I've been seeing a lot on blogs lately about perfect "beach books" that are fun, quick and easy reads just right for summer vacation.
But here in Australia, it's winter. What I'm looking for are perfect "winter reads" - you know the thing - something just right to curl up in bed with when the weather outside is dreary.
I must admit, there's not much curling up in bed going on here. My kids are home on school holidays at the moment, and one of them has the flu. To top it off, my car is being repaired after a minor accident, so I'm trapped in my house with children that are either sick, or bored, or both!
But on to the good news! Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris, second in the 'Southern Vampires' or 'Sookie Stackhouse' series, is a perfect winter read.
Sookie is a pretty waitress in a bar with the gift (curse?) of being able to read other people's thoughts and emotions. She also has a vampire boyfriend, a shapeshifter boss, and a job to do: she is the official 'telepathic detective' to the local vampire leader, responsible for helping to solve any vampire-related mysteries using her gift.
In Living Dead in Dallas, Sookie is 'lent out' (charming, I know, but that's vampires for you) to another nest of vampires living in Dallas, to help them solve the mystery of the disappearance of one of their members. And so begins the rollercoaster ride...
Living Dead in Dallas has a (human) murder mystery, an anti-vampire cult, a secret society of shapeshifters, a wild sex party and more! (What's not to love?) And though this series is sometimes billed as 'horror', Charlaine Harris writes with a tongue-in-cheek style that has the reader laughing rather than screaming.
In some ways, this series so far reminds me a little of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. Lovable, quirky characters, and a mystery that's wrapped up by the end of each book.
If I have a complaint about Living Dead in Dallas, it's this: Charlaine Harris gives us just a taste of new characters, or developments in the overall plot, without expanding on them. It seems obvious to me that she's just introducing them with the plan of expanding in future books of the series. I would have enjoyed a little more depth to the novel, which could have been achieved by exploring one of the new developments in more detail. (Perhaps more about Barry? - I liked him!)
Overall, I enjoyed Living Dead in Dallas very much, and I can't wait for a copy of Club Dead to be ready for me at my local library.
Happy reading everyone, I'm going to check out some of the other reviews for this book at Beth Fish Reads now!