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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
A Touch of Dead (Sookie Stackhouse 11)
Format: Paperback|Change
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VINE VOICEon 12 November 2009
If you're new to the wonderful world of Sookie Stackhouse then please don't buy this book...yet. Like many other readers I was expecting the next novel but as you have read by now this is a collection of short stories that occur at different times in the storyline so if you have just started reading the books or aren't too far along then by reading this you'll learn stuff you shouldn't know yet which could spoil your enjoyment of the unfolding story. Otherwise this was like ice cream, delicious but gone too soon which is why it gets four stars and not five.
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on 10 May 2017
Ok I liked the book lots of things went on as they normally do can not wait for the next book
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on 28 February 2017
Various short stories that fill gaps between the series. Read the whole series of Sookie Stackhouse. Fantastic good flow to the books and hard to put down. Recommend this book and the whole series.
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on 22 May 2017
great condition
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on 2 August 2017
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on 12 October 2010
I have been a firm fan of the Sookie Stackhouse novels for a number of years, since I picked up the first one up when I was mooching around the book store for something to read. On the whole I have really enjoyed them, but to be honest this instalment left me a little cold (and not in a good way). While this is a series of short stories that fill in a lot of the gaps that there are between the major books it just did not seem to flow for me. Yes it was nice to have the full picture but I felt that there was not really enough content to connect with what was happening in each tale.

If you are a fan of these novels then I am sure you will enjoy this, if for no other reason than it will round out your collection, but if you are more of a fiar weather fan then you can miss this one out and I don't think you will miss this one.
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on 28 October 2009
I'll be honest, I've only started reading the Stookie Stackhouse books since True Blood started on the telly but I've been pretty hooked pretty quick so I was looking forward to instalment 10. The short story format is interesting as it gives us discreet (episodal?) glimpses into Sookie's life. Plus there is a slight departure from the first person in the last story "Gift Wrapped" which was also new.

For me though, I was hoping for more development rather than explanation and ellaboration on established situations. Plus, like many readers I suspect, I would have like to see more Eric who only featured in one story.

That said, I don't regret buying "A Touch of Dead". There aren't many writers who can sound out a voice so clearly (accent and all) in your head as you read so it hit all the buttons on that score (If you enjoy that very defined first person style I recommend Hellfire by Mia Gallagher, totally different genre but an amazing book) and I also enjoyed the typical Sookie blend of strength and vulnerability that Charlaine Harris delivers so well.

Also, and maybe you'll think I'm really weird for mentioning this, the book itself - hardback, thick pages, very easy-on-the-eye type face was incredibly comfortable to read.

In short, as a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series I enjoyed this book but would only recommend it on that basis. Newbies to the series should leave it alone until they've read the rest otherwise I imagine they will wonder what all the fuss is about.
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on 3 October 2010
This book is a collection of five short stories about Sookie that take place at various points in the time line of the True Blood novels.

I really wish I could have my memory wiped clean and restart the series allowing me to read these in order with the others, as I feel this would have helped my enjoyment of this book more. The stories contained in this book have already been released and are contained in other compilation books which feature other short stories by different authors. These books are as follows:

"Powers of Detection" which features "Fairy Dust";
"Many Bloody Returns" which features "Dracula Night";
"Bite" featuring "One Word Answer";
"Unusual Suspects" featuring "Lucky"; and
"Wolfsbane and Mistletoe" featuring "Gift Wrap".

If you are lucky enough to still be at the start of your True Blood journey then the specific order to read these short stories in conjunction with the main books, according to the author, are:

Book 1: Dead Until Dawn
Book 2: Living Dead in Dallas
Book 3: Club Dead
Book 4: Dead to the World
"Fairy Dust" should be read here followed by "Dracula Night"
Book 5: Dead as a Doornail
"One Word Answer" should be read here
Book 6: Definitely Dead
Book 7: All Together Dead
"Lucky" to be read here
Book 8: From Dead to Worse
"Gift Wrap" to be read here
Book 9: Dead and Gone
Book 10: Dead in the Family

I apologise if this seems a bit obvious....

