Sweet and Deadly

( 85 )

Overview

Now best known for her New York Times-bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels, Charlaine Harris garnered an unusual degree of acclaim with her first novel -- the story of a murder that embroils a small-town reporter in a mystery that hits close to home.

Catherine Linton came home to Lowfield, Mississippi convinced that the untimely deaths of her parents in a car accident was no accident -- but nobody believed her. So she stayed, taking a job at the local paper, to try to both ...

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Overview

Now best known for her New York Times-bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels, Charlaine Harris garnered an unusual degree of acclaim with her first novel -- the story of a murder that embroils a small-town reporter in a mystery that hits close to home.

Catherine Linton came home to Lowfield, Mississippi convinced that the untimely deaths of her parents in a car accident was no accident -- but nobody believed her. So she stayed, taking a job at the local paper, to try to both convince the sheriff that she was right-and maybe convince herself she was wrong. After all, her father had been the town doctor, loved (she always thought) by all. To think he was killed was to think that one of her friends or neighbors has harbored some deep resentment toward him. Then she finds the dead body of the women who had been her father's nurse for many years. Obviously murdered. Now Catherine knows that she was not wrong about her parent's death. Someone in Lowfield has a terrible secret, a secret worth killing for. Not once, not twice, but -- when another body is found -- three times. And the killer won't hesitate to add more victims to the list, as Catherine gets closer and closer to the truth.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Out of print for more than 20 years, the debut novel from prolific mystery author Charlaine Harris (the Aurora Teagarden saga, the Lily Bard stories, et al.) is finally available once again. But unlike her lighthearted and humor-filled Sookie Stackhouse series, Sweet and Deadly is an eerie and atmospheric gem about a young woman named Catherine Linton, who returns to her home in Lowfield, Mississippi, following her parents' tragic death and becomes entangled in the small town's dirty little secrets.

While out target shooting on her family's land, the still-grieving Catherine stumbles across the corpse of a brutally beaten woman hidden away in an old shack. The victim, it turns out, was a decidedly unlikable nurse who worked with Catherine's physician father. Catherine investigates further and soon uncovers the scandalous truth: The nurse was blackmailing someone in the town -- someone prominent and someone desperate enough to kill in order to keep a secret…

Longtime Harris fans will be more than pleasantly surprised by this dark and disturbing murder mystery set in a small town on the Mississippi Delta. Vividly re-creating the unique and sometimes negative aspects of southern culture (replete with underpinnings of racism, sexism, self-righteousness, etc.), Sweet and Deadly is archetypical southern gothic -- especially the novel's shocking conclusion. Highly recommended. Paul Goat Allen
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425214626
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/6/2007
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 480,052
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.84 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlaine Harris
Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta, Charlaine Harris is best known for her paranormal mysteries -- a sly, wry blend of humor, horror, that has been called "cozies with teeth."

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:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 85 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(26)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 85 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2007

    The ending...

    I was compleatly engrossed in this book until I got to the ending. The revelation of the murderer was shocking but the reason for the murders was disappointing. And there wasn't enough info regarding how the heroine came to her conclusion about the murderer.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 19, 2011

    Good book

    This was a very enjoyable book, It had a good story line snd a quick pace, I would recommend it to my friends .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    1950s Deep South mystery

    It has been six months since her parents died in a car crash and Catherine Linton has returned to Lowfield, Mississippi in the hopes that familiar surroundings will help her healing process along. She is angry because her parents were murdered when their car breaks were deliberately loosened and she wants vengeance for their deaths. She also knows in her heart that the culprit is someone from Lowfield responsible because her parents never locked their car or garage. --- One day while target shooting at the run down tenant house on her land, she sees the bloody body of a woman who is later identified as Leona Galles, who was her father¿s nurse more than three decades ago. The sheriff discovers evidence that she was a blackmailer but treats her homicide as a separate incident that isn¿t connected to the deaths of Catherine¿s parents. When a reporter dies while investigating the homicides, Catherine believes the same person killed all four people and in a dangerous moment sets out to prove it. --- Long before Charlene Harris wrote the Sookie Stackhouse tales, she wrote this mystery and it shows the talent that in future years will make her a superstar. Readers get a picture of living in a small town in the Deep South in the 1950s when everyone knows their neighbors and murder is an aberration. Even a quarter a century ago, Ms. Harris was a genius at creating characters who are easy to understand and of course the identity of the villain comes as quite a shock. This is a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining southern gothic mystery. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    Predictable but good read

    Predictable ending but a good and easy read. The author is very adept at bringing her characters to life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Great

    She always delivers a great story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2012

    Engrossing quick read

    I love all of Charlaine's books. This was a fantastic stand-alone. I wish it were longer, but it really didn't need to be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Surprising

    Not my favorite book but I definately had no idea who done it till the end and I was surprised.

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  • Posted December 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good Fast Read

    Good fast read in the time before Sookie Stackhouse

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  • Posted November 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    ONE OF HER FIRST BOOKS

    I thought it was a great book considering it was one of her first books and is written in third person. This book is over 20 years old and newspapers do everything electronically now-a-days. The book was also originally only 154 pages long. Catherine is not in first person like her others, but you still get a sense of who Catherine is. I found it to be a real page turner.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    Great Story

    This was a great story. You couldn't guess "who done it" until the end.

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  • Posted July 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not Her Best

    Unfortunately, I did not find this book from Charlaine Harris as enjoyable as I have her other book series's (Harper Connelly, Sookie Stackhouse, etc.). I thought that this particular book was slow, uninformative, and a little confusing. I have loved all of her other books, but this particular one surprised in how confusing and lacking of information to the reader. Take care with this book and do not expect too much from it.

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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not a bad read at all!

    I bought this book to entertain me while flying to and from Seattle from the Midwest... It certainly kept my mind on the story and not on the clouds outside the window! Tightly woven, well written, and an easy summer read, I can definitely recommend this one to anyone needing some mystery in their lives.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2011

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    Posted January 22, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2011

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