(Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie JUL 15, 2005)
Sookie Stackhouse, the attractive, telepathic barmaid from Bon Temps, Louisiana, makes her third and most delightful appearance so far in Club Dead. This novel marks a turning point in the relationship between Sookie and her heretofore adoring boyfriend Bill, Civil War veteran and vampire. He's got a cheatin' heart, along with other unfaithful body parts. This is unfortunate because Sookie thought she had found the man of her dreams, at long last. Not only is/was Bill intelligent, kind, considerate, tall, dark and handsome, (if somewhat pallid), but most importantly, Sookie is not able to read his mind. Folks in her backwater northern Louisiana town always treated her as if she had a disability. They made her feel ashamed of her "gift." The major disadvantages to her telepathy had always been her inability to keep the voices at bay, even though she has learned to shield herself somewhat. She had been unable to have a relationship until Bill came into her life. How can you fall in love when you know everything your boyfriend is thinking?
Bill had been ignoring Sookie for some time, seemingly unable to focus on anything but a computer project he was totally immersed in. He told her he was working on a secret assignment for the Queen, (vampire), of Louisiana and would be traveling to Seattle at her request. Sookie knew he was lying to her about something, if not many things. Shortly after Bill left, Eric, owner of Club Fangtasia and vampire boss of Area 5, which encompasses Shreveport and Bon Temps, sends Bubba, (the late, great King of Rock and Roll, thought to be dead for decades by fans worldwide, but really a vampire), to guard her. Since being turned into the undead, Bubba's voice is still golden, but his mind is dim. On Bubba's watch, Sookie is attacked by a biker werewolf at the bar where she works. Then Eric pays her a personal visit to inform her Bill has met with foul play - he has gone missing. Since the secret project concerns the Louisiana vampire community, it is imperative to find him before he can be tortured into giving away information. The charismatic Eric, who has always had the hots for Sookie, happily tells her that Bill has plans to leave and move-in with a former girlfriend, the vicious vampire Lorena - if he is still alive. He also gives her another assignment, which she is obligated to accept.
Alcide Herveaux, a really nice guy who happens to turn into a wolf when the moon is full, will accompany her to Jackson, where she is to investigate Bill's disappearance. The only clue she has is that Mississippi Vampire King Russell Edgington's Club Dead might be a good place to begin her sleuthing.
Club Dead has a fast paced plot, filled with humor, suspense, vampire lore and politics, new characters and excitement - not to mention Sookie's depression at being betrayed by Bill. I must say, that for a dumpee, she certainly gets plenty of male attention, although the men aren't human. Author Charlaine Harris also gives more depth to Sookie, Bill and Eric. I really like Alcide as a character and hope to see more of him in future novels. I also enjoy Sookie's downhome attitude. She is proud but not pretentious, feminine but no shrinking violet. She has got great instincts and her sense of humor is downright wicked! This is light, escapist reading at its best.
- Amazon readers rating: from 253 reviews
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Bibliography: (with links to Amazon.com)
The Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Series:
- Dead Until Dark (2001)
- Living Dead in Dallas (2002)
- Club Dead (2003)
- Dead to the World (2004)
- Dead as a Doornail (2005)
- Definitely Dead (2006)
- All Together Dead (2007)
- From Dead to Worse (2008)
- Dead and Gone (2009)
- Dead in the Family (2010)
- Dead Reckoning (2011)
- Deadlocked (2012)
- Dead Ever After (May 2013)
The Harper Connelly Series:
The Lily Bard "Shakespeare" Series:
- Shakespeare's Landlord (1996)
- Shakespeare's Champion (1997)
- Shakespeare's Christmas (1998)
- Shakespeare's Trollop (2000)
- Shakespeare's Counselor (2001)
The Aurora Teagarden Series:
- Real Murders (1990)
- A Bone to Pick (1992)
- Three Bedrooms, One Corspe (1994)
- The Julius House (1995)
- Dead Over Heels (1996)
- A Fool and His Honey (1999)
- Last Scene Alive (2002)
- Poppy Done to Death (2003)
- A Fool and His Honey (2012)
- Bite: Stories (2004)
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- Official web site for Charlaine Harris
- Cresent Blues interview with Charlaine Harris
- SF Site interview with Charlaine Harris
- MostlyFiction.com review of From Dead to Worse
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About the Author:
Charlaine Harris was born in 1951 in Tunica, Mississippi and raised in the Mississippi Delta. She has been writing all her life. She received a B.A. from Southwestern at Memphis in 1973, and she worked at newspapers in Clarkesdale and Greenville, Mississippi, before her first novel, Sweet and Deadly, was published in 1980.
In addition to her work as a writer, Harris is married and the mother of three teenagers. A former weight lifter and karate student, she is an avid reader and cinemaphile. Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League. She is a member of the board of Sisters in Crime, and alternates with Joan Hess as president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance.