Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly Series #2)

Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly Series #2)

by Charlaine Harris

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Psychic sleuth Harper Connelly travels to Memphis and ends up involved in a case of murder times three in this mystery from #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris.

At the request of anthropology professor Clyde Nunley, Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver come to Memphis, Tennessee, to demonstrate her unique talent—in an old cemetery. Nunley is skeptical, even after Harper senses—and finds—two bodies in the grave beneath her feet. One of a man centuries-dead. The other, a young girl, recently deceased, whom Harper had once tried, and failed, to locate. But Harper’s new investigation into the crime yields yet another surprise: the next morning, a third body is found—in the very same grave...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425214701
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/25/2007
Series: Harper Connelly Series , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 96,207
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Charlaine Harris is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse and Midnight, Texas, fantasy/mystery series and the Aurora Teagarden, Harper Connelly, and Lily Bard mystery series. Her books have inspired HBO’s True Blood, NBC’s Midnight, Texas, and the Aurora Teagarden movies for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. She has lived in the South her entire life.


Southern Arkansas

Date of Birth:

November 25, 1951

Place of Birth:

Tunica, Mississippi


B.A. in English and Communication Arts, Rhodes, 1973

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Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly Series #2) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 476 reviews.
SunnieDLite More than 1 year ago
Only reading this series right now b/c I have nothing else to read. Love some of her other work and I just don't care for the characters or the action in this series. I like the concept and idea for the series, but that's about it. Sorry, just being honest.
TPau48 More than 1 year ago
This series had a strong beginning, with the first book. This book was just so-so, but the 3rd and 4th were good.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Grave Surprise is the second book in the Harper Connelly series by American author, Charlaine Harris. Harper has been invited by a sceptical anthropology professor at Bingham College in Memphis to demonstrate her talent for determining cause of death at an old cemetery. She does well until the last grave, where she finds two bodies, the most recent burial being Tabitha Morgenstern, an eleven-year-old whom Harper had tried unsuccessfully to find in Nashville almost two years ago. Harper and Tolliver realise immediately this cannot be a coincidence. Soon they are embroiled in an investigation that attracts media attention (of the wrong sort) and have to face the distraught family. Throw into the mix a nosy PI, a single-minded FBI agent, a psychic ex-prostitute and her pierced and tattooed grandson, disbelieving police and family members with their own agendas, followed by yet another corpse in the same grave, and you have a first-rate mystery with plenty of twists and turns, a couple of red herrings and plenty of suspects. The reader learns a little more of Harper’s own history, Harper makes a startling discovery about herself and the psychic makes some personal predictions for her that the reader will do well to remember for the next instalment, An Ice Cold Grave. 
Purpleorchid1011 More than 1 year ago
I really like this series so far. It keeps you wondering what the end result is. If you like crime books you should read these.
Kristin Fisher More than 1 year ago
I couldn't stay interested. not one of her best works.
Patricia Matthews More than 1 year ago
loved the first book in the series and was excited to read this one. it seemed very slow and just not very exciting.
care2010 More than 1 year ago
Plot: Harper Connelly is a young women with, after being struck by lightening, has a unique gift. She can locate corpses and tell how the individual died. After having a trouble childhood Harper and her step-brother Tolliver found a way to make a living off of her gift, and they travel around the country to do so. When Harper is hired for a job, her and Tolliver get in a little too deep and look like they could be murder suspects. Review: I enjoyed this book, which I listened to on CD while traveling. It was a good book that stayed in supernatural genre while giving me a break from the vampire scene for a while. It was a fun fast paced book. The only thing negative I can say about this book is the relationship developing between Harper and her step-brother is a little creepy.
