Dead Over Heels is the fifth novel in the Aurora Teagarden series by American author, Charlaine Harris. Two years after her marriage to Martin Bartell, Roe has gone back to part-time library work. When strange things start happening, Roe is convinced that they are aimed at her bodyguard, Angel Youngblood. First, the body of Detective Sergeant Jack Burns, not one of Roe's favourite people, is thrown from a plane into her backyard; a mystery admirer sends a vase of flowers; Roe's cat appears with a ribbon around her neck; she keeps getting phone hangups. As people close to her are mugged and stabbed, and stolen property appears to implicate Angel, Roe jumps to a few wrong conclusions before finally figuring it all out. In Roe Teagarden, Harris has created a very likeable heroine, and her other characters soon become favourites too. The dialogue is realistic and the plot has a few twists to keep the reader interested, and a great climax. I look forward to A Fool And His Honey.
A Fool And His Honey is the sixth novel in the Aurora Teagarden series by American author, Charlaine Harris. The unexpected arrival in Lawrenceton of Martin's niece, Regina, with a very young baby no-one even knew she had, sets in motion a series of events that have tragic consequences. The murder of Regina's husband, Craig, and the disappearance of Regina herself leaves Roe holding the baby. Much as she may have wanted her own child, with her inexperience in this field, Roe finds her resourcefulness running low with the challenge and responsibility of suddenly looking after this tiny life. Travelling back to Martin's home town with the baby and encountering his ex-wife again end up being the least of Roe's worries. Harris weaves an intriguing puzzle that keeps the reader guessing. It is refreshing to find an author who is not afraid to age her characters and have them face real-life problems which don't always resolve neatly and happily. Roe is portrayed realistically and her inner monologue is very enjoyable: I especially liked her summarising her situation in a Country Song Title. As this instalment ends on a low note, I am glad there are two more to come and look forward to Last Scene Alive.
Last Scene Alive is the seventh novel in the Aurora Teagarden series by American author, Charlaine Harris. Almost a year after Martin's death, Roe is going through the motions of life when Hollywood comes to town to shoot scenes for a two-part TV movie of Whimsical Death, Robin Crusoe's novel about a serial killer in Lawrenceton (see Real Murders, the first Aurora Teagarden mystery). Roe has mixed feelings about Robin's arrival, and is not at all happy about the movie, even though it is bound to benefit the town. Soon enough, she finds herself on the movie set, and much to her horror, present when the body of the murdered starlet who is playing Roe herself is discovered by her stepson, Barrett Bartell, also starring in the movie. Detective Arthur Smith, still holding a candle for Roe, gives her plenty of unwelcome advice. This installment has Roe receiving nasty mail, being attacked, buying and selling a house, rediscovering sex, getting stabbed, trying to accurately judge the reactions of actors and unmasking a terrorist. There is stalking, drugging, suffocation, assault with an Emmy, a mystery father and a disguise. As always, Harris's plot is original and her main character is highly likeable. Harris also introduces some of the characters for the next and final instalment, Poppy Done To Death. Another excellent read.
Poppy Done To Death is the eighth and final novel in the Aurora Teagarden series by American author, Charlaine Harris. When Roe's step-sister-in-law, Poppy Queensland is murdered, owing to her dysfunctional adolescence and promiscuous life, the list of suspects quickly grows, and includes a few surprises. And of course, death brings Roe's ex, Detective Arthur Smith, who is behaving quite strangely, onto the scene. Of course there is a Thanksgiving dinner with Corinne Crusoe, her boyfriend's mother, to prepare for, and to complicate matters further, Roe's half-brother, Phillip turns up unexpectedly. In this instalment, Roe searches for love nests, discovers a body, harbours a teenager, searches for a missing cat and ends up at the bottom of a swimming pool. Adultery, incest, paternity tests and Women's clubs all feature, and there is a big surprise at the end. Astute readers will pick the vital clue in the first chapters, but the journey to the denouement is fun, nonetheless. Harris is clever enough to know to stop this series, as with her Lily Bard series, before the characters become jaded and the reader loses interest. A very enjoyable read.