Real Disappointment

Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries) by Charlaine Harris

Grade: C+

I became interested in reading Real Murders because I was looking for some harmless videos to watch, and there is a Hallmark series based on the book. The author is better known for her Sookie Stackhouse books, actually, which means she has at least two TV series to her name. I figured her books ought to be worth a try.

The main character of Real Murders is Aurora “Roe” Teagarden. She lives in a small town in Georgia. She works as a librarian and belongs to a group called Real Murders, a club in which they discuss the details of old murders.

One evening Roe goes to her Real Murders meeting and finds a real dead body. The body is that of another club member, and the scene has been deliberately arranged to imitate a famous murder. Everyone at the meeting is a suspect and, as they soon discover, a potential victim. They’re not merely dealing with a killer, but with a serial killer.

I struggled to grade this book. The writing is okay, so you can read all the way to the final scene without thinking too hard about anything. But when you get to the big final scene, which is graphically violent and upsetting, then you start to wonder about the details.

Aurora is a librarian with an interest in old murders, but neither her vocation nor her avocation adds much to the story. She doesn’t do a lot of research or sleuthing. Mostly she just goes about her everyday life while the people around her drop like flies. Her friends come off as distant and/or shallow. She’s also dating two guys (without telling either about the other), which wasn’t so bad at first, but it was decidedly off-putting by the end. She seems only vaguely concerned with her own safety, even after an attempt is made on her life, and she continues with plans to have a house guest. Doesn’t it occur to her that her guest could be in danger?

This book stayed with me for a while, but not in a good way. The more I thought about it, the less I liked it. I do not recommend it.

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