Grave Sight (Harper Connelly Series #1)

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Overview

Lightning-struck sleuth Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver are experts at getting in, getting paid, and then getting out of town fast—because the people who hire Harper have a funny habit of not really wanting to know what she has to tell them. At first, the little Ozarks town of Sarne seems like no exception. A teenage girl has gone missing, and Harper knows almost immediately that this girl is dead. But the secrets of her death—and the secrets of the town—are deep enough that even Harper’s special ...

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Grave Sight (Harper Connelly Series #1)

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Overview

Lightning-struck sleuth Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver are experts at getting in, getting paid, and then getting out of town fast—because the people who hire Harper have a funny habit of not really wanting to know what she has to tell them. At first, the little Ozarks town of Sarne seems like no exception. A teenage girl has gone missing, and Harper knows almost immediately that this girl is dead. But the secrets of her death—and the secrets of the town—are deep enough that even Harper’s special ability can’t uncover them. With hostility welling up all around them, she and Tolliver would like nothing better than to be on their way. But then another woman is murdered. And the killer’s not finished yet…

Includes bonus material and a teaser for Cemetery Girl, an original graphic novel by Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden—with art by Don Kramer.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
The first book in Charlaine Harris's mystery series introduces readers to Harper Connelly, a strange young woman who -- after being struck by lightning as a child -- is able to locate dead people and determine exactly how they died.

Accompanied by her stepbrother, Tolliver (who works as her manager), Harper heads to small-town Arkansas for their next job. Her client is a socialite named Sybil Teague, who wants Harper to find a teenage girl who disappeared on the day her son was found shot dead in the woods. The girl, Monteen "Teenie" Hopkins, has a reputation for being "wild as a razorback," and scandalous rumors abound about the two. But once Harper locates Teenie's corpse a short distance from the spot where Sybil's son died and reveals that she was shot in the back while trying to escape, the real trouble starts. As more town residents begin to turn up dead -- and with her brother in jail on bogus charges -- Harper must find the real killer before she becomes his next victim.

Fans of Harris's Southern Vampire saga (Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, et al.) featuring Sookie Stackhouse -- the telepathic waitress from southern Louisiana with a thing for the undead -- will thoroughly enjoy Grave Sight, a terrific read filled with paranormal intrigue, hot romance, and some really clever mysteries. Anyone who enjoyed reading about Sookie's adventures will embrace Harper Connelly, who is created from the same feisty mold. Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
Ever since Harper Connelly survived a zap from a lightning bolt, she's been able to find dead people, a skill that makes the protagonist in the first installment of Harris's new series a tad more bizarre than the mind-reading heroine of the author's Sookie Stackhouse books (Dead as a Doornail, etc.). Harper travels to the Ozark town of Sarne, Ark., to find a missing teenage girl's body, accompanied by her stepbrother, Tolliver, who acts as her manager and bodyguard and with whom she shares a thinly disguised physical attraction that they manage to keep at bay by engaging in casual sex with various partners. Finding the body takes no time at all, but leaving town afterward isn't so easy. When Harper's life is threatened and Tolliver ends up in jail on trumped-up charges, it quickly becomes apparent that something sinister is going on in Sarne. Harris delivers a knuckle-gnawing tale populated with well-developed, albeit edgy characters. A nifty puzzle toward the end will challenge the most jaded mystery buffs. Agent, Joshua Bilmes at Jabberwocky. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The creator of telepathic Sookie Stackhouse (Dead as a Doornail, May 2005) and other paranormals sets her latest heroine the unenviable task of finding undiscovered corpses. Arkansas socialite Sybil Teague and her lawyer, Paul Edwards, hire Harper Connolly because of her unique talent for finding dead bodies-a skill Harper's had ever since she was struck by lightning at age 15. But once she locates Teenie Hopkins, who vanished with Sybil's son Dell, and confirms that both teenagers were murdered, her employers join the rest of two-bit Sarne, Ark., in regarding her gift with revulsion-and Harper wants nothing more than to get into her stepbrother Tolliver Lang's Subaru and drive far, far away. Even a budding romance with deputy Hollis Boxleitner, who uses Harper's powers to learn that the drowning of his wife Sally, Teenie's sister, was no accident, can't convince her to stick around. But after the beating death of Helen Hopkins, Sally and Teenie's recovering-alcoholic mom, Sarne Sheriff Harvey Branscom forces the siblings to stay put, despite minor harassment by Vernon McCluskey, owner of the motel where they're stuck for the duration, and more serious persecution from highschooler Scot Briscoe, who's irked by the crush Dell's sister Mary Nell develops on Tolliver. Branscom's so busy busting Tolliver for a broken taillight that solving the case themselves might be the beleaguered pair's only ticket out of town. Despite her nifty gimmick, Harris's whodunit is unlikely to raise the dead.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425212899
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/26/2006
  • Series: Harper Connelly Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 189,750
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlaine Harris is a New York Times bestselling author for both her Sookie Stackhouse fantasy/mystery series and her Harper Connelly Prime Crime mystery series. She has lived in the South her entire life.

