Dead as a Doornail

By Charlaine Harris

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Ace Books, c2005, 2006

Genres: Mystery, fantasy, dark fantasy, contemporary fantasy, paranormal, romance, paranormal romance, vampire

Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse); 5

ISBN: 9780441013333

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 295 (310 including an excerpt from the next book – Definitely Dead)

Setting: Bon Temps, Louisiana

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Someone has been shooting at shape shifters in the Bon Temps vicinity and Sookie is determined to discover who it is, especially before anyone can gun down the only living family member she has left.  Sookie also needs to prove that her brother is not the shooter, since many in the shifter community think that he is the most likely suspect.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Lots of action and dialog make this a very fast paced book and a quick read.

Characterization: The story is told in first person through Sookie.  Some new characters are introduced and many familiar characters from previous books reappear in this story.

Frame: The story begins with Sookie worrying for her brother; this worry quickly expands to include others as people she cares for are shot.  Like previous stories, the dark elements are tempered by Sookie’s attitude.

Story line: Lots of unexpected twists and turns appear in this story which complicate Sookie’s investigation and life.

Subject headings:

From PCPL:

Brothers and sisters — Fiction.

Metamorphosis — Fiction.

Stackhouse, Sookie (Fictitious character) — Fiction.

Mystery fiction.

Occult fiction.

Similar authors: Charlie Huston, Laurell K. Hamilton, Marjorie Lui, Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Jeaniene Frost, Sherrilyn Kenyon, MaryJanice Davidson, Katie MacAlister

Personal notes: I am still loving this series and wondering where the story will go from here.  I’ve seen the cover of the next book, so I’m sure Quinn will reappear.  I found it fascinating that Lily Bard (from The Lily Bard Mysteries by Harris) showed up in this book.  I wonder how often Harris mixes her characters and series.  I wasn’t happy with the outcome of the werewolf competition, but I’m sure that is just adding fuel to the series fire.

Other (diversity, themes, websites): Diversity – telepath, vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, fairies

Since the series has grown quite long and complex, the author recommends reading the series in order.

Charlaine Harris’ website.

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