cannellfan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I listened to the Book-on-CD version of this book, narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan. After enjoying the first book in the series, I was vaguely disappointed in this second volume. On the plus side, Harper's paranormal abilities have certainly developed some interesting new twists -- physical manifestations of ghosts, anyone? On the other hand, I'm made extremely uncomfortable by the evolving relationship between Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver. That, plus the mystery in this one wasn't very surprising at all.On the other hand, Bresnahan's narration was well done, with subtle variations for character voices, and a strong solid voice for Harper as the main narrative presence. Despite my slight disappointment in this volume, I look forward to listening to Ice Cold Grave very soon.
talksupe.blogspot on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Book 2, Harper is once again in the middle of a murder investigation, this time she's in my home state, Tennessee, and she finally found the body of Tabitha Morgenstern, the 11yo who went missing months back that she wasn't able to retrieve. Here that case finally had some closure but not without serious complications for her and Tolliver.Grave Surprise is where we also witness Harper and Tolliver try to build a relationship with their two younger sisters but it still has that sense of alienation and awkwardness.At this point, Sookie is still a more developed character than Harper. However this series is interesting in its own way and much of it is credited to CHarris' fantastic writing. And like most series, Book 1 is a little slow but it's starting to get some traction in book 2 which I hope will continue to do so as I move forward with the series.
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Harper Connelly Mystery series, which features the team of Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver Lang who travel around the country helping to locate missing persons.Twenty-four year old Harper was struck by lightning at age 15, and ever since, she can find dead people if the approximate location is known, and she can determine the cause of their deaths.In this book, Harper and Tolliver travel to Memphis, hired by a prickly college professor to go through an old graveyard and share information about the dead with the students. At the last grave, however, Harper gets a surprise, when she discovers that the old grave has a second body inside, a body she ¿recognizes.¿ Several years earlier, she had been hired to come to Nashville and try and locate the body 11-year-old Tabitha Morgenstern, a young girl apparently abducted. She had failed to do so, but now, in more than a remarkable coincidence, Tabitha is literally right under her feet.Harper and Tolliver connect with the Morgenstern family again, but Harper also experiences a more significant connection: she senses a ghost in the graveyard who communicates with her, and she doesn¿t know why. Furthermore, she finds out that the grandson of a psychic called in on the Morgenstern case may be able to read minds. And finally, she is beginning to understand that the only one in her life she can trust is her stepbrother; should she stop thinking of him as her ¿brother?¿ She muses:"I often thought, and sometimes said, that Tolliver would be better off if he hadn¿t undertaken the role of my backbone. But when I tried to imagine myself going on the road alone, I felt a huge hole in my middle that refused to fill with anything.¿Discussion: Charlaine Harris can¿t resist the tug of the supernatural! It wouldn¿t surprise me if in the next ¿episode¿ of this series, we meet up with werewolves and vampires!The characters in this series are darker than in the Sookie Stackhouse books; Harper uses language Sookie wouldn¿t dream of using, and although both young women have a ¿disability,¿ Harper¿s has bad physical repercussions, and she¿s often in pain and/or depressed.Nevertheless, Harris¿s sense of humor and endearing quality of self-deprecation lighten up the series. As an example, when Harper encounters the ghost, she and Tolliver have this conversation:Harper: `This is a thin place.¿¿Tolliver: `What¿s that?¿Harper: `A place where the other world is very close to this world, separated only by a thin membrane.¿Tolliver: `You¿ve been reading Stephen King again.¿¿Evaluation: The ¿mystery¿ portion of this book is rather insubstantial, but Harris's characterization is rich and marbled. I like the characters of Harper and Tolliver, I love Harris as a writer of tongue-in-cheek supernatural books, and because of those two factors, I wouldn¿t hesitate to continue with this series.
BeguileThySorrow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
straight up mystery series that gets better n' better with each book
teharhynn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun Fun Fun! I love Harper, though there's a little something creepy sometimes between her and her step-brother... But they're great and I can't wait to read the next! Harris, you better start writing faster!
