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Definitely Dead: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel [Hardcover]

Charlaine Harris
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 2 2006 Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood (Book 6)

As a person with so few living relatives, Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse really hated to lose one. But she never guessed that it would be her cousin Hadley—a consort of the Vampire Queen of New Orleans. After all, technically speaking, Hadley was already dead. And now, as unexpected heir to Hadley’s estate, Sookie discovers the inheritance definitely comes with a risk.

Someone doesn’t want Sookie looking too deeply into Hadley’s past—or for that matter, Hadley’s possessions. And they’re prepared to do anything in their power to stop her. But who? The range of suspects runs from the Rogue Weres who reject Sookie as a friend of the Pack to the Vampire Queen herself, who could be working through a particularly vulnerable subject—Sookie’s first love, Bill.

Whoever it is, they’re definitely dangerous—and Sookie’s life is definitely on the line…

With HBO's launching of an all-new show, True Blood, based on the Southern Vampire novels, the demand for Charlaine Harris and Sookie Stackhouse is bigger than ever.

Watch a QuickTime trailer for the HBO original series True Blood.


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From Publishers Weekly

In bestseller Harris's perky sixth Southern Vampire novel to star Sookie Stackhouse (after 2005's Dead as a Doornail), the telepathic waitress of Bon Temps, La., is off to (pre-hurricane) New Orleans to close out her dead cousin Hadley's apartment. Hadley's death six weeks earlier had been unexpected, since, as a vampire, she was already dead. Still, she'd led a lively existence as the main squeeze of the Queen of Louisiana, an omnisexual vampire, whose political marriage to the King of Arkansas occurred the night before Hadley's demise. Sookie and Amelia Broadway, Hadley's landlady and a pretty cool witch, immediately discover a mess of trouble left behind in Hadley's closet, and Sookie's soon neck-deep in even more. Though most of the intrigue doesn't come till halfway through, Harris keeps the action going nonstop in this bubbly brew of supernatural spice and whimsical whodunit that's more fun than a barrel of beignets. Alan Ball, the creator of HBO's Six Feet Under, plans to shoot a TV pilot based on the series later this year.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Sookie Stackhouse once tried to keep her mind-reading capabilities secret, but the word is definitely out in Bon Temps, Louisiana, her hometown, leading local police to call on her to help find a missing child. There's a new man, were-tiger Quinn, in the picture, too, but on their first date, two were-people attack them. Sookie isn't sure whether she or Quinn was the target but is soon distracted by a more pressing problem. Cousin Hadley, a vampire, has been murdered, and Sookie has inherited her apartment, meaning she has to go to New Orleans to uncover the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death and meet with Hadley's lover, the Vampire Queen herself. Though not quite as driven as past entries in Harris' Southern Vampire series--Sookie doesn't get to New Orleans until a third of the way in--this is a gratifying read for Sookie's fans because of a major surprise for Sookie about one of her old lovers. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and addictive Oct. 1 2013
By Julie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the easy style of the author. It was a fun and addictive read. Fans of the show, the story is somewhat different and wouldnt spoil many suprises.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE SOOKIE July 11 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Started the Sookie Stackhouse series and didn't stop until all 13 were read.
Only to start back at the beginning again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars :) Jan. 16 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you like the other Sookie Stackhouse books then you will like this one. The price is great and shipping is fast. Thumbs up!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT! Sept. 22 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In another wonderfully written story, Charlaine delivers with her stories of suspense, thrill, romance and mystery. The characters develop so incredibly in this series but you don't need to be familiar with the whole series to enjoy these books. Each one can be read without having knowledge of the background of the stories. On the cover, Sookie is riding a tiger and Bill is behind...where did Sook get a tiger and why does Bill seem to be pulling it's tail? Read and find out...you won't be disappointed!
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  389 reviews
259 of 278 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Dull Nov. 9 2008
By David Cady - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was such a bizarre entry in what has become one of my favorite mystery series. First of all, starting this book will be totally confusing for anyone who hasn't read "One Word Answer," a short Sookie Stackhouse story that Harris wrote for an anthology. How do I know? Because I hadn't read it by the time I began "Definitely Dead," and I was definitely confused. Sookie's cousin was murdered in New Orleans, and the Vampire Queen of Louisiana sent an emissary to visit Sookie in Bon Temps? When? Not in any of the previous books I'd read. I knew I couldn't be crazy, so I did some online research, found the short story, and was able to download it for free. Then the beginning of the book made sense to me. But how unfair is that to readers who either don't know about the story or have access to the internet? At least publish the short story in the paperback edition of "Definitely Dead" so that readers aren't completely lost. Or include a note at the beginning of the book that directs readers to the anthology. Something, anything.

Second of all, the story involving Sookie's dead vampire cousin, the core of the book, doesn't really get rolling again until around page 130. Before then, the book is strictly filler, with unimportant subplots, one involving Jason and his werepanther girlfriend, the other about a missing child, who Sookie helps find. Those aren't spoilers, folks, because these side stories have NOTHING to do with the book's actual plot. So why are they even there? Who knows? Maybe Harris is setting things up for future entries, but that doesn't make for an involving reading experience this time around.

