Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Grave Surprise

Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 2)

Grave Surprise
Charlaine Harris
295 pgs. Paperback

Amazon Blurb -

At the start of Harris's winning second supernatural caper to feature Harper Connelly (after 2005's Grave Sight), a skeptical anthropology professor, Clyde Nunley, tests Harper's gift of clairvoyance in a historic Memphis cemetery, where Harper correctly senses a fresh corpse in the wrong grave. Strangely, the body turns out to be a missing 12-year-old girl, Tabitha Morgenstern, whom Harper failed to locate in Nashville on a case two years earlier. The hotel suite of Harper and her manager and stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, both of whom fall under suspicion, becomes a magnet for a medley of amusing characters, including Memphis cops, Tabitha's assorted relatives and a drunken Clyde Nunley, who, shortly after accusing Harper of fraud, is found dead in the same grave as Tabitha. 

Harper and Tolliver are in Tennessee to take up a challenge arrogant College Professor Clyde Nunley has issued her.  She has this gift of finding dead people and knowing how they died.  She got this after being struck by lightening while a teenager, and has some lasting physical issues as well. The Professor wants her to "read" a cemetery, telling him and his students who is in the grave and what they died from.  It's an old cemetery and the info is in a sealed envelope with no way for her to know anything about the history.  Of course she begins giving the correct info and Clyde is going apoplectic.  Till she comes to a grave all the way in the back, she feels a young girl, then realizes it's Tabitha Morgenstern, missing for over a year and whose family hired Harper to find.  Clyde laughs with glee and tells her she is wrong, and Harper lets him know underneath Tabitha is a man and he was stabbed, and indeed there are two bodies in this grave.

Thus begins the next chapter in the Harper Connely mysteries.  Of course the cops eye them suspiciously, truly, I don't understand why, and the total distaste of those who come in contact with her.  People like John Edward, Sylvia Brown and James VanPraagh have massive followings.  Any how, there are some great characters here, Xyla Bernardo, the psychic, and her tattooed and studded grandson Manfred. FBI Agent Koening who has been on this case from the beginning, Clyde Nunley's wife Ann, and Tabitha's brother Victor.  While these characters stop  in briefly through out the book, they add a great layer to it.  Soon, the two realize that Tabitha being in that grave was no coincidence and try to solve the mystery without losing their own lives.

I like Harper, and Tolliver, who really aren't brother and sister for those who don't know, but step sibs.  Harper relies on Tolliver so deeply its very touching how he knows this and lovingly gives her the strength and protection she sometimes needs.  I find how they both get jealous of each others object of affection quite endearing and hope at some point they'll admit to each other that they love each other.  These books are quick, entertaining and not fluff at all.  I'll be continuing.

3 1/2 cannolis


  1. I think I have this one on my shelf.....

  2. I have had the first one for far to long now but just can't seem to bring myself to read it.

    When I am in the mood for light or fluff I think vampire, sigh

  3. Oh this is really good Marce, and I do love the vamps too. They are my guilty pleasure, pnr and uf are one of my faves ;) Harped Connely is just a nice series.

    Read it Miss Julie!! You won't be disappointed.

  4. I plan on reading this series this year. Last year I picked up Harris' Lily Bard mystery books and absolutely loved them.


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