William Harms has been a professional writer and editor for nearly fifteen years. His comic book work has been published by Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, and Top Cow, among others.

Denis Medri is primarily a comic artist, but also works as an illustrator, concept designer, and caricaturist/portraitist. He has worked with various publishers in Italy, France, and the USA.

Paolo Francescutto is a founding partner of Gotem Studios, based in Friuli Veneziz Julia, in Italy. He has been a colorist, illustrator and comic book artist for the last five years.

Bill Tortolini is an accomplished art director and graphic designer who began lettering comics more than a decade ago and has worked with many of the comic industry’s top creators and publishers.

Biography

A native of the Mississippi Delta, Charlaine Harris grew up in a family of avid readers (her father was a teacher; her mother a librarian). She attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, graduating in 1973 with a degree in English and Communication Arts. Although she penned poetry and plays in school, her first serious foray into fiction was with two standalone novels, Sweet and Deadly and A Secret Rage, published (effortlessly!) in the early 1980s.

After her early success, Harris released the first installment in a series of lighthearted mysteries starring spunky, small-town Georgia librarian, true crime enthusiast, and amateur sleuth Aurora Teagarden. When Aurora debuted in Real Murders (1990), Publishers Weekly welcomed "a heroine as capable and potentially complex as P. D. James's Cordelia Gray." The book went on to receive an Agatha Award nomination.

Anxious for another challenge, Harris began a second series in 1996. Darker and edgier than the Teagarden novels, these mysteries featured taciturn, 30-something housecleaner Lily Bard, a woman with a complicated past who has moved to the small town of Shakespeare, Arkansas, to find peace and solitude. The first novel, Shakespeare's Landlord, was well-received. BookList raved: "Harris has created an intriguing new character in this solidly plotted story." [Much to the disappointment of her fans, Harris concluded the Lilly Bard sequence in 2001 with Shakespeare's Counselor.]

Although Harris achieved moderate success with these two series (which she laughingly describes as "cozies with teeth"), she would hit the jackpot in 2001 with Dead Until Dark, a sly, spoofy paranormal mystery starring a telepathic Louisiana cocktail waitress named Sookie Stackhouse, who falls in love with a vampire named Bill. The novel, a delightful hybrid of mystery, science fiction, and romance, was an instant hit with critics. ("Harris' Sookie has the potential to attract more readers than Hamilton's Anita Blake," raved the dark fantasy magazine Cemetery Dance.) Readers, too, adored the Southern Vampire Series and have rewarded the author with bestseller after bestseller. (In 2008, the Sookie saga came to HBO in a top-rated television adaptation, True Blood, starring Anna Paquin.)

With 2006's Grave Sight, Harris added yet another fascinating character to her stable -- a young woman named Harper Connelly whose youthful encounter with a lightning bolt has left her with the ability to find corpses and determine how they died. In addition to juggling characters and plots for her popular series, Harris has also contributed short stories and novellas to several anthologies of paranormal fantasy fiction.

Good To Know

In our interview, Harris confesses:

"I'm really a boring person. My family (my husband and three children) is the most important thing in my life. I go to bed early, I get up early. I love to go to the movies with my husband. My favorite things about finally making some money as a writer are (a) I can buy as many books as I want, and (b) I can hire a maid. The first job I had was working in an offset darkroom at a very small newspaper. I stood on a concrete floor all day and made minimum wage -- which then was $1.60 an hour. I hated it, and I learned a lot, though not necessarily about working in a darkroom. So being a writer is much better."

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    1. Hometown:
      Southern Arkansas
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 25, 1951
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tunica, Mississippi
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English and Communication Arts, Rhodes, 1973
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 681 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(264)

4 Star

(236)

3 Star

(129)

2 Star

(34)

1 Star

(18)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 686 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I took a chance....well worth it!

