Book Review: Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris

Grave Secret (A Harper Connelly Mystery, #4) Grave Secret by Char­laine Har­ris

My rat­ing: 3 of 5 stars
I’d say that wraps it up for this series. No, I won’t tell you why I’m say­ing that, or it’ll ruin the book for you.

The Harp­er Con­nel­ly series has­n’t ever been as strong as the South­ern Vam­pire series, in my opin­ion, but it was­n’t too bad in com­par­i­son to some of her ear­li­er work, like the Auro­ra Tea­gar­den and Shake­speare mys­ter­ies. She seemed to be exper­i­ment­ing with some­thing dark­er this time around. I haven’t looked at the Ama­zon rank or any oth­er fig­ures for the series, but it’s my gut feel­ing that they nev­er took off in com­par­i­son to the Sook­ie Stack­house series, espe­cial­ly since True Blood has got­ten so much atten­tion with the tele­vi­sion series. I have to won­der what that feels like for Ms. Har­ris, as this real­ly was a decent con­cept with some promise, and it does­n’t seem to have been giv­en that much of a chance to blos­som.

In any case, Harp­er and her broth­er are prick­ly char­ac­ters and not very easy to relate to, and they don’t get any eas­i­er in this book. They are back in their home town, and we get to now a lot more about their ori­gins this time around. We final­ly get the whole sto­ry about their miss­ing sis­ter, and we meet the two lit­tle sis­ters who live with an aunt and uncle.

The por­tray­al of the devout blue-col­lar peo­ple with their work­ing-man’s faith is absolute­ly smack on. I came from those peo­ple, and I could taste the sweet tea and see the linoleum and the absolute­ly clean Formi­ca dinette, feel the cracked chairs the char­ac­ters sat on and look around at the care­ful­ly kept house. Har­ris did a great job with that town and those peo­ple, so much so that I’m sure she either came from a sim­i­lar place or has spent plen­ty of time in one.

There isn’t as much new magic/plot stuff as there are answers this time. The sexy gyp­sy boy-almost-man is back, to my delight. Harper’s love inter­est is still a bit of a squick, but I sup­pose it makes sense for the char­ac­ters. I have to won­der how many authors would stick with that kind of deci­sion, know­ing the back­lash they’d get from their read­ers?

If you’ve read the oth­er Harp­er Con­nel­ly books, read this one for clo­sure. If you haven’t, this isn’t the place to start!

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