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Poppy Done to Death (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries, Book 8) Mass Market Paperback – July 7, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Thirtysomething Aurora "Roe" Teagarden is a widow who lives in a small southern town where she works very part-time in the library. It's the sort of place where everyone seems to be divorced from everyone else. Roe finds her stepbrother's wife, Poppy, murdered, and the complicated extramarital escapades of both Poppy and Poppy's husband unfold in an unpleasant fashion throughout the tale. Meanwhile, Roe's teenage half-brother has hitchhiked across the country to Roe to escape his parents' wrangling; Roe's mystery-writer boyfriend, Robin, is bringing his mom to meet her over Thanksgiving; and more and more people turn out to have had reason to wish Poppy dead. Roe is a genuine steel magnolia: even when she suffers from terminal second-guessing of herself, she knows what's proper and what a lady would do--and, mostly, she does it. Entertaining fare, but very different from Harris' darker Lily Bard series. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Best of all, the spunky, strong-willed Aurora Teagarden is the most entertaining surprise."

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Original edition (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042522807X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425228074
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Lawrenceton, Georgia librarian Aurora Teagarden is adjusting to widowhood just fine now that the worst of her grief is over. She is romantically involved with Robin Crusoe and is now a member of the Uppity Women, a prestigious group of females involved with literacy, and other social and political matters. It is by invitation only and Aurora is delighted that her stepsister-in-law Poppy is going to be inducted into the group.
She is positively mortified when Poppy doesn't show up to the meeting and rushes over to her home to lecture her, but instead finds her murdered body on the Kitchen floor. Poppy had many secrets and Aurora's family is trying to cope with the gossip and scandal. Roe is happy to find that her half brother Phillip is going to stay with her a while even though that puts more stress on her. While his presence takes her mind off the tragedy temporarily, she is pulled into the murder investigation by circumstances beyond her control and almost gets killed in the process.
Charlaine Harris has taken her heroine in a completely different direction and readers will be happy to see the protagonist find the double dose of happiness she so richly deserves. There is a lot of action in this delightful cozy, and not all of it is directed at solving the homicide. Roe gets a chance to become reacquainted with the brother she was forbidden to see for some time and helps her in-laws and her mother cope with a loved one's death. POPPY DONE TO DEATH is a terrific cozy, one readers will want to put on their keeper shelves.
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Format: Hardcover
If anyone seriously thinks that Harris writes cozy mysteries then they are not paying attention when they read. The author who writes the edgy Lily Bard mysteries and the Sookie Stackhouse stories, has never been one to allow her characters more than time to catch their breath between disasters. Whether it was the death involved with the true crime group she was a member of in the first mystery to her subsequent detective efforts, Aurora has lost friends, neighbors and enemies to the grim reaper. Harris never lets the reader assume that there is a Happily Ever After ending out there. Good things are balanced with bad.
In this case Aurora loses an old friend and a new one, learns things about the murdered person and her family she would just as soon not know and there are still a lot of loose strings after the murderer is revealed to fuel the next book.
I enjoyed the characters and the writing but it almost seems that the mystery was an afterthought. I guessed who the murdered was on first introduction (off stage). Harris gave away the important clues with the very nonchalant air with which she introduces them. The denoument was almost anticlimatic. The death in this case seemed to be more a peg on which to hang the characters and events than the reason for the existence of the book.
Not bad, but she's done (and hopefully will do) better.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Once again Charlaine has a thoroughly ordinary female protagonist repeatedly thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Aurora is perhaps the most outwardly hum-drum of all of Charlaine's protagonists; she is a librarian, complete with modest cardigans and horn-rimmed glasses. But don't let appearances (or occupation) fool you. Aurora is just as interesting and lovable as Charlaine's other leading ladies, maybe even more so because she is aware and makes fun of her outwardly plain-Jane appearances. Like Lily, Sookie and Harper, Aurora is an appealing protagonist because despite self-doubt, when push-comes-to-shove Aurora becomes a brave and ballsy heroine.

There is a lot of suspended belief in the Aurora series - throughout 8 books we are expected to believe that Aurora just keeps stumbling and unwittingly becoming involved in all the murders around town. But because Charlaine beautifully incorporates the bizarre with the mundane of Aurora's everyday life, and because she constantly makes a joke of the coincidences, you really don't mind the improbability inherent in the series.

`Aurora' is a fascinating series if you're coming to them after reading Harris's `Sookie Stackhouse' books. Aurora is surprisingly similar to Sookie; both are women whom, at the start of their respective series, are really unaware of their femininity and have lived fairly sheltered lives. Sookie has been a loner because of her telepathic `handy-cap', and Aurora because of low self-confidence and a focus on her work. Throughout their series both Aurora and Sookie are put through trials and tribulations that force them to come out of their shells and measure their mettle. But perhaps the ladies biggest connection lies in their romantic lives.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This series started incredibly slowly for me, but once I got into it I just couldn't put these books down. I read them all, one right after the other. The last two books were a pretty big disappointment. I'd really started to like Roe, but the whining, why me, woe is me attitude she picks up after Martin's death is tiresome. She gets absolutely everything she wants, every item, every bit of information, and every man. Yet she complains and is unhappy. Martin's character at least, had personality. Robin is so far beyond dull that it's laughable the way Roe reacts to him. Especially after claiming she was so desperately in love with Martin for so long and describing how hard she had grieved for him.

There's absolutely no resolution of the situation with her father and brother, the thing I was most interested to learn in this book. The paternity of Poppy's son is skipped right over once the murderer has been discovered. I personally feel this was a horrible ending to an interesting series. The 'everyone gets a super happy ending' feeling nearly ruined the entire series for me. If there were going to be more installments I'd have rated this book higher, as it is I feel I was short-changed.
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