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Charlaine Harris – Definitely Dead

November 9, 2009

131. Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris (2006)
Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 6

Length: 324 pages
Genre: Fantasy; Mystery; Romance

Started: 24 October 2009
Finished: 25 October 2009

Where did it come from? Amazon.
Why do I have it? I bought the box set.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 September 2009.

The Big Easy waits…
and so does a whole bunch of
trouble. Big surprise!

Summary: When telepathic small-town waitress Sookie Stackhouse has to go to New Orleans to deal with her (recently deceased) cousin Hadley’s belongings and affairs, she knows it’s not going to be a picnic. However, since Hadley was 1) a vampire, 2) a favorite consort of the vampire Queen of Louisiana, and 3) murdered for reasons that are unclear but probably have to do with the turbulent state of vampire politics in the South, Sookie winds up dropping herself right in the middle of a hornet’s nest of dangerous plots… and all of this on top of her own supernatural social life, which is not what anyone would call uncomplicated.

Review: Confused readers, take heart! You are not alone! The events of Definitely Dead take place *after* the events of the short story “One Word Answer”, which can be found in the anthology Bite, or in A Touch of Dead. I’ve been reading the Sookie Stackhouse books as a bit of fun when I’m tired, distracted, or otherwise having trouble concentrating. So, when this book assumed that I knew that Hadley was dead, and started bringing up events I didn’t remember and characters I’d never heard of, after checking several times to be sure it really was the next one in the series, I assumed that I was just being thick . Not so! It wasn’t particularly hard to follow the story even without the background information, but it would have been nice to know up-front that the reason it felt like I was missing something is because I actually was.

Other than that, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A few sub-plots (including one or two of the supernatural guys who orbit Sookie) are finally resolved, and the pacing and plotting are much smoother here than in the earlier novels in the series. The mystery aspect of the story is not hugely mysterious, but there is plenty of action, plenty of humor, and the obligatory healthy dose of romantic entanglements. Like Living Dead in Dallas, because Sookie spends most of the book out of town, I wound up missing the characters from Bon Temps – Jason and Sam, in particular – but there were some interesting new characters introduced to make up for it. All in all, it was a fast and thoroughly enjoyable light read, which is what I’ve come to expect from the series. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Fans who’ve gotten this far in the series will have just as much fun with Definitely Dead – but if you have a chance to read “One Word Answer” ahead of time, it’s not required, but it will make the beginning of this book go a whole lot more smoothly.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Desert Rose Booklogue, Love Vampires, Michelle’s Masterful Musings, Queen of Happy Endings, Racy Romance Reviews, Reading Adventures, Scooper Speaks
I’m sure there are more out there. Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: I was draped over the arm of one of the most beautiful men I’d ever seen, and he was staring into my eyes.

Cover Thoughts: Ah, if only Vampire Bill actually would grab Quinn by the tail… and then Quinn would turn around and maul his face off. (You may not be able to tell, but I like Vampire Bill even less after this book than I did previously.)

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2009 8:32 am

    I’ve only read the first book in the series and it was just okay for me. I plan to try at least one more before I give up on Sookie.

    • November 10, 2009 9:06 pm

      bermudaonion – If they don’t work for you, that’s a personal thing, but if it’s the writing or the plotting that’s getting to you, I think they get better in book 3.

  2. RavnVoice permalink
    November 9, 2009 10:32 am

    I didn’t find it confusing at all…I read through all the books in about 3 weeks time. The only thing I found confusing is at the end of one, Quinn and Bill go at it in Sookies yard, and then the beginning of the next book Sookie is covered in blood and with Eric, and no mention as to what happened to Quinn. The Sookie books are amazingly entertaining and easy to get through. WHile I’ve read almost all Anne Rice books as well, she always seemed to get into too much detail which added nothing to the plot and seemed like filler (Brooks Bros. Suits)…not so with Charlaine Harris. Each story is fresh and exciting and throughly captivating.

    • November 10, 2009 9:09 pm

      RavnVoice – Comparing Anne Rice to Charlaine Harris is like… gosh, I can’t even find an appropriate comparison. Apples and oranges don’t even cover it.

  3. November 9, 2009 11:04 am

    You know, I never thought I’d like these books, but now I’m starting to think I might enjoy them when I need a break.

    • November 10, 2009 9:11 pm

      Jen – They’re thoroughly silly, but they’re good fun for when you just want something chick-lit-y and light.