leperdbunny on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Title: Grave SurpriseAuthor: Charlaine HarrisGenre: Mystery# of pages: 295Start date:End date:04/4Borrowed/bought: borrowedMy rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best]: B+Description of the book: Harper has a rare talent. In an accidental lightning strike when she was a teenager, Harper has the ability to sense dead people. With the help of Tolliver, her brother, Harper goes to solve another mystery. Harper is asked to do a demonstration for a college class. Everything seems normal until she finds Tabitha, a case she had worked many months before. Tabitha was a young girl snatched in midmorning her own front yard.Review: Harris has done it again with another fun series that is a playful mix of genres. I would recommend she strengthen the character development of the morgensterns and the aunt. The ending was a total surprise to me mostly because the explanation of Mr. Morgenstern's charismatic personality seemed . . .off? I always thought Harper and Tolliver had a strange relationship. . and yeah, Charlaine went there. Loving this series!!! Sad to see there are only four thus far.
rexrobotreviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Grave Surprise is the second installment of the Harper Connolly series by Charlaine Harris. I rated the first book a 3 stars- and this book WAS an improvement over the first which is why it got .5 points (or stars?) better in my opinion. Maybe I'm grading this series so hard because after reading Charlaine's Southern Vampire Series I expect a lot? Haha, nahhhh... My real complaint about this book is that it seemed a little redundant. I felt like the plot was super similar to that of the first book and there wasn't as much character development as I had hoped. Harper once again is struggling with her past and the fact that no one really accepts her for who (and what) she is. There isn't really anything cheery or upbeat about Harper (or the plot) in this book. Wow, I sound like Debbie Downer, don't I? That isn't the case- I just wanted to get the negative out of the way first! I don't want to leave you guys with a bad taste in your mouth afterall. Hehe. It was nice to see that Harper's reputation, career wise, is growing as well as her relationship with Tolliver is changing.So, what do we have in Grave Surprise? A whole lot of 'who did it.' I don't mind a good thriller/mystery, so I liked trying to guess the murderer. (I'm normally really bad at guessing, so it is fun for me!) Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver, are requested by a professor in Memphis to read a cemetery on campus. His point in having her read the graves was to prove her a fraud. (Only the professor himself and a few others that worked for the college knew the names and causes of death for those in the graves.) Boy, did Harper prove the professor wrong! And in front of his entire class of undergraduate students! Serves him right. Not only does she identify all the corpses- she identifies one that has secretly been buried there. Surprise! It is the body of a young girl that Harper tried to locate once before- unsuccessfully. Now that they finally found the body, who kidnapped, killed and hid the body of the young girl?The characters are well developed in this novel- I was just hoping that Harper would become a little less dependent on Tolliver. I have to say, their relationship does make me feel a little uncomfortable, but it is unique nonetheless. I haven't read anything that I can relate to this and I do like when books make me feel uncomfortable. Ah- and before I forget- there were some very intriguing secondary characters in this book. I enjoyed most of them while some irritated me. I like to be irritated by characters too, only makes it seem more real ;o) I can't wait to dig into book #4. (I already read book #3, just need to quit slacking and post a review!!)I think that anyone who enjoys a good mystery should dig into this book. (As well as anyone that loves our Miss Stackhouse!) This was a breezy summer read. I won't be keeping it for my bookshelves, but I'm glad I read it. Three POINT five stars from me, Harper Connolly! (AND I love the Elvis shout outs!! It was fun seeing them in this as well as the Southern Vampire Series. Props to Harris. Hehe.)
Krista23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lightning Struck Harper Connelly can now feel the energy of the dead, and the newer the stronger. Great new idea for a series by Charlaine Harris. I found this book refreshing with a great new storyline and entertaining characters.
byshieldmaiden on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Per my review for the first book, I expected the second book to be more polished than the first.It wasn't.I simply cannot sympathize with Harper Connolly's plight nor can I even say I really like her. The characters are so wooden, the plot convoluted and the writing so stilted that I cannot even begin to fathom why people like this series even as a guilty pleasure.My reluctance to read the Southern Mysteries is now even more intensified because if I cannot even invest time into Harris' secondary series, why should I invest in her first?It's a shame, as I said before, as I like the premise of the series but it's just so badly done! I now wonder if Harris is hurting for cash and is using the fan base of her primary series to fund her other series' as a means to gain popularity?
