Wednesday, October 19, 2016

All the Little Liars + Real Murders - Review

Rating:  Very Good
Description:  Aurora Teagarden is basking in the news of her pregnancy when disaster strikes her small Georgia town: four kids vanish from the school soccer field in an afternoon. Aurora’s 15-year-old brother Phillip is one of them. Also gone are two of his friends, and an 11-year-old girl who was just hoping to get a ride home from soccer practice. And then there’s an even worse discovery—at the kids’ last known destination, a dead body.
While the local police and sheriff’s department comb the county for the missing kids and interview everyone even remotely involved, Aurora and her new husband, true crime writer Robin Crusoe, begin their own investigation. Could the death and kidnappings have anything to do with a group of bullies at the middle school? Is Phillip’s disappearance related to Aurora’s father’s gambling debts? Or is Phillip himself, new to town and an unknown quantity, responsible for taking the other children? But regardless of the reason, as the days go by, the most important questions remain. Are the kids still alive? Who could be concealing them? Where could they be?

With Christmas approaching, Aurora is determined to find her brother…if he’s still alive.

After more than a decade, #1 New York Times bestseller Charlaine Harris finally returns to her fan-favorite Aurora Teagarden series with All the Little Liars, a fabulously fun new mystery.

My Thoughts:  I can't even begin to describe how excited I was when I discovered that a new Aurora Teagarden mystery was coming out!  Way before I had even heard of Sookie Stackhouse I discovered Harris' Harper Connolly series which had me wanting to try all her other books.  Aurora's story was definitely my favorite!   And I'm thrilled to say that this book takes up just about where the last one left off.  The characters felt just the same and not like strangers with familiar names slapped on them. 

  The mystery kept me turning pages and I was holding my breath waiting to find out just what had happened.  Harris drops enough clues to keep me guessing and feeling like the story is progressing but I really didn't have a clear idea of what was happening until the end.  There is a bullying aspect that is absolutely heartbreaking and while it isn't easy to read I liked that Harris didn't just fix it with a wave of her magic author wand.  This is a quick read and thoroughly enjoyable!

Before I dove into All the Little Liars I wanted to reread the earlier Aurora Teagarden books.  While I didn't have time to reread the whole series, I did get the very first one read.  Real Murders is the very first murder that envelops quiet librarian, Aurora Teagarden.  The concept is an intriguing one that involves a club that focuses on discussions of historic crimes.  When members start being killed in scenarios that mimic those historic crimes they know something has gone horribly wrong.  

While this book was published in 1990 it really didn't feel dated.  There's an occasional mention of payphones and answering machines but the actual book felt completely modern.  The main issue is that I don't think a club that discusses old murders would raise any eyebrows now though it seemed to at the time.    Rating: Very Good

While there are a lot of cozy elements in this book I'd hesitate to call this series a cozy.  There are several scenes that go into graphic territory either discussing the brutality of a crime or an emotionally brutal attack on a very vulnerable character.  These non-cozy moments are pretty short and easily skippable but just keep that in mind when reading this series.

If you're new to the series you can jump right in with All the Liars and I don't think you'd have to much trouble figuring out who is who.  Or you could just read Real Murders because all the important characters in All the Little Liars are introduced there.  One thing I really love about this series is that the characters really seemed to grow in a natural fashion which really made me feel that these characters, especially Roe, are real people.  

If you want to get a taste of the series before diving into the book Hallmark Mysteries and Movie channel has a series of movies (I think they're on #4) which is somewhat based on the books.  They're a bit lighter and not entirely accurate but are lots of fun.


  1. All The Little Liars is such a great title, and sounds like a nice read too. I like that she's a librarian and her husband is a true crime writer. And the fact that the characters seem to grow throughout the series is always nice too. I didn't realize this was the Sookie Stackhouse author.

  2. I was curious about this series since I haven't and don't have a desire to read the Sookie series. My daughter used to be obsessed with it and collected all the books, so I do know of it and the following tv show, but this earlier series intrigues me. I think I will read the first one in the series and see how it goes for me, so thanks!

  3. You've convinced me, Katherine, to give Charlaine Harris another try. I had read the first of the the Sookie series and wasn't impressed. But I'll try her other works to be fair.

  4. I read some of these Aurora Teagarden books a few years back and really enjoyed them. I never read them all, but I think I read about 4-5 and had a blast. Glad you're enjoying rereading and reading them now.

  5. I am not a mystery reader in a big sense but I must say you have explained so well what hooks you that I am tempted. All the Little Liars title suggests that the school children have something to do with it - the bullying side of it perhaps?

  6. I never heard of this series until finding it on the Hallmark Channel one night and loved it! Usually, once I watch the movie, I don't read the book, but the series is very enjoyable. Hugs...

  7. Waaaaaa?! I loved Sookie Stackhouse but didn't know Harris had another series. This sounds great, I'm on this, it's going on my Goodreads list. I'm glad you highlighted this series.

  8. I have been watching the series on Hallmark, and only recently realized that there were books! I definitely want to read least some of them! Maybe I can start with All the Little Liars. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  9. I have Real Murders on my shelf to read. I am so glad you enjoyed the latest edition in the series. This sounds like a great series and I do enjoy Charlaine Harris's books.