Thursday, September 3, 2009

POPPY DONE TO DEATH by CHARLAINE HARRIS

Several installments back Aurora Teagarden's mother--the imposing Aida Brattle Teagarden--married John Queensland and, in addition to adding one more surname to her already impressive list, added two stepsons and their wives. At the beginning of Poppy Done to Death the brutally murdered body of one of these stepsisters-in-law--the flamboyant Poppy--is found by poor Roe, who has a knack for finding these things. Yes, some people find lost keys, some find lost pets, Aurora Teagarden finds dead bodies.

Poppy and her husband, it turns out, had a shockingly open marriage (for small town Georgia, at least), but still: why would anyone want to kill her? Roe is aided in her sleuthing this time around by her other step sister-in-law, the more conventional Melinda. They learn some truly scandalous things about Poppy (and, it must be added, about several of the male characters, major and minor, we've gotten to know over the course of this series). And guess what--Roe actually solves this mystery, unlike in the past when she's really just stumbled upon the right answer by happenstance. Way to go Roe!

In other news, I'm happy to report that Roe's relationship with ridiculously named writer Robin Crusoe is in full swing. There's an interesting side story involving her half brother Phillip, a fifteen year old who hasn't been seen since their father took him to live in California at the end of the first book. And there's some aw-shucks life-affirming stuff at the end.

The Aurora Teagarden series is always lovely and always satisfying, and Charlaine Harris doesn't disappoint this time around.

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