Thirdly, I wish Sookie would settle on a boyfriend. Bill, Eric, Sam, Quinn...On the one hand, I've always enjoyed Harris's ability to keep readers on their toes and defy expectations, but Sookie is starting to look like a right little pop tart. And was it really necessary for Harris to give us a plot twist that makes us detest and reevaluate a favorite character? Again, Harris likes to pull the rug out from under Sookie (and us, vicariously), but it seemed excessive and very mean-spirited. Harris hasn't seemed to know what to do with this character for a few books now, and it shows. Fourthly, when Sookie does make it to New Orleans and the book's real story actually begins, it turns out to be an uninteresting, overcomplicated one, with a plot element that was corny when Dumas used it in "The Three Musketeers."

Lastly, Harris throws us all a curve and gives us a hint about Sookie's family background that's completely inconsistent with the rest of the series, and made for a lot of backtracking. What, is Harris making this stuff up as she goes along? Sure sounds like it. Every writer should take a page out of JK Rowling's playbook and plan a series in advance. It goes a LONG way towards avoiding this kind of sloppy plotting. And if Sookie is a -- well, I don't want to give it away -- then it means she's not a normal woman in abnormal circumstances. Which means she's not us, the reader, and that's a shame.

And did it bother anyone else that Quinn took Sookie to see "The Producers?" Why couldn't Harris just say "the theater?" There have never been other references to present day movies or TV shows -- not that I remember -- and I found it very bizarre. Maybe I just don't see Sookie liking or getting that particular show. "Rent," yes -- "The Producers," no. Maybe it's just me.

All in all, if you're following Sookie's story, you're going to want to read this one as well, but prepare to put the book down, as I did, every few days. It's that dull.
131 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Delightful May 4 2006
By Erin Satie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love the Southern Vampire series so much. I have enjoyed every last book - to the hilt - and this one was no exception. What I love is how the books are heartwarming, heartbreaking, poignant, funny, suspenseful, romantic...all at once. The characters are amazingly well drawn and Sookie's evolution from book to book as she gains confidence, experience, and some hard knocks is so fascinating. That alone makes this installment worthwhile.

Sookie is definitely a bit snappish throughout the book, but she's also more confident, more sure of herself - more willing to take initiative. She's tired of being manipulated and she's trying, as hard as she can, to get control of her life. It's no surprise that she's on the bristly side.

Sookie visits New Orleans and learns more about how vampire society works - she meets the Queen, who wants to employ her directly. So the power relationship is obviously shifting a bit between Sookie and the Bon Temps supes. I think this is a Very Promising Development.

The romantic interest here is Quinn, a were-tiger who oozes machismo. I found him a little bit campy. Eric and Bill appear - not often, but enough. There are some *major* revelations in that department, which pleased me inordinately (And, not to give away too much, but I have loathed Bill since Dead Until Dark).

There's also more afoot on other fronts - the continuing drama of Debbie Pelt & the Fellowship of the Sun & Claudine's mysterious presence.

I always feel totally drenched in the physical environment of the Southern Vampire books - Harris writes about the south in such a vivid way it can make a die-hard California girl like myself want to visit Louisiana just to see the pollen or drive down a narrow country lane. New Orleans, however, gets a more-or-less minimal treatment: Sookie doesn't get much of a chance to explore.

Alas. A year until the next one comes out.
39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing :( July 26 2006
By Amelia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
i found this book sorely disappointing. The first four books were great, and then after that...the series seems to be going downhill. in this novel, there's too many things going on at once, too many characters running around. Especially new ones. Harris' established characters aren't involved in the storyline in any meaningful way, they just pop up here and there. She might as well not have written them in at all. I miss those characters, especially Eric and Bill. Those vamps were the reason i got into the series in the first place. With this book i found myself wholly uninterested in the plethora of new characters and was in anticipation of even a small cameo appearance of the established ones. I couldn't get into the story either...it just draaaaaged. And there were too many subplots. Plus, the ending was kinda disappointing too.
75 of 100 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not my favorite book in the series... May 3 2006
By CoffeeGurl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I look forward to reading the Southern Vampire Mysteries every year (well, every year since I discovered them). The first four books were the best of the series. (Dead as a Doornail was great too though.) I had looked forward to reading Definitely Dead and read more on sexy weretiger Quinn. Even though I had a hard time conjuring a gorgeous baldheaded, olive-skinned man, I do like Quinn a bit, though I need to know more about him. However, I wasn't thrilled with this installment and its "twists." But more on that stuff later. Hadley, Sookie Stackhouse's cousin, had been a vampire. She was murdered and is now definitely dead (as opposed to being vampire-dead). Hadley's apartment and her possessions now belong to Sookie, and she has been summoned by the Vampire Queen of Louisiana to claim them. Sookie is disturbed with the fact that her cousin had been a vampire. She had taken part in the execution of her cousin's murderer (this took place in the short story "One Word Answer" in the Bite anthology) and she isn't thrilled with the prospect of seeing the apartment and visiting the vampire queen. But someone is doing just about anything, including committing murder, to keep Sookie from claiming her inheritance. Did Hadley have some skeletons in her closet? Who is stopping Sookie from going to New Orleans and why? On top of everything else, the Pelts are again questioning Sookie about their daughter Debbie's disappearance, Eric is insisting upon taking her to a vampire council meeting and some Weres may want her dead. All poor Sookie wants to do is enjoy a few dates with the gorgeous Quinn. There are several twists throughout the novel.

