This opens up with the renovation of the old hotel. One of Manfred's client dies, in front of him, and he is accused of jewelry theft. Olivia, also in Dallas at the same time, gets enlisted by the Rev to fix it.
Told in alternating points of view, this one mainly has Olivia and Manfred, with a little bit of Joe and Fiji. Some new characters, although I don't know how long they will stay around. What the Rev, Joe and Chuy are, are confirmed. I learned more about Olivia (she still has many secrets), mainly her past. This is a better book than book 1. Less dry, faster paced. I did think the resolution of the stolen jewelry and murder was too quick and just eh. I was disappointed in that. I still wonder about the hotel and the owner of it; does it mean anything? (Mainly because of the elderly residents they picked up that didn't have family/money. Then, later, paying for them to live in an assisted living facility. At least I'm assuming the owner is doing that. There wasn't an explanation.)
From the Sookie books: Quinn and Barry make appearances.
Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life-and one of her coworkers checks out.... Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn't such a bright idea.
It seemed appropriate to follow werewolves with vampires. And there are plenty of books to choose from. From Dracula to Twilight, vampires have definitely caught the imagination of writers. And depending on the author, they have been portrayed as funny, scary, sexy, dangerous, and sadly even sparkly. I was very tempted to re-read something from the Dresden Files, or The Others, but I eventually decided to choose something completely new to me. I've never read Charlaine Harris and haven't seen a single episode of True Blood, so I had no idea what to expect.
And I was pleasantly surprised. OK, so the heroine is a bit of a Mary Sue, and there's a socking great big love triangle which apparently takes about 20 books to resolve, but it kept me entertained on my flight home from Salt Lake City.
Up next is 'terrifying women'.
Deciding if she wants to go into real estate becomes a life-or-death choice for Aurora "Roe" Teagarden. A naked corpse is discovered at her first house showing. And when a second body is found in another house for sale, it becomes obvious that there is a very cool killer at large in Lawrenceton, one who knows a great deal about real estate-and maybe too much about Roe.
Read to fill the “Cozy Mystery” square for 2107 Halloween Bingo.
I wonder if Aurora Teagarden was in some ways a practice run by Charlaine Harris for her Sookie Stackhouse character? They’re both small town girls, seemingly not outstanding in any sense, feeling that life is passing them by. Both of them are attracted to dangerous men. Both of them take unreasonable risks for those men.
Also like Sookie, Aurora changes male partners fairly frequently. I was glad to see the pastor get the boot in this book. By the looks of things, Roe has found the one she intends to keep—but nothing is sure with Harris’ characters, so I will undoubtedly read the next book!
I like that Aurora is a little more independent that she is willing to give herself credit for. She’s not going to settle for just anyone because of societal small-town pressure to get married. Nor is she going to let the opinions of others prevent her from doing exactly what she wants to, whether that’s buy a house just outside of town or take a date to bed (or not). These choices are much easier for the single woman living in the city—we only have our relatives & friends who consciously or unconsciously push us to make certain decisions! We don’t have weight of community judgment hanging over us. Very seldom do our family members or friends live right next door, so we can generally get away with doing EXACTLY what we want to.
One does have to suspend disbelief over the number of murders that Roe runs into in such a small community—not that murders don’t occur in towns, but they do seem to be rather more numerous in Lawrenceton than one would truly expect outside of the city.
Cleaning woman and karate expert Lily Bard is a woman with a complicated past. Trying her best to cope with her terrifying memories and horrible nightmares, she decides to join a weekly group therapy session in her hometown of Shakespeare, Arkansas. At first, Lily can hardly believe the number of her fellow Shakespeareans that share her life experiences.
As it turns out, the group members' feelings aren't the only things that need sorting out -- they assemble for a session and find a woman dead, killed in bone-chilling fashion and deliberately left on display to send a twisted message. Who would commit such horrendous crime, and who is the intended recipient of the message?
Before long, Lily becomes embroiled in this disturbing murder and its aftermath, one in which the brutal killer's motives are entirely unclear. The truth is, the situation has dredged up more than a few of her own terrible secrets, and she may not be able to rest until she can untangle the who and why of this terrible crime. But can she accomplish this before the killer strikes again, and before her nightmares send her over the edge?
I read this book to match the “Amateur Sleuth” square of my 2017 Halloween Bingo Card.
Another small town mystery and quite a contrast to “A Murder is Announced.” I enjoy Charlaine Harris’ mysteries, but she cannot hold a candle to Dame Agatha!
However, Harris does use the small town environment quite effectively. Where else but a small town would the cleaning lady, Lily Bard, be friends with the chief of police and his wife the doctor? And true to the nature of a small town, Lily knows most of the people in her counseling group and her counselor is a near neighbour.
Without all of these believable details, Lily couldn’t end up in the middle of a crime as often as she does! And, as with Agatha Christie’s small towns, people are people wherever you go and will surprise you with their reasons, logical or otherwise, for the things that they do.
This seems to be the last of the Lily Bard mysteries, so I will bid her farewell now. It seems a shame that she finally is getting her life together when her author has lost interest in her!