Skip to main content

The Harper Connelly Mysteries

IT'S a common practice to look up other books of an author who's written your favourite series of books. That's how I found the Harper Connelly Mysteries (HCM) by Charlaine Harris. After completing all of Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books, I moved on to Harper Connelly. Actually, I had already bought all four books under the HCM while I was on the 6th Stackhouse book! When you look at my book shelf, you'll see morbid titles reading from death to dead and, graves. On the shelf below, you'll see more titles by Anne Rice and Stephenie Meyer, and other such books. I have a thing  for paranormal mysteries, provided the characters have tangible sides I can relate to, and the books are easy to read, without being too dark.

Reading the HCM has been a pleasure. There are four titles - Grave Sight, Grave Surprise, An Ice Cold Grave and Grave Secret. I skipped prime-time TV every evening to indulge in the books because the mystery aspects are engaging like a real time puzzle. The paranormal element is minimal but it's still there. The mysteries have to be read from the first book, otherwise it's a little confusing to piece together some background details and information linking one book to the next.

The stories are about 24-year-old Harper, the main character and the narrator, who finds corpses. The strange gift is a result of a lightening bolt that strikes her at the age of 15. Ever since, she hears a buzzing sound whenever she is around a corpse. An old body buzzes dimly, while a fresh one has a strong frequency. She can also see how a person has died, but she can't see the murderer or the person causing a death, in case of a murder. With Tolliver Lang, her step-brother, whom she has acquired through her mother's marriage to Tolliver's father, she travels places for a fee, for people who need her special gift to determine causes of death. They make a living off the dead ; if Harper is reading this statement, she'd be real pissed at me for putting it this way.

When I read the first book, and then the second, I was really disturbed by the unconventional relationship between Harper and Tolliver. It may even seem a little incestuous. I think that's also one reason why I read on as I was curious about the strange relationship. They are step-siblings (no blood relation), but the tension between them when one is seeking casual sex, is overloaded with jealousy and passion. And it bothered me to bits, reminding me of the tumultuos relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine of Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte). In Grave Sight, it's really annoying when Harper gets frustrated when Tolliver is off with a waitress, and it's doubly annoying when Tolliver fumes over Harper when she sees the police dude. You see, Tolliver can get very accusatory, and for that, I could step on his bare foot over and over again with my boot-clad foot. Then again, Harper is also dependent on Tolliver. Oh wait. That's an under-statement. She is totally and utterly dependent on him for everything. In books I and II, he helps to remove her jeans whenever she gets tired (which she does after each job), and in Book III, he even helps to unbuckle her bra (she has a cracked ulna then, but still...) An intense character, who is constantly in a brooding mind frame, Harper bucks up in Grave Secret, thanks to some events.

But not all is dark and gray with Harper. She's smart, sharp and intuitive. She has normal hobbies like reading and running, which she shares with Tolliver. They buy books from second-hand book shops to carry with them wherever they go. After reading, they leave behind the box containing books for others to pick up. I really like the idea and I am thinking that if I were to leave a box of books here, I am certain that someone will pick it up. However, the books might end up at a recycling centre, traded in for a few Ringgit. People here should read more. I mean everyone here should make it a habit for us to move from the current developing nation status to a developed nation. Apparently, reading and book publications in a country is one of the markers of a developed nation and beyond.

Anyway, the (sexual and emotional) tension between Harper and Tolliver climaxes in An Ice Cold Grave. I find it rather relieving, but then again I feel for Manfred Bernardo, a genuine psychic, who is the grandson of old psychic Xylda Bernado. Manfred, who plays a major role in the resolution of the storylines in Books III and IV, also shows a romantic interest in Harper. If there was a real life person out there like the enigmatic Manfred, I'd be wanting to know him already! Tolliver being the pragmatic one, sees Manfred as a real threat to his secret interest over Harper, so that's one reason for the sudden, speedy hook-up between him and Harper, breaking the brother-sister facade. 

I don't know if there's going to be a Book V. Grave Secret, which is a thrilling read after the first 70 pages or so, ends abruptly with an unexpected, but, really exciting turn of events, involving characters from the couple's past. Harper and Tolliver share a complicated, hard life, which includes living in a trailer park, having wasted parents and a missing sibling, Cameron. The last book gives a closure to all unanswered questions from the previous books. So Book IV does sound like the end. 

 I'm sure Harris could work out more stories if she wants to. I wouldn't mind it at all.

Comments

  1. Sounds like some good mysteries, haven't read or even watched a good one in awhile.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The books sound good - I don't like the covers though

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't like the covers too, nursemyra. I only read it cuz of the familiar author n then I liked it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. great review! ill make sure to keep this on top of my head next time i'm in a bookstore

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love your enthusiasm about these books. There is nothing like finding an author you love and devouring everything they have written.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Healing With Essential Oils

OILS and I go a long way. My mom used a lot of oil on me, growing up. As a teenager, baby oil was my go-to daily face moisturiser. I didn't know then what I know now about synthetic oils but it worked for me. In my early 20s, I fell in love with pure essential oils. I was introduced to the world of Culpeper during work. Then, I was gifted a 50ml bottle of jojoba base oil with two precious bottles of 10ml rose and geranium essentials oils courtesy of Culpeper. I was set for life and I've never looked back ever since. 

Over the years, I have depended on and dwelled solely in beauty oils. Recently, I've started learning about healing through essential oils. It's been a huge eye-opener for me. Essential oils are just not skin deep, they're simply so much more than that. The potent substances extracted through steam distillation from various shrubs, flowers, roots, skin and seeds could have incredible healing powers when used with sensitivity, respect and knowledge. It i…

My Karma Kamet

CONSIDERING my big love for essential oils, I know meeting Karma Kamet (KK) was destiny. My first encounter with this Thai label of aromatherapy product is like a brief introduction to a friend's friend who'd later turn out to be someone you wake up next to quite regularly. I walked into a KK kiosk at a mall in Petaling Jaya about two years ago. Well, the products then were impressive - high grade essential oils, but the collection seemed pretty scarce with stupid price tags on them. So I didn't bother following up until a few days ago when I bumped into KK at its homeland, in its full range and glory! 
The KK oils are super awesome with a capital W. Like Wow. So spending time at the KK store in the Central World mall in Bangkok was a bliss. Not only are the products much cheaper there, the place is a total retreat too. On one side is the store where there are all kinds of products ranging from scented candles, perfume oil mist, pure essential oils, soaps, oil sprays, herba…

A Painful Lesson

BEING back in the pool has been great ! Found my rhythm again and I'm swimming like a dolphin although my friend Aida says I swim like a shark. I told her I won't bite as long as she doesn't throw herself like a whale onto my swimming lane. You know how annoying it is when inconsiderate, non-swimming creatures suddenly decide to 'float' in your swimming way knowing that you've been doing laps for the last 30 minutes ? If they are not blind, then they have to be socially spastic. Socially spastic like the man who doesn't swim at the Kelana Jaya pool. This man, with belly like a pot, wonders in the middle section of the 50m pool, and does nothing but floats or water-threads just when a swimmer is reaching that section of the pool. Two weeks ago, I was a victim of this water-buffalo. When I was just a meter away from him, he appeared on my lane, looking at me with that too-bad-its-my-pool-too look that I had to stop and swim around him. No apologies at all. Ho…