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on 7 June 2006
Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series just keeps getting better and better. Many series cool to lukewarm after several installments, however this sixth volume is the best yet (and I thought #5, Dead as a Doornail, couldn't be topped - I was wrong).

Telepath Sookie Stackhouse pulls herself away from new love interest Quinn (a were-tiger), and travels to New Orleans to sort through her murdered cousin Hadley's estate. Hadley, a fairly new vampire, had been quite the bohemian goth-eccentric as well as lover to the Louisiana Vampire Queen Sophie-Anne. And now she is definitely dead - the non-negotiable finale to a vampire existence.

Ominous events shadow Sookie from even before she leaves her home of Bon Temps. Murder, missed messages, and mayhem presage the even greater dangers Sookie encounters in The Big Easy. Hadley's landlady, the witch Amelia, joins with Sookie to solve the mystery of the body they find in Hadley's closet. Forces conspire to stop Sookie from delving into Hadley's past, and her relationship with the Queen. Perhaps the most vicious blow is not physical, but emotional, as Sookie discovers the real reason her first love, Bill, came to Bon Temps.

Mystery, intrigue, and passion grow as events escalate into a war between the Lousiana vampires, loyal to the Queen, and the Arkansas vampires, loyal to the Queen's new consort Peter. Quinn, Eric, Bill, and others well known to loyal readers rally to save Sookie and uncover who is behind the plot to kill her. New characters, such as the Saxons Sigebert and Wybert, delight. Harris' storytelling skills are at a new high, as she weaves seemingly disparate plot lines into a tight, cohesive, and totally satisfying ending (although I didn't want it to conclude). I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Aside: Charlaine's tender explanation and tribute to the people of New Orleans, in a prologue, is a loving gesture, and doubtless much appreciated. Perhaps the publishers would consider channeling a small portion of the profits to a Katrina relief fund?
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on 2 May 2007
Another excellent installment of the ongoing supernatural adventures of Sookie Stackhouse, mainly set in 'Vampire Central' New Orleans. Each book in the series has been slightly longer and had more depth than the previous one and this adds more still. Although a little confusing to start with, as it refers to events relating to Sookie's cousin Hedley's death which are not depicted in a previous novel, its soon back on familiar ground with intrigue, murder and Sookie's increasingly tangled love-life (like other reviewers I have been somewhat disappointed by Sookie's carousel of suitors - and am a die-hard Eric fan myself. That said, this book focuses very much on plot and the twists and turns of vampire politics and is as entertaining and original as all the others in this truly great series.
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on 1 May 2006
Still a very good series, this is book 6 and I still love the main characters. Would have liked to have seen more of Eric in the book after he found out about his relationship with Sookie, but Quinn is great as the new love interest for Sookie. Still ingenious plot lines and a shock revelation about Bill in this one! Buy it you won't regret it, a really great read, I literally couln't put it down once I started.
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on 15 May 2006
As all the Sookie Stackhouse novels this book brings you back to small town America and the weird underworld that is rarely seen.

In this novel we follow Sookie as she has recently discovered her cousin, who had become a Vampire, is now 'definitely dead'. Sookie must go to New Orleans where she has to go through her cousins apartment, whilst dealing with a new boyfriend, and ex-boyfriend and an ex-lover who are all vying for her attention.

At last we discover the answers to some annoying questions like Who is Bill? and the Pelt saga finely comes to a close (I hope). This is a truly enjoyable read and picks up the pace where the last book left off.
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on 28 April 2006
All I can say is this book blew me away. There are so many twists and turns in it. Together with some new characters(still got many of the familiar faces though) make it an excellent read. If your a fan of the sookie stackhouse series this book will not let you down. This book is a must have!
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Sookie Stackhouse is a small town cocktail waitress in Louisiana. Her telepathic abilities make her too scary for humans to feel comfortable around, much less date. However, the supernatural beings "sups" do not feel threatened by her at all. In fact, they seem drawn to her. Humans now know that vampires walk among them. That does not mean humans accept vampires though, many do not. And humans still do not know about all the other types of sups that exist.

