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AN ICE COLD GRAVE
By Charlaine Harris
Berkley Prime Crime, 2008, c2007 ($7.99)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
When she was a teenager, Harper Connelly was struck by lightening. It didn’t kill her, nor did it make her stronger. What it did do was give her an unusual ability -- she can find dead people and determine how they died. From this unique talent she and her step-brother Tolliver make a modest living. For the most part, the jobs she’s hired for are not too taxing -- she might have to stand at a gravesite, commune with the departed, and be able to say that one’s loved one died of a heart attack, or visit a house where the homeowner feels something is wrong, and point out the graves of tiny babies buried long ago. When she and Tolliver venture to the small town of Doraville, North Carolina, to help a worried grandmother locate her missing grandson, Harper finds much, much more, and uncovers some long-buried secrets amongst the citizens of the town. A person or persons unknown try their best to keep those secrets, putting her in mortal danger.
Charlaine Harris can do no wrong in my book -- or rather in her books. This is the third in her Harper Connelly series. Her other series include the Aurora Teagarden mysteries, the Lily Bard mysteries, and the Sookie Stackhouse novels, upon which the wildly popular new television show, Tru Blood, is based. Each series is unique, the characters are very different, but all three-dimensional and interesting in their own particular way. What the books all have in common is an intricate blend of humor, suspense, tragedy, characters who are flawed in some way, but with the strength to live fairly normal lives, a bit of romance and a touch of woo-woo -- more of the latter two qualities in the Harper Connelly and Tru Blood mysteries than in the other two series. I highly recommend this book, and all her others as well.
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