    I didnt think i could really get into a non-vampire series. i have read alot of books, and all being vampire related in a way. but i just missed the way mrs. Harris writes. so i purchased this book thinking i would be taking a chance. well i instantly got into it. i really enjoyed reading it. not only because its a Harris book, but because its NOT vamp related. so if your a fan of Sookie Stackhouse, then Harper is another gal that would keep you interested in her journey....its a great read, cant wait to get the next books.
    Also im going to purchase her other series.....once im done with these. She (Charlaine Harris) is the best writer out there. plain and simple. so i want to read everything she has wrote. she gives her readers such a plot to get into, while the characters become your friends, and enemy's. I hope this review is encourging enough to pick the book up and enjoy Harris' Escapism.....

    21 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Love this series

    This book was a wonderful surprise. I really like the Sookie Stackhouse series so I figured I would read some of C. Harris' other books. This book was really good. It got my attention and never let go. It's pretty fast paced and like her other books, the characters seem real and are very likable. I have to say, the second book is better than the first, and the third is better than the second. This so far is a great series. It has the right amount of action, drama, suspense, mystery, and romance. I can't wait for the fourth book to come out.(I think in Nov.)

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2011

    just push through it

    Okay, I borrowed these four books from a friend and since I'm on bed rest - I've got to read a ton of books to keep sane! So... I read this first one and thought - meh. It's predictable, redundant, and a bit annoying. But hey, what else was I going to do? The second one got on my nerves - i figured it out very quickly - but I endured and towards the end it got interesting. The 3rd and 4th of the series are very good and worth reading the first two to get to them. So, those of you that put this down, give them another shot.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    utterly fantastic

    After being struck by lightening, Harper Connelly can locate dead people and know if they died of natural causes, committed suicide, or were murdered. Relatives of missing people hire Harper to find their missing loved ones. Harper knows how they died because she senses the last minutes of the individual¿s life. Right now she and her step-brother Tolliver are in the Ozark town of Sarne, hired to find Teenie, a missing teenage girl. --- Harper finds the burial place and knows that the girl was murdered. She also discovers that Teenie¿s boyfriend didn¿t kill her and in remorse committed suicide but was murdered as well. Hollis, one of the police officers working the homicides, is interested in Harper who tells him that his wife Sally, the sister of Teenie was murdered and not an accident victim. Someone wants Harper and Tollivar gone and that person will not hesitate to use violence if it results in getting rid of them permanently. --- Considering that the heroine can find a dead body and learn how they died, she is amazingly normal and treats her skill like any of her other five senses. She even make a living out of it, not to exploit people but to give closure and sometimes even helping her client figure out who killed them if it was a homicide. Fast pacing, excellent character development and a strong storyline make GRAVE SIGHT an excellent reading experience. This fabulous opening gambit affirms that every series Charlaine Harris creates is utterly fantastic. --- Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2010

    Grave Sight Review

    This summer I read a book called Grave Sight by
    Charlene Harris. It is about a lady named Harper and her stepbrother
    Tolliver. They make money by using Harper's special talents that she received by getting struck by lightning. Harper is allowed to see how people died by touching them, or just being in their presence. Although she can see what killed them, she is not capable of seeing who killed them.

    While working on a case with her brother, Harper finds out how two teenage children, Dell and Teenie die. Everyone is accusing Dell of killing Teenie, and then killing himself, but only Harper knows what really happened. Harper knows that they both got murdered, but she doesn't know who did the crime. As she and her stepbrother investigate another murder happens and Harper thinks that all the murders are linked together.

    Towards the end of the book, Harper's powers get stronger. She can see parts of the body but not the face of the murderers.

    For a reader that likes scary stories and mysteries I would recommend this book. Grave Sight has surprising twists, and a lot of suspence.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2010

    Different and Fun

    It's an offbeat plotline. Girl survives lightning strike and gains talent for communicating with the dead.
    She and her step-brother have survived an incredibly dysfunctional upbringing. They make their living traveling around, using her "gift" to solve mysteries for those willing and able to pay her fees. It's an interesting premise.
    I found the characters likeable. One reviewer described their sibling relationship/attraction as "creepy" and it certainly would be except for the fact that they are not related by blood.
    I enjoyed this fun read. You might too.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting

    It was an interesting twist of Paranormal! Love the ending! Check it out!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not Bad... But Not Great Either...

    Harper Connelly can sense the dead. Since being struck by lightning as a child she has been able to sense the presence of death. Now, as an adult, she is using her gift to its best advantage. She has turned it into a career. Not the career she would have chosen for herself, especially since their death scenes play out in her mind once she makes a connection to the spirit.
    But when she goes to a small Ozark town to investigate the deaths of two teens she finds herself on the wrong side of the law. After finding the body of the second missing teen she is invited to her mothers home to talk about what she saw and the orgins of her gift, but shortly after they leave the mother ends up dead. Her head being beaten in with a candlestick. Forced to stick around in the backwards town of Sarne Harper decideds to do a little investigating. This only leads to more confusion and makes the townspeople even angrier that some strange outsiders have come poking around their "quaint" little town. So much so that they arrest her brother on bogus charges just to get under her skin.
    With a new discovery in every chapter this book does keep you guessing.

