Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

3.5 Out of 5 Stars
My Review:

Grave Surprise is the second installment of the Harper Connolly series by Charlaine Harris. I rated the first book a 3 stars- and this book WAS an improvement over the first which is why it got .5 points (or stars?) better in my opinion. Maybe I'm grading this series so hard because after reading Charlaine's Southern Vampire Series I expect a lot? Haha, nahhhh... 

My real complaint about this book is that it seemed a little redundant. I felt like the plot was super similar to that of the first book and there wasn't as much character development as I had hoped. Harper once again is struggling with her past and the fact that no one really accepts her for who (and what) she is. There isn't really anything cheery or upbeat about Harper (or the plot) in this book. Wow, I sound like Debbie Downer, don't I? That isn't the case- I just wanted to get the negative out of the way first! I don't want to leave you guys with a bad taste in your mouth afterall. Hehe. It was nice to see that Harper's reputation, career wise, is growing as well as her relationship with Tolliver is changing.

So, what do we have in Grave Surprise? A whole lot of 'who did it.' I don't mind a good thriller/mystery, so I liked trying to guess the murderer. (I'm normally really bad at guessing, so it is fun for me!) Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver, are requested by a professor in Memphis to read a cemetery on campus. His point in having her read the graves was to prove her a fraud. (Only the professor himself and a few others that worked for the college knew the names and causes of death for those in the graves.) Boy, did Harper prove the professor wrong! And in front of his entire class of undergraduate students! Serves him right. Not only does she identify all the corpses- she identifies one that has secretly been buried there. Surprise! It is the body of a young girl that Harper tried to locate once before- unsuccessfully. Now that they finally found the body, who kidnapped, killed and hid the body of the young girl?

The characters are well developed in this novel- I was just hoping that Harper would become a little less dependent on Tolliver. I have to say, their relationship does make me feel a little uncomfortable, but it is unique nonetheless. I haven't read anything that I can relate to this and I do like when books make me feel uncomfortable. Ah- and before I forget- there were some very intriguing secondary characters in this book. I enjoyed most of them while some irritated me. I like to be irritated by characters too, only makes it seem more real ;o) I can't wait to dig into book #4. (I already read book #3, just need to quit slacking and post a review!!)

I think that anyone who enjoys a good mystery should dig into this book. (As well as anyone that loves our Miss Stackhouse!) This was a breezy summer read. I won't be keeping it for my bookshelves, but I'm glad I read it. Three POINT five stars from me, Harper Connolly! (AND I love the Elvis shout outs!! It was fun seeing them in this as well as the Southern Vampire Series. Props to Harris. Hehe.) 

Book Details:
Published: Berkley Prime Crime, September 26, 2006
Hardcover: 295 Pages
ISBN10: 0425212033
ISBN13: 9780425212035 

Other books in this series in the order they should be read:
1. Grave Sight
2. Grave Surprise
3. An Ice Cold Grave
4. Grave Secret


  1. I LOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVEEE this series!! I "discovered" Charlaine Harris last spring and have been nonstop devouring her books ever since. I went thru all her Sookie books first, then hit her Harper Connelly and now I am moving on to her earlier mystery books. She is one talented author!

    Great review.



  2. Great Review! I need to quit slacking and read the first book in this series, I think I will put it on my swaptree while I am thinking about it! :)

  3. Elizabeth, thanks for stopping by!!

    Stacy... I have the 4th on my swaptree and paperbackswap wish lists =) It is def worth the read... just wish the paperback was out!



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