on June 4, 2004
If anyone seriously thinks that Harris writes cozy mysteries then they are not paying attention when they read. The author who writes the edgy Lily Bard mysteries and the Sookie Stackhouse stories, has never been one to allow her characters more than time to catch their breath between disasters. Whether it was the death involved with the true crime group she was a member of in the first mystery to her subsequent detective efforts, Aurora has lost friends, neighbors and enemies to the grim reaper. Harris never lets the reader assume that there is a Happily Ever After ending out there. Good things are balanced with bad.
In this case Aurora loses an old friend and a new one, learns things about the murdered person and her family she would just as soon not know and there are still a lot of loose strings after the murderer is revealed to fuel the next book.
I enjoyed the characters and the writing but it almost seems that the mystery was an afterthought. I guessed who the murdered was on first introduction (off stage). Harris gave away the important clues with the very nonchalant air with which she introduces them. The denoument was almost anticlimatic. The death in this case seemed to be more a peg on which to hang the characters and events than the reason for the existence of the book.
Not bad, but she's done (and hopefully will do) better.
on August 5, 2003
Lawrenceton, Georgia librarian Aurora Teagarden is adjusting to widowhood just fine now that the worst of her grief is over. She is romantically involved with Robin Crusoe and is now a member of the Uppity Women, a prestigious group of females involved with literacy, and other social and political matters. It is by invitation only and Aurora is delighted that her stepsister-in-law Poppy is going to be inducted into the group.
She is positively mortified when Poppy doesn't show up to the meeting and rushes over to her home to lecture her, but instead finds her murdered body on the Kitchen floor. Poppy had many secrets and Aurora's family is trying to cope with the gossip and scandal. Roe is happy to find that her half brother Phillip is going to stay with her a while even though that puts more stress on her. While his presence takes her mind off the tragedy temporarily, she is pulled into the murder investigation by circumstances beyond her control and almost gets killed in the process.
Charlaine Harris has taken her heroine in a completely different direction and readers will be happy to see the protagonist find the double dose of happiness she so richly deserves. There is a lot of action in this delightful cozy, and not all of it is directed at solving the homicide. Roe gets a chance to become reacquainted with the brother she was forbidden to see for some time and helps her in-laws and her mother cope with a loved one's death. POPPY DONE TO DEATH is a terrific cozy, one readers will want to put on their keeper shelves.