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From Barnes & NobleThe 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