    I enjoyed this book but it won't be making it's way into my top ten anytime soon. This series is not nearly as good as her Shakespeare series or her Sookie Stackhouse series. I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars. But I do believe I will pick up the second book just to see where it goes.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2010

    Not worth the cost

    I loved the Sookie Stackhouse series but Grave Site is a poor imitation of those books. The plot moved very slowly. None of the characters are particularly interesting or compelling. The resolution of the "mystery" was obvious from a third of the way through the book. All in all, I had to force myself to read to the end. Won't be buying anymore Harper Connelly stories.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    Predictable

    Well, this is the one and only book of this series I plan to read. Love the Sookie books but this was way too predictable and I found all the characters boring. To add insult to injury when I got to the last page on my nook the very last sentence was not there. At least the book did download totally on my Mac so I could say I finished the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2013

    Grave Sight is the first book in the Harper Connelly series by A

    Grave Sight is the first book in the Harper Connelly series by American author, Charlaine Harris. After being struck by lightning at fifteen, Harper Connolly is endowed with a special talent: she can find dead people and tell how they died. Life hasn’t been particularly kind to Harper, so she charges to use this talent, needing to make a living somehow, even if most people find this distasteful. With her step-brother and support system, Tolliver Lang, she comes to Sarne, a small town in the Ozarks, to find a missing local teenager, which she does with efficiency and respect. But it seems that someone in this small, somewhat incestuous community is unhappy about what Harper has revealed. Soon enough, Tolliver is in jail on a trumped-up charge and Harper fears for her own safety. In this foray into the paranormal, Harris has created a likeable if damaged heroine, an appealing sidekick and a cast of typical small-town characters. The dialogue is snappy and the plot has plenty of twists that, whilst entirely credible, will keep the reader guessing to the end.  In this instalment, Harper is threatened, shot at, made love to and attacked. This is an excellent mystery and readers who enjoy this novel will look forward to the second book in the series, Grave Surprise. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    Loved it!!

    Charlaine harris writes a good mystery!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

    Happy i read it

    Didnt know what to expect, but i love her sookie books so i figured why not? Very glad i read it. I zipped through the first 3 books. Now on to #4. Only reason i gave it 4 rather than 5 stars is because it starts off a little slow. But i enjoyed the characters. I like the idea of the heroine being a normal person who had a fluke thing of lightening change her life. But she rolls with it. A great and believable paranormal read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2010

    Horrible

    Horrible

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2010

    not what I thought it would be

    I loved her other books found these hard to read, had to force myself to read them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    Predictable

    Horrifyingly bad.

    The suspect was so painfully obvious, I guessed it the page he/she was introduced...I kept reading hoping I was wrong, hoping there would be some sort of plot twist...there wasn't. If you're a fan of the Sookie series and want to branch out, you will be severely disappointed with the lack of character development (and lack of any sort of redeeming quality in a character)...I'd say a big old PASS on this series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2009

    If you love Harris's Stackhouse series you'll love these too!

    After reading all the Sookie Stackhouse novels I thought I would give this series a try and they truly did not disappoint! They are fun, entertaining and thrilling. I can't wait until the 4th in the series comes out in October 2009. Try them, they really are enjoyable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2006

    What a Waste of a Gift Card!

    A really good concept for a new series that may be successful in someone elses hands! After browsing the first few pages, I was certain Ms. Harris was going to provide an exciting, first-rate page turner to curl up with. Imagine my disappointment when Grave Sight turned out to be a dreadful, weak storyline with flat, one dimensional, unlikable characters. The next time I find myself perusing the bookshelves at Barnes & Noble, I will definitely skip past Harris, Charlaine. To think I wasted a $25 gift card - I guess hindsight is definitely better then Grave Sight!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    OK, love Charlaine Harris, but Harper was a tough character for

    OK, love Charlaine Harris, but Harper was a tough character for me to love.  She annoyed me in the first book, Grave Sight, with her fears of being alone all the time.  But I plowed on and ultimately came to like her better in the  2nd, 3rd, and 4th books.  So I would rate this particular book a 3 and the others a bit higher.  It's a worthwhile series if you don't expect her to be spunky and fiesty like Sookie.  Just don't give up on the first book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    Fantastic

    Keeps you entertained and intrigued. Huge fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series. I will definitely keep on with this series!

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 686 Customer Reviews

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