Sookie takes time off from work and returns to New Orleans for various reasons. The more important one is so Sookie can go through Hadley's possessions. It is a task that Sookie has put off since her vampire cousin died - again. Yet someone is going out of their way to keep Sookie from doing it. It could be some rogue weres who reject Sookie as a friend of the pack, the vampire queen (Sophie-Anne) of Louisiana, the Pelt family (who still bugs Sookie about Debbie's disappearance), or even someone that Sookie still believes is a friend.

Whoever it is, they are out to stop Sookie from digging into Hadley's past. So once again, Sookie's life in peril.

**** To put it bluntly, you must read the previous novels before this one or you will be lost. Once the story gets rolling, it R-O-C-K-S! Until then, I was bombarded with characters as the author attempts to tell who is what creature, their history, etc. It got tedious to me at some points because many of these characters have nothing to do with this story. It's as if the author wants to give every character from the previous books a tiny cameo appearance. Telling about each character takes a lot longer than the actual "Hi Sookie. Bye Sookie." does. Once all that is out of the way, the plot takes off running and never slows down.

Rumors say this is the last book in the series. (That could explain all the cameos.) However, the author could decide to publish at least one more adventure. There is potential trouble at Merlotte's Bar, a vampire summit, and Sookie's soon to be new in-laws that could give lots of explosive material for the author to build on. I won't even go into how the local law enforcement would like to use her telepathic abilities or the sup-men in her love life. I can only hope that another novel in this series appears someday. I will certainly be keeping my eye out for one. ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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on 28 April 2007
For those who've followed Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series, "Definitely Dead" is another enjoyable novel about our slightly ditsy heroine whose life gets more and more complicated now that various supernatural creatures are coming out of the woodwork in the town of Bon Temps. The first couple of books featured Sookie's relationship with vampire Bill Compton but then that all fell apart and Sookie found herself spreading her wings a little within the supernatural community; yes, she's a human, but she's also a telepath and this means that she finds herself in some very unusual situations.

A lot of books in the vampire/werewolf genre are terribly predictable - you read the blurb on the back and you know pretty much the whole plot. The Sookie Stackhouse series, like Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series, aren't like this - I don't really have a clue what's going to happen next when reading these books and they're a fun ride. There are some darker moments in the stories and "Definitely Dead" has these where Sookie finds out something very distressing which preys on her mind a lot, but there are also a lot of lighthearted and amusing moments, particularly in Sookie's matter of fact thoughts about people and events.

The previous book to this one, "Dead As A Doornail", was the best of the bunch in my opinion although I was rather taken aback by Sookie's man-attracting powers; she actually has six - count 'em, six! - males after her. Interestingly, in this book we actually find out why that is and the field reduces a little as well. I found that rather more satisfying and realistic; yes, Sookie's a nice young lady but I couldn't quite see the appeal in the last book, especially as murder and disaster seem to follow her around and would surely be offputting to most chaps. This book worked that out a little better.

However there was a little bit of a disappointment in this story for me. I've been a big fan of Bill Compton throughout the series and I was pretty disappointed when he had his fling in an earlier book; well, he gets a very bad press in this book although with a glimmering of opportunity for redemption. I wish she'd see sense and realise that he's the solid, dependable and safe (ish!) kind of person, as well as her first love, but she seems intent on ploughing a different furrow and I find myself, as a reader, a bit annoyed with Sookie sometimes. In these more recent books Sookie has a different beau in each instalment and that can be a little awkward - still it adds for variety.

We meet most of the familiar characters in this book - Bill, Eric, Quinn the Weretiger, the Vampire Queen, Claudine the fairy and more. Some characters take more of a back seat than in other episodes (Jason, Alcide, Sam) and some threads of the plot are just lightly continued so I imagine we'll read more about them in future books. It's worth reading this series in the right order as the backstory in each episode isn't complete; having recently read the first in the series, "Dead Until Dark", I did find the events with Bill in this book a little bit unlikely - probably the case of the author having a better idea a long way through the series and 'adjusting' the events in the earlier books to fit her plans.

