"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Poppy Done to Death (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries, Book 8) by Charlaine Harris

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Summary: Part-time librarian Aurora Teagarden solves the murder of her step-father's daughter-in-law.

Aurora Teagarden is prim, reserved, judgmental, extremely wealthy and prissy - and is constantly stumbling into dead bodies. I can't get enough of her.

In one of my on-line book groups, someone mentioned author Charlaine Harris' other series, the Lily Bard mysteries, the Aurora Teagarden mysteries and the Harper Connelly series. You most likely know Charlaine Harris as the author of the Sookie Stackhouse vampire stories, which inspired the True Blood TV show.  I requested every single one from the library and of course read them out of sequence and randomly as each arrived.

Harper Connelly can sense the dead; Lily Bard is a housecleaner in a small town who solves mysteries; and Aurora Teagarden reminds me of Murder She Wrote's Jessica Fletcher, only about 30 years younger.

Aurora is a small-town librarian who has inherited a fortune from her friend. Aurora dates, tries to find a past-time, visits friends, maintains her boring little life and somehow solves murder mysteries. Just like the fictional town of Cabot Cove, Maine, you would be surprised at how many murders occur in small towns.

When her step-sister-in-law Poppy misses an important luncheon, Aurora "Roe" Teagarden drops by to check on her. Roe is dismayed to find Poppy lying dead right inside her kitchen. Since her husband was cheating on Poppy at the time of the murder, Aurora knew someone else not in her family had killed Poppy.
"Poppy had had at least two flings that I knew about, and I would not have been surprised to hear that there had been more. I had tried - real hard - not to judge Poppy, to enjoy the part of her I liked and ignore the part that made me queasy."
But Poppy's promiscuity shouldn't have killed her  so Roe and her other step-sister-in-law Melinda try to keep their family together - finding remnants of Poppy's troubled past and messy, complicated sex life, and trying to uncover who in this small town could have murdered Poppy.
"So, we had a mysterious gas station receipt, a murdered woman, a philandering lawyer, a philandering husband, a past lover or three, a searcher, and a detective who shouldn't be on the case at all."
This was my favorite of all the Teagarden stories, but there were a few continuity issues that only someone who had just read all the books in a short period of time, as I just did, would notice.

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