous run-ins with people who want them dead. These protagonists are not particularly smart, is what I'm saying.
The previous book in the series was far creepier and more suspenseful, and actually had me reading late into the night. This one takes a more Dan Brown route, building up a confrontation only to blow it within a few paragraphs. Read it to wrap up the series, there's nothing wrong with most of the story elements. But it's not as smoothly crafted as I think it could have been, with more time and editing.
I love this series for its bravery in tackling certain serious subject matter - child abuse and neglect, making one's own way in the world despite tragic circumstances - and I love the characters, who are portrayed in an immensely interesting and realistic way. I enjoyed the first installment (Grave Sight), loved the second (Grave Surprise) and was blown away by the complex and riveting third installment (An Ice Cold Grave). I enjoyed this fourth and final installment too, but I felt the plot relied a bit too heavily on contrivance and convenience. As the last book in the series, I know certain threads needed to be tied up, but this book could perhaps have used some additional editing, and it didn't flow as organically as other books in the series. [Obviously I can't speculate on the whys, but it seems like Ms. Harris must have a lot of demands on her time these days with the success of Sookie Stackhouse and True Blood. If that's so, then I for one thank her for making time for this last Harper Connelly book. I couldn't have stood not knowing how things turned for Harper.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a great story, and it's a great series. I didn't see the end coming at all. Over all - excellent.Published 17 days ago by Christina
Absolutely love Charlaine Harris! I've yet to find a book of hers that I haven't been sucked into. Great author!Published 1 month ago by Jessica Patt
I love this character--surprised to find a fourth book in the series--thought they ended at three. Very pleasant surprise.Published 3 months ago by Leigh Anne
I understand there will be no more but I love Harper and Tolliver; will miss the series.Published 4 months ago by Texas Reader
Loved the ending. BUT is this the last book in the series( I really hope not!).Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Charlaine Harris writes awesome story lines every time.. If paranormal stories interest you this is the series for you.