alana_leigh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harper Connelly is back in Grave Surprise, the second in a series written by Charlaine Harris about the lightning-strike-survivor who finds corpses through a strange sixth sense. This time, Harper and her step-brother Tolliver are traveling to Memphis for what's supposedly just a college class demonstration -- though they assume (correctly) that the professor is out to prove they're frauds. They all get a bit more than they bargained for when Harper not only correctly explains the cause of death for every person buried in the small college cemetery (take that, professor), but finds that one additional body has been buried there. The body is that of a little girl who went missing two years prior from Nashville... and the twist comes with the fact that Harper had been hired to find the girl, but met with no success at the time (without a hint as to the body's location, she could never find the girl in the places they searched). Now, nearly two years later, she meets success... in the town where the bereaved family has relocated to try and make a fresh start. While the family can finally have peace, no one thinks these facts add up to a coincidence. Harper and Tolliver are drawn in to the case, though obviously her peculiar talents are somewhat limited in terms of finding out the who's of things... which makes it helpful when bodies keep showing up as a means of providing clues. The tie here is almost more emotional and it's unsurprising that little things keep popping up to keep Harper in town... not the least of which is yet another fresh body, this time that of the professor originally calling her to Memphis. I wasn't as thrilled with Grave Surprise as I was with Grave Sight, mostly because I feel it was a transition novel, getting us to a point with character development so that the next book could get interesting (aka the relationship between Tolliver and Harper being weird). You probably should read Grave Sight first before this one, even though I feel like we were treated to a lot of repetition as far as their backgrounds were concerned. The mystery itself was intriguing, but also somewhat predictable in the end, which was a disappointment. Still, it was an amusing enough quick read and if you liked the first, you'll likely still enjoy the second to some degree.
Harrod on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Liked it immensely. Harper is an interesting character burdened with abilities she didn't ask for but uses for the good. Harris could flesh out Tolliver a bit more the next go round though.
skstiles612 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I chose this book for my Random Book Selection for the Take a Chance challenge. I went to Books-A-Million to the discounted section. The directions I had written down were 2nd section from the right, 3rd row down, and 10th book from the right. The book my hand landed on was Grave Surprise by Charlain Harris.Here is my review:Dr. Nunley teaches a class on Open Mind experiences at a local college in Memphis, Tennessee. He has called on Harper Connelly and her brother Tolliver to be a guest at his next experiment. Harper had been struck by lightening and has since been able to tell who was in a grave and how they died. On this day she is taken to an ancient cemetery where only the professor knows who is in the graves and how they died. As Harper goes about her business of demonstrating her abilities for the class, she has no way of knowing things are about to be turned upside down. As she steps onto the last and oldest grave she tells the professor there is a young girl there. He laughs. She then points out the original occupant and how he died is lying below a young girl who has only recently been placed there. The shocking thing is she and her brother had looked for this young girl unsuccessfully in the past. Upon digging up the grave they find the remains of young Tabbitha Morgenstern. It is a strange coincidence that they are in Memphis and find the body and then find out that the Morgenstern's had moved to Memphis less than a year before. As they are trying to find out what is going on the Professor turns up dead in the same grave. Now they are sure that something is wrong. They set out to find out who is setting whom up and the reason why. I loved this book. It is the first of her books I had read. It will definately not be the last one I read. I enjoyed this author and her style of writing a lot. The twisted ending was great. I would give this book a rating of 5 out of 5
lookitisheef on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I just don't know what it is about the Harper series, but I find myself liking it less than Harris's other series. It could be the weird brother/companion thing... Or possibly the lead character's...cynicism? realism? of the fact of death and the character of those she comes in contact with.So far, two books in to the series, I'm still hooked in and plan to keep reading on to find out what happens to Harper and Tolliver. But this series seems a lot darker than Harris's Sookie and Aurora series.
