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Grave Sight (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 1) Hardcover – October 4, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; First Edition edition (October 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425205681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425205686
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ever since Harper Connelly survived a zap from a lightning bolt, she's been able to find dead people, a skill that makes the protagonist in the first installment of Harris's new series a tad more bizarre than the mind-reading heroine of the author's Sookie Stackhouse books (Dead as a Doornail, etc.). Harper travels to the Ozark town of Sarne, Ark., to find a missing teenage girl's body, accompanied by her stepbrother, Tolliver, who acts as her manager and bodyguard and with whom she shares a thinly disguised physical attraction that they manage to keep at bay by engaging in casual sex with various partners. Finding the body takes no time at all, but leaving town afterward isn't so easy. When Harper's life is threatened and Tolliver ends up in jail on trumped-up charges, it quickly becomes apparent that something sinister is going on in Sarne. Harris delivers a knuckle-gnawing tale populated with well-developed, albeit edgy characters. A nifty puzzle toward the end will challenge the most jaded mystery buffs.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Prolific author Harris debuts a series that just might surpass all her others in popularity. Harper Connolly is honest, ethical, loyal, and, in many people's eyes, quite odd. Since being hit by lightning, Harper has a strange gift: she can find dead people and reveal how they died. Harper is so down-to-earth and delivers the story in such a straightforward way that even the most hardened realist eventually will accept the premise. In this first outing, Harper and her manager and stepbrother Tolliver travel to a small town in Arkansas to determine what happened to a local teenager. Once there, they learn that someone is willing go to great lengths--even murder--to bury a secret. While absorbing the usual mixture of awe, revulsion, and fear that her "gift" inspires in the locals, Harper tries to uncover the secret they are trying desperately to hide. Future stories may shed more light on Harper and Tolliver's relationship, which seems curiously close for a sister and stepbrother. A strong debut that will have readers dying for more. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Charlaine Harris (born November 25, 1951 in Tunica, Mississippi) is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for over twenty years. She was raised in the Mississippi River Delta area. Though her early works consisted largely of poems about ghosts and, later, teenage angst, she wrote plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She began to write books a few years later.
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!

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Tom Knapp VINE VOICE on March 21, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Charlaine Harris is a gifted writer, plain and simple. Her Sookie Stackhouse vampire novels have kept me well entertained, while my wife enjoys Harris's more straightforward mysteries. Now, this talented imagination has conjured up a new kind of heroine who straddles the line between mystery and contemporary fantasy: Harper Connelly.

Harper is no action hero. She's not a brilliant detective or slayer of evil. She has no supernatural origins, nor does she have a relationship with any kind of undead creature. No, Harper's world is largely mundane, with one major difference. Ever since she was struck by lightning, she's been afraid of thunderstorms, she is weak in one leg ... and she can sense the location and final moments of the dead. That makes her a valuable commodity to those seeking answers, closure for a loss or the location of a missing (presumed dead) loved one. It also makes her somewhat unclean in the eyes of many, a ghoul who makes her living off the dead and, quite often, supplies answers no one is eager to hear. Still, she travels with her stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, and does what good she can -- for a profit -- without getting too involved in the lives (or deaths) of those she encounters.

But then she and Tolliver roll into Sarne, a small town in the Arkansas Ozarks with a few big secrets. The job seems easy at first, just find a missing teenage girl. But answers to one disappearance lead to further questions about other deaths, and soon the siblings are wrapped up in a criminal case that could cost Harper her professional reputation -- or even her life.

Harper is a darker protagonist than Sookie, and the tone of the book is more serious; there is humor, but it's painted with a much lighter brush.
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108 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Debra Morse on November 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
What a great new series from Charlaine Harris! I can barely wait until the next installment.

Heroine Harper Connelly can find dead people. She's kind of an energy sensing cadaver dog of a medium: able to feel the vibrations of the dead and discern how they died. In some ways Harper is reminiscent of Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake: she uses her paranormal skills in both private enterprise, and as part of police forensic investigations. And,like Anita, most of the time the people doing the hiring don't really like to hear what Harper has to tell them.

Harper is assisted and protected by her stepbrother Tolliver. The relationship between these two is complex, to say the least, and it will be wonderful to watch them develop in coming volumes. Harris writes skillfully yet playfully, and develops her characters in a strong, appealing fashion. All of the groundwork for a fantastic series is beautifully established here in Grave Sight.

In this first installment, Harper and Tolliver travel to the Ozarks to find a missing teenaged girl, presumed dead. They find her body deep in a wood, and plunge even deeper into small town intrigue, deception, secrecy, and murder. With conservative bigotry welling up around them, can Harper and Tolliver get away with their lives? Well, of course they can: there are many more books ahead, and I suspect we shall all of us buy them up like hotcakes. This new character is a winner.
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80 of 91 people found the following review helpful By E Rice on October 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
i pre-ordered this title because it was by charlaine harris. i expected a new volume in her roe teagarden series.

i'm definitely not disappointed that it's the start of a new series. i enjoy her southern vampire series also. this book, however, is darker in tone and outlook than the others i've enjoyed(haven't read the shakespeare series yet).

the main characters, harper and her brother, are interesting and well-drawn. the results of the family background are realistic. i can't agree with the comment that there is any sexual tension between the two.

the experienced mystery reader will probably figure out who-dun-it fairly easily, but that doesn't detract all that much from the book.

the least appealing part of the story was the townspeople. those involved with the mystery were almost completely unsympathetic. realistic, yes. but i can encounter enough unpleasant, selfish and repellent people going to the grocery store to want to spend my reading time with so many of them--not to mention that i try to control my impulse to complete cynicism when possible.

i will definitely read the next book in this series. i have faith in harris. i just hope her next book is another sukey stackhouse.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A. J Thompson on April 28, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Harper Connelly has many problems that she needs to deal with on a day to day basis but is a big believer in that when the world hands you lemons, you make yourself some lemonade. Harper and her step-brother Tolliver earn their living from Harper's ability to seek the dead, a "gift" she received as a result of being struck by lightning when she was young. It may not please everyone that the two profit from death as such, but Harper knows that the newly bereaved aren't always in the right place to be appreciative of her services. Drawn to where the dead lay, and receiving mental images of what brought them to their death is the limit of what Harper provides for her fee. It is never her wish to be drawn into what comes after, but on this latest job, it's unavoidable.

The small community of Sarne in the Ozarks had accepted that one of the town's finest sons committed suicide out in the wilderness but there was still the question as to what became of his girlfriend, supposedly in his company that day. Harper locates the body of the missing girl and delivers to the disbelieving family the news that both Dell Teague and Teenie Hopkins were murdered. Sarne's small-minded sheriff and suspicious townsfolk turn on Harper and Tolliver, something they are sadly used to but not to this extent. There is hate and there is pain in all the relationships the two come across in this town, and they are sure that most of the hostility being shown to them emanates from the direction of whoever killed them. Dell and Teenie's killers still walk amongst their families and friends, a fact not lost on anyone involved.

Harris has written an edgy little novel with numerous undercurrents running through that unsettle and have the reader rising more than a few questions of their own.
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