Book Review: Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris (Harper Finds Dead People)

Harper Finds Dead People, Or Rather Their Bodies.

As a fan of Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels and a True Blood follower, I wanted to check out some of her other work.  Grave Surprise (book two in the Grave series) focuses on the young heroine, Harper Connelly.  Struck by lightning at the age of fifteen, she developed a peculiar ability; she can sense bodies and diagnose the cause of death.  Harper turns this talent into a career, allowing her to travel across country with her step-brother and manager, Tolliver to assist members of the public and sometimes the police force when all other avenues have been exhausted.

On the latest job, she and Tolliver run into trouble when they locate the body of an eleven year who they had searched for, unsuccessfully eighteen months before, in a different state. It looks bad for Harper and Tolliver and they are forced to remain in town while the police investigate and rule them out as suspects.  On top of all this, Harper deals with the constant scrutiny and anger of unbelievers who are often aggressive in their disdain for what she does.

Grave Surprise was a nice change of pace from the Sookie novels. Harper comes across as older than her early twenty-something years.  She’s from a poor background, spent her teen years living with drug addict parents, lived in foster care and experienced the abduction of her sister Cameron.  This hard upbringing provides Harper with a steely strength, though she doesn’t seem to realise how tough she actually is.  She has the slightly older Tolliver to look out for her on a daily basis, and while they refer to themselves as step-brother and step-sister, it’s not difficult to see the attraction and deep love they share that is far from platonic.

While enjoyable enough and easy to read, I didn’t like it as much as the Sookie books. The Grave series is a lot darker than those books and I found the characters less intriguing than those from the vampire novels, though that didn’t stop me buying the other three books in the series.  ***

Check it out on Amazon HERE

Who’s a fan of Charlaine Harris? Anyone read the Harper Connelly books?

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About Emma

Buffy fan, avid reader, writer.
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11 Responses to Book Review: Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris (Harper Finds Dead People)

  1. I didn’t even know about this series. I might have to put this on my TBR list. I used to read the Sookie Stackhouse series. I liked the books better than True Blood. Have you read her Aurora Teagarden series? I love those kinds of mysteries.

    • Emma says:

      The TV show did take a different turn. I just look at the books and the TV show now as separate stories. I haven’t read the Aurora series. Are they paranormal mysteries?

  2. beckyday6 says:

    I haven’t read any Charlaine Harris yet but I do own the first Sookie Stackhouse novel, so hopefully I will get to read that soon. This one sounds interesting too, nice review! :)

  3. Shannon says:

    I really like the Sookie Stackhouse series, but I had never heard of the Harper books. May have to check them out. I like the cover!

  4. Debra Kristi says:

    I iike your cover better. I don’t care for the covers they put on Charlaine Harris’ books here in the U.S. I stopped reading Sookie’s story somewhere along the way and need to get back into it. I believe I stopped right in the middle of one of the books. :(

  5. Nice review, I think that actually sounds like a really cool idea for a novel. Haven’t read a supernatural book since Artemis Fowl back in the day but might give this a look.

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