For those who've loved the previous books in the series this will be equally enjoyable. Murder, mayhem, shapeshifting, bartending, romance, vampires, plotting - it's all there again. I'm not sure how many more books the series will sustain before Sookie starts seeming like a nymphomaniac madwoman but she's not quite there yet - read and enjoy!
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on 11 July 2010
Up until this point, the Sookie Stackhouse books have always been full of action, excitement, romance and mystery. However, this book, the sixth in the series is much slower and takes a lot longer to get going. In fact, the action didn't really start until past the halfway mark which is disappointing considering the quality of the previous books.

There is some slow moving, and in some cases random plot points at the beginning of the book. One involving Jason and his girlfriend and another involving Sookie helping the Bon Temps police locate a missing child. Neither of these plots do anything to enhance the story, and feel an awful lot like padding, almost as if the author didn't have enough of the main story to flesh out the entire book. And it really spoiled my enjoyment of the book.

When the main plot does get going, while it's good, it isn't up to the usual standards. One of the main reasons for this is because there is a short story which is set before this book and after the last Dead As A Doornail which can be found in Charlaine Harris anthology of Sookie short stories A Touch of Dead (Sookie Stackhouse Vampire Myst) which sets up this book, and it becomes confusing at times if like me you haven't read the short story first. It would have made a much stronger story if the original short story was included in some way here to help the plot along because a lot of the time events were talked about which hadn't happened in previous books, but instead featured in the short story. I didn't like this aspect, and I hope it doesn't happen again in future books.

The main storyline involving the queen never really goes anywhere, and the secondary storyline involving Sookie getting attacked by Wares seems a bit forced once the reveal comes. Both left me slightly disappointed, and I can't help but think that with a bit more care and planning, this book could have been so much better in terms of actual story. The writing as usual is fine, not brilliant but we don't expect it to be. Sookie is a bit snooty in this one, and I've never found myself annoyed with her before until now. She seems very judgemental at times, and other times she's just down right rude. Although it was established that Sookie is on her period throughout this book, so perhaps that is why she seems out of sorts?

So while a compulsory read for fans of the series because it contains a big revelation about one of the characters as well as some explanation about why Sookie is so irresistible to whoever she comes into contact with, Definitely Dead is by far the weakest in a very good series. The story is padded to hell in the first half, and when it does finally get going it doesn't really develop. Hopefully, the next book will turn things around.
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VINE VOICEon 17 June 2007
In the sixth Southern Vampire novel to star Sookie Stackhouse the telepathic waitress of Bon Temps, La., is off to (pre-hurricane) New Orleans to close out her dead cousin Hadley's apartment.

Hadley's death six weeks earlier had been unexpected, since, as a vampire, she was already dead. Still, she'd led a lively existence as the main squeeze of the Queen of Louisiana, an omnisexual vampire, whose political marriage to the King of Arkansas occurred the night before Hadley's demise.

Sookie and Amelia Broadway, Hadley's landlady and a pretty cool witch, immediately discover a mess of trouble left behind in Hadley's closet, and Sookie's soon neck-deep in even more.

This series just gets better and better! I read the last 2 books back to back so it was like having a big bumper Sookie instalment. Sookie has matured so much since the beginning of this series, well I guess she would have!

Once again we don't see as much of Bill & Eric as I would have liked but, they are still there though in small quantities, what we do see though is Sookie's new squeeze, Quinn. He is a Were-Tiger and brings an interesting slant to proceedings, whilst not as likeable as Bill & Eric he is a good and interesting character but, doesn't quite have the edge as the other two.

Another brilliant and addictive book!
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on 18 October 2015
Following the escapades, highs and lows of Sookie Stackhouse is quite addictive, her life involving the various other-wordly creatures, vampires, werewolves etc, fairies and elves. A lot goes off in Bon Temps, Louisiana!
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