Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sweet and Deadly - Charlaine Harris

Sweet and Deadly
Charlaine Harris
Berkley Prime Crime


Six months ago, Catherine Linton quit her first post-college job and moved back to her tiny hometown of Lowfield, Mississippi when her parents died in a car accident. Since then, she’s been working at the local, weekly paper, and mostly just marking time. One morning, she goes shooting on a piece of her property near an abandoned tenant’s house. Inside the house, she sees the body of a woman. To her shock, the sheriff identifies the woman as Leona Gaites, the nurse in Catherine’s father’s medical practice until the day he died.

She’s quickly eliminated as a suspect, but after the initial shock passes, Catherine realizes that, for the past six months, she’s been waiting for something. And the thing she’s been waiting for is the killer of her parents to raise his head again. The crash that killed her parents was caused by tampering, but no one was ever identified. Now a second person close to her is dead, and Catherine is determined to find out the truth about the death of her parents.

This is a reprint of the author’s first novel, originally published in 1985. It’s very assured for a first novel, and fans of the Sookie Stackhouse or Shakespeare series will recognize common elements such as the small southern town setting. The author excels at setting the stage, expertly portraying the everyday rhythms of small town life; places where everyone has known everyone for generations. The pacing is good, and the final outcome is never obvious. SWEET AND DEADLY is a great choice, not just for fans of Charlaine Harris, but also for anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

Rating: 7 ½
March 2007 (reprint)
ISBN# 978-0-425-21462-6 (paperback)


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