Great story? Check.
Deep characters? Check.
Engaging and suspenseful? Douple check.
Author? Charlaine Harris
It wasn't a vampire that made me enjoy one of her novels so much. In fact, I only ever realized that she's the one responsible for one of the best known vampire book series out there, after finishing Shakespeare's Champion which was part of the bookish loot I bought on Ebay last year. I loved the book so much that I simply had to check out other books by her.
Imagine my surprise when it was only then that I found out that she's the creative brain behind the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Had I heard about those before? Yes. Had I heard about the True Blood TV series before? Yes, again. But I never read any of the books or watched one of the episodes, because *gasp* I'm really not that into vampires. There. I said it.
Apart from my obvious susprise I was also delighted to find the Lily Bard Omnibus, featuring all five novels set in the town of Shakespeare. The tome already sits on top of one of many TBR stacks in my apartment, and I guess it's safe to say it won't get the chance to collect much dust as I intend to read it pretty soon.
Charlaine actually started out with writing mysteries. The Aurora Teagarden books came first, later the Lily Bard books. And then, finally, she created the Southern Vampire series aka Sookie Stackhouse novels which, and that surprised me yet again, are also mysteries. Obviously there is a difference between books that feature vampires and these are obviously not of the innocent-girl-meets-pale-but-glittering-boy-in-her-new-school kind ... if you catch my drift. So far I'm not sure whether I will ever sink my teeth into a Sookie Stackhouse novel, but I already put the Aurora Teagarden books on my wishlist. I mean, come on, a librarian solving crimes is pretty cool.
All in all I'm pretty sure I'm one of those rare creatures who took awfully long to discover this great author. But better later then never, right?