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Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – December 4, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An ingenious plot and sufficient flow of blood keep the pages flying in Harris's ( Sweet and Deadly ) third novel, as a series of killings patterned after celebrated murders is perpetrated on the small community of Lawrenceton, Ga. Twenty-eight-year-old Aurora (Roe) Teagarden, professional librarian, belongs to the Real Murders club, a group of 12 enthusiasts who gather monthly to study famous baffling or unsolved crimes. As a meeting is to begin, Roe discovers the massacred body of a club member. She recognizes the method of slaughter as imitating the very crime she was to address that night--suddenly her life as armchair sleuth assumes an eerie reality. The murderer continues to claim victims, each in the style of a different historical killer. Roe herself becomes a target, and also attracts two admirers, Robin Crusoe, a famed mystery writer new to Lawrenceton, and club member/detective Arthur Smith. Death seems to have infused new life into her waning social calendar, an irony not lost on this pensive character. Harris draws the guilty and the innocent into an engrossing tale while inventing a heroine as capable and potentially complex as P. D. James's Cordelia Gray.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Someone is killing the crime buffs of the Real Murders Society in Lawrenceton, Georgia. A librarian, Aurora Teagarden, sets out to catch the brutal murderer after fellow club members end up as victims. The uncanny resemblances to famous crimes challenge Roe and her two admirers, policeman Arthur Smith and mystery writer Robin Crusoe, to pursue the criminal. The lighthearted, witty handling of characters contrasts with the heightening suspense as Aurora seeks clues by searching past mysteries for the killer's identity--until she is caught in the sadistic web of terror herself. Clever pacing along with ample red herrings and judiciously placed clues keep Harris's story moving briskly. Let's hope for another fast-paced mystery featuring Aurora and her friends.
- Mary T. Gerrity, Queen Anne School, Upper Marlboro,
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; d edition (December 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425218716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425218716
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,678 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Silmarwen VINE VOICE on January 30, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Aurora "Roe" Teagarden is your typical librarian: thick, coke-bottle glasses, long brown hair, sensible librarian-like clothes, single, lives in a small town - you get the picture. She doesn't have much of a social life and has resigned herself to having her Saturday nights free. But, once a month, on Fridays, she meets with her fellow murder-mystery enthusaists and they discuss a real murder. This Friday it is Roe's turn to present the case of the Wallaces. She spent hours preparing and arrives a little early at the community center to make sure that everything is ready. However, she cannot find the woman who unlocked the building, laid out the cookies and coffee and set up the chairs. When she does find her, she wishes that she hadn't as she has been murdered and displayed in the kitchen in a gruesome fashion. Even though Roe is in shock, she cannot help but notice that this murder bears a startling resemblance to the Wallace case. Could one of the club members have taken their little hobby a little too far? When other bodies begin to pile up, all copycat murders from famous past crimes, Roe cannot help but wonder which victim she resembles...
This is a fun, short, easy mystery read that I sat down and read in a couple of hours. Roe is a likeable character whom most readers will relate to as being in her shoes at one time of their lives or another. The other characters are also fairly interesting, but not as fully fleshed out as I would like. Charlaine Harris doesn't really present the plot in such a way where you would be able to solve the mystery on your own with the clues presented so the ending has a surprise twist, but it was a nicely paced story. The romantic subplots were a little perfunctory, but added a nice touch to the story.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Erin Satie VINE VOICE on May 15, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this up because I've totally adored Harris' Southern Vampire series and I figure anything she writes has got to be good. Real Murders does have a lot of the qualities that I love in the Southern Vampire series - a sense of place, a way of incorporating the quotidien, really perceptive one-liners that somehow manage to describe a character in a complex and subtle way. The small-town setting, the way she writes about people and manages to make them utterly normal while also extraordinary and fascinating is another similarity between the two series.

This book is more of a whodunit and it's got a fabulous premise: the Real Murders club is for people who are interested in true crime and get together to learn about various murders of the past together; then people start dying in ways that are obviously intended to re-create famous murders of the past...leading to the conclusion that the murderer happens to be a member of the club.

I don't think that the execution is nearly as good as the hook, however; maybe I don't read enough mystery novels, but I wasn't spotting the clues. The murderer seemed to remain a mystery for most of the novel because there were good reasons to suspect almost everyone and no reason to suspect one person more than another.

That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone else.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Karen Potts on June 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book introduces us to Aurora Teagarden, an amusing, intrepid and self-deprecating almost-30 librarian. She shares her interest in historic murders with a group of crime buffs who have formed a group called Real Murders. They meet once a month to discuss murders and murderers of the past. Strangely enough, murders begin to occur which mirror these past murders and which include members of the group. Aurora teams up with the Arthur, a local policeman and member of Real Murders, and Robin Crusoe, a mystery writer, to solve the murder cases. No one is above suspicion, but the solution is a surprise. This is fun, light reading.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Gilligan on January 25, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"Real Murders" by Charlaine Harris is the first book in the Aurora Teagarden mysteries. Aurora 'Roe' Teagarden is a librarian who belongs to a club called 'Real Murders'. On the night that Roe is set to give a presentation on the Wallace murders, she discovers a fellow club member dead. That's not the only problem. The woman killed is arranged exactly the way that Julia Wallace was years ago, down to the very last detail.

The club decides not to meet anymore, but it seems it is too late. Another murder takes place, this time copying another famous killing. Who is doing it? Is it the new neighbor and famous writer Robin Crusoe? Police officer Arthur Smith? Well, considering Roe is going out with both of them, she hopes not. But it could be anyone, and time is running out!

I loved this book, and it kept me guessing till the end. Don't forget to read the rest in this series. Next is A Bone To Pick: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, Book 2, followed by Three Bedrooms, One Corpse: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, The Julius House: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, Bk. 4, Dead Over Heels: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, Bk. 5,
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