I don't however feel my enjoyment was totally ruined by reading these after finishing all the current books that have been published. The stories themselves offer insights and fill in some of the gaps in Sookie's history. Charlaine herself offers an apology at the start of the book that sometimes the continuity may not always be true but I can't say I noticed. I particularly enjoyed Gift Wrap but the others didn't really seem to have much about them. Even the story that features Eric was a little bit of a let down but hey, it's Eric so it's not all bad. All in all they are most definitely worth a read even if truthfully they don't really add that much.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 March 2010
Like most urban fantasy authors, Charlaine Harris puts out a lot of short stories when she isn't writing full-length novels. And thankfully, Harris has produced "A Touch of Dead" -- a short story collection that brings together (almost) all of her Sookie Stackhouse short stories, with their mellow Southern charm and slightly chilling urban fantasy flavor.

But be warned: this is not a new book, it's a short story collection. It's got five stories and rather enlarged print.

In "Fairy Dust," Sookie is already in a bad mood when fairy Claudine arrives at Merlotte's, seeking her psychic brand of help -- she and her brother Claude want to find the murderer of their sister from a local strip club. They have three suspects tied up at their house, and they want Sookie to do her mind-reading thing to discern who murdered Claudia.

"One Word Answer" has Sookie receiving an unexpected legacy when her wild cousin Hadley meets with an "Unfortunate Incident" ("My cousin Hadley, the cheerleader, had become a vampire lesbian
voodooienne. Who knew?"). But she suspects that she isn't getting the whole story from a slick lawyer and weird vampire. And "Dracula Night" comes up when Sookie is invited to celebrate the birthday of Dracula -- and like Linus, Eric is sure that Dracula himself will appear. Of course, nothing goes that smoothly.

Then Sookie gets "Lucky" when Greg Aubert reveals that he thinks his insurance agency is being sabotaged, and Sookie soon discovers a supernatural "in" using one of his family members. But the answer might be something a bit more bizarre... and it might have to do with his flourishing business. And Christmas in Bon Temps inevitably leads to "Gift Wrap" -- a lonely Sookie goes for a walk, and stumbles across a strange, naked young man, who gives her a Christmas to remember... and not just in the way you think.

The stories in "A Touch of Dead" have all been published elsewhere, just never before in one big Charlaine-Harris-exclusive volume. These stories are relatively lightweight compared to the full-length Sookie Stackhouse novels, but they are really entertaining and well-written -- and though each story has Harris' pleasant, down-to-earth Southern charm, they also have a good range of emotion -- from bittersweet to creepy, hilarious to mysterious.

And Harris infuses the prose of each story with gentle humor, from vampiric holidays to Sookie having to read the minds of an average suburban family. Her prose has plenty of lovably tongue-in-cheek moments ("I wouldn't have thought northern Louisiana was very hospitable toward beings of the fairy persuasion, anyway"), and Sookie has plenty of fun little moments with witty humor ("I hate it when fairies come into the bar. They don't tip you worth a toot").

Sookie herself is the same as always -- a sensible, matter-of-fact woman with a wee ruthless streak, and a tendency to find herself in the middle of the supernatural action. Sometimes it comes to her, and sometimes she goes to it. And assorted other favorites appear in the story: the cool and calm Vampire Bill, an unusually fanboyish Eric, the fairy Claudine (plus her hot stripper brother), the adorable Bubba, and the ever-awesome Pam.

"A Touch of Death" is a little buffet of previously published Sookie Stackhouse stories, but it's nice to have all these little nuggets of light urban fantasy fun in one volume. At the very least, it might tide you over until the next novel.
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on 21 August 2010
This collects the short stories Harris has written for various anthologies and so is a bit of a filler. The stories vary in tone and interest and are interspersed throughout the time-line of the series.

Fairy Dust and Lucky have Sookie playing detective first amongst the fairies, and then in Bon Temps with Amelia as side-kick. One Word Answer tells the story of Sookie's cousin Hadley's death which, if you've already read the series to date, you'll know all about. Dracula Night offers some much-needed Eric, and Gift Wrap takes place after Dead and Gone so shouldn't be read before that unless you're not bothered by spoilers.

So are these worth reading? Harris doesn't seem to have found her feet as a short story writer and these feel like fragments rather than shaped narratives in their own right. They're worth reading for dedicated Sookie fans but don't really add much, and aren't a good place for new readers to start as they don't give a flavour of Harris' true skills.
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