  4. November 9, 2009 9:48 pm

    Is that what I was missing? I seriously put down this book, went back to the previous book and skimmed it again (even though I had literally just finished it) to find out what I was missing. I never even thought to consider a short story!

    I know what you mean about Vampire Bill, although having read all but the most recently published book, I am utterly conflicted.

    If you are interested, here’s my review: http://www.michellesmastermusings.com/2009/07/review-definitely-dead-by-charlaine.html

    • November 10, 2009 9:12 pm

      Michelle – I’ve heard she tries to rehabilitate Bill a little bit in upcoming books, but MAN, he’s got a long way to go.

      P.S. I added your link to the post. Sorry I missed it the first time around!

  5. November 10, 2009 8:51 pm

    The first time I read the series I just devoured them all in quick succession. I remember being slightly confused about the Hadley stuff, but I assumed I had missed something in the last book and ploughed on regardless.

    Reading them through a second time – taking notes and much more notice of what was actually going on – when Sookie started talking about Cataliades and Sophie Anne like she already knew them I twigged that something was amiss.

    I got hold of One Word Answer and finally it all made sense. But this certainly would have left a lot of people scratching their heads – the first time I read these books I didn’t even KNOW that the short stories existed.

    • November 10, 2009 9:14 pm

      sookieverse – The only reason I knew about it is because I’ve got a friend who’s read the whole thing. I’ve got the short story collection on hold at the library – if I’d known that it contained critical plot information, I would have checked it out earlier.

      • Katie permalink
        November 13, 2009 6:27 pm

        Thanks for the info. I am reading all the books in the series, in what I thought was the correct order. I’m reading Definitetly Dead and I’m stumped by all the information I seem to be “missing.” What is the name of these “short stories” and where do they fit into the order? I have no clue who Waldo is, Mr. Cataliades, ect.

      • November 15, 2009 11:23 am

        Katie – The collection is called A Touch of Dead, and the stories fit in at various points within the series, although from what I understand, “One Word Answer” is the only one that contains critical information.

  6. November 12, 2009 9:04 pm

    I always though Quinn was interesting. Much more than Alcide at least. I’m still Team Eric all the way.

    I think it was this one where I finally completely gave up on Bill as even likable.

    • November 13, 2009 12:52 pm

      Ladytink – I am also Team Eric at heart, although by default I always bias towards Team Were-whatever Boyfriend over Team Vampire Boyfriend (hot, alive >> cold, dead), so I’m torn.

  7. November 14, 2009 6:41 am

    I really, really not wanted to read these books. I hated Twilight and I was cursing myself for spending so much money on them.

    But all these reviews have really worked on my mind. I have got all the books in the series and I am going to signh up for the Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge hosted by Beth Fish Reads…

    Better late than never, right :)

    • November 15, 2009 11:24 am

      Nish – I was avoiding this series too until my housemate Netflixed True Blood and I got thoroughly hooked. I hope you enjoy them!

  8. jules permalink
    November 21, 2009 3:37 am

    So good to read this. Was reading through and felt like I had missed a book somewhere. Kept going back through the list inside the front cover. Wish I had known to read the other two mentioned prior to this one! And sorry gals, may be light reading, maybe Stephen Moyer’s brilliant performance but I am a Bill girl. I think Charlaine is trying to damage him and wil pull him back. There is a bond underneath everything that ties Bill to Sookie. The others just seem to come and go. Sookie isn’t after a power crazed Eric. She is the girl next door, and just wants love. She is fab.
    What I love about the TV series is that the power of the characters are going towards Twin Peaks. The books seem like Vampire books for adults whereas the Twilight series maybe more hormonal youngsters – still good. But I love the deeper streams! Hey ho… can she write quicker and do me a Bill reunited book? ;)

  9. Erin permalink
    January 1, 2010 8:42 pm

    I’ve about halfway through “Definitely Dead,” and, frustrating that I must have missed something, I turned to google to see if anyone else felt the same way. I did the same things you did, like double-checking that this is the next book in the serious, and here I am doubting my memory, thinking I’ve come down with early-onset alzheimer’s. Thanks for the piece of mind, and clearing that up for me…I’m not crazy after all! Other than this confusion, I’ve really liked the Sookie Stackhouse series.

Trackbacks

  1. Reviews of Books 5 and 6 in the Sookie Stackhouse Series « Nishita's Rants and Raves

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