Whisper1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a delightful, fun read which inspires me to obtain more of Charlaine Harris's books.In this one, Harper Connelly is among the minority of people who survive a lightening strike, like those who go on, the medical problems are quirky and bothersome. None, however more unique than the fact that Harper is left with the ability to connect with people who died, and thus discerning the cause of their death by coming in contact with the graves and/or bodies of the deceased.A few years earlier, Harper and her brother Tolliver were hired to investigate the disappearance of 11 year old Tabitha Morgenstern. Unable to solve the case, fast forward two years later when they are called to a graveyard in Memphis, TN where a college professor of a local university tries to debunk them in front of his students.It was not surprising that Harper was able to accurately stand on the graves of the deceased, call out the names and tell the students the cause of death, but what was disconcerting was the fact that corner of the graveyard contained a man buried years ago and on top of his coffin, was the buried body of the eleven year old Tabitha.While the book is not in depth and gripping, it was interesting enough for me to finish it in three short sittings. The characters were well developed and the story line was well written. If you are looking for a quick read that holds your interest, I recommend this book
samantha.1020 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Harper and Tolliver are back and this time Harper is showing her skills off to a college professor and his class. While it is obvious that the professor believes that Harper is a fraud, as only he has seen the secret records of how every person in the cemetary has died there isn't much he can say to discredit her especially when she finds an unexpected body. Before Harper and Tolliver know it they are caught up in the midst of another mystery with some clients from their past.Likes?Hmm...I liked everything about this book. It was nice to get back to Harper and Tolliver and once again I found myself caught up in the mystery. Their relationship shifted a bit in this book which has made me more interested in seeing how the rest of the series turns out. I enjoy Harper's character and can't help but root for her. Charlaine Harris writes with such fluidity that I find myself carried on in her stories and before I know it the book is already finished. Seriously, I flew through this one :)Dislikes?I can't say that I have any serious qualms with this series so far. I'm still a little bit weirded out by Tolliver and Harper's relationship but I think that is more from the fact that they haven't figured it out yet. I'll be interested in seeing the direction that Harris takes with this and personally I'm not sure which way I want it to go. LOL! I'm a bit wishy-washy on it.Additional Thoughts:The only thing that I want to add is that I obviously need to get going on the Sookie series if I am enjoying this one so much. I will definitely be picking up the 3rd book in this series and am planning on reading Harris' other mystery series as well.
leahsimone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading the first book in the series, I wasn't sure I was interested enough in the characters to continue. However, I enjoyed the second installment. The mystery wasn't too hard to figure out but the characters were interesting. Harper and Tolliver's strange relationship is evolving and we get a bit more background. Some of the supporting characters were quirky and fun especially the psychic and her grandson. Plus, we learn Harper has another ability. Harris does a good job combining the elements of mystery and the paranormal. I look forward to the next book in the series.
hjjugovic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The second entry in the Harper Connelly mystery series is a good follow-up to Grave Sight. The unique tone and strange characters continue to be satisfying, though the Tolliver-Harper relationship gets weirder and projects future weirdness. Once again, I think the plot wanders a bit in places, but I like these stories.
Janisdoll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This second Harper Connelly mystery is another great read. I love the premise of her main characters: Harper, a young woman who was struck by lightening as a young child, attaining the ability of finding dead bodies and glimpsing their final moments; and her supportive brother, Tolliver, who has his own quirks. In Grave Surprise, they are off on another complicated adventure that neatly segues from Book 1, A Grave Sight. Charlaine Harris¿ stories are especially well written, I found myself totally engrossed in the story. Once again, the villain(s) were well hidden; the reader is near the end of the book, with a number of plausible characters able to fill the role, before figuring out who has done all the murdering.I¿m looking forward to Book #3.