I have to say that the first one-hundred or so pages are quite boring. There is some building of what is to come ahead, but most of it is too short and sparse to spark my interest. The scenes at bar Merlotte are always fun and Harris's descriptions of the south and of Sookie relaxing on a warm sunny day are great too, and I enjoy the witty dialogue as well, but the other stuff centered on internal monologue and on Sookie getting reacquainted with practically every character in the series was a big bore for me. In the first one-hundred or so pages, we get appearances or mentions of Bill, Alcide, Sam, Eric, Jason, Claude, Claudine, Maria-Star, Quinn, Calvin, the Pelts, Merlotte's regulars and several very small, filler characters, some of which I couldn't remember at first. Out of all those characters, I was only interested in Bill, Eric and Quinn. It seems that Ms. Harris felt the need to bring up these characters even if most of them were not relevant to the plot. It matters little to me if some of them are in one of the novels or not. Perhaps a brief mention of them would suffice. After we got out of that hallway, which included a mini-mystery centered on a missing school boy, the story got interesting and the action began. I was enjoying the story a great deal... until I read the part about the "twist" with Bill. I had a feeling that it was a contrived plot device to write him off the series or to make him unlikeable to us readers. I hate it when authors do that! Laurell K. Hamilton did it with Richard and now Charlaine Harris has done it with Bill. But I sincerely hope that isn't the case, for Bill is my favorite character in this series and I'd hate to see him go. He has done some vile things to Sookie that don't make him good boyfriend material, but what I like about him and Eric is that they're flawed and complex and not vanilla vampires. The point of vampires is that they don't behave or think like regular people. Also, I'd like to read about his side of things. Ever since Club Dead, it has been all about Sookie and her broken heart, with very little opportunity to have Bill defend himself. I hope this new twist is just new conflict between him and Sookie and nothing else. It is obvious to me that Ms. Harris has put Bill and the other men "in the back burner" in favor of Quinn. As for Quinn, I have no idea what to make of him yet. He is likeable, but kind of one-dimensional thus far. He is definitely not as interesting or as colorful as Eric and Bill. I hope Ms. Harris won't do with Quinn what LKH has done with Anita Blake's Micah and have Quinn become Sookie's "soulmate." *shudder* Anyway, Definitely Dead has its fun and entertaining moments, but the problems above kept me from enjoying this one the way I had enjoyed the previous installments. This was nevertheless entertaining and I'm sure that many Sookie fans will enjoy it. I hope against hope that Charlaine Harris won't take the direction I suspect she will take though.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rom-Com revelation June 17 2011
By K. Knight - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoy this series, but this book fell short for me. There were a few things I didn't like about it. SPOILERS!

1. Quinn. I'm sorry, but I don't like him. I don't think his description is attractive (purple eyes?) and we know nothing about him except he's a weretiger and runs a business. And I don't feel we needed another supernatural 'love interest' for sookie (we already have Bill, Eric, Sam, Alcide, Calvin, to a small degree). Maybe I'm just partial to vampires, but I just didn't feel the need for another hot, mysterious stranger to sweep Sookie off her feet. I kept waiting for him to be responsible for something bad going on in Sookie's life, mainly so he'd disappear from the series. Thus far, no luck with that.

2. Sookie's blood ties. I don't want to ruin this for anyone, but in this book Andre (the Queen's bodyguard) tells Sookie why her blood is so attractive to Vampires (this goes with the whole 'Sookie not being totally human' storyline). While I appreciated the fact that there was a reason why so many Supes were interested in Sookie (I had been annoyed by all the men falling in love with her instantly), I had a 'Really?" moment that was more dubious than surprised. I guess I wanted more from that plot point.

But the main issue I had was Bill's great revelation. BIG SPOILER--Eric forces Bill to tell Sookie that he was sent to Bon Temps by the queen because the Queen was aware of Sookie's 'disability' and wanted Bill to 'seduce her if needed' in order for the Queen to have control over Sookie. This is the plot of every romantic comedy I've ever seen. Boy or girl is bribed/dared/has some other reason other than love decided to pursue a person. They then fall in love with that person 'despite their other reasons'. The pursuee finds out about the prior arrangement and gets mad. This is exactly what happens to Bill and Sookie. Bill was told by the queen to pursue Sookie, but he fell for her despite that and is really in love with her. She doesn't believe him and is hurt/mad. All that was missing was Sookie running/driving away in tears while pursued by Bill, who then manages to convince her he has real feelings and they live happily ever after.

This storyline has been done and done again and I expected more from the author. I'm continuing with the series because I still like it despite the Bill/Sookie twist and Quinn (though I'm hoping he goes away). "Definitely Dead" was just a low-point in the series for me.
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