Becky’s Fifty-Eighth Book Review: “Sweet and Deadly” by Charlaine Harris

After reading “The Stand” I decided that I wanted a break from all the heavy stuff and picked up a couple of lighter reads. First I read “I’ve Got Your Number” by Sophie Kinsella. I didn’t write a review on it because I did that before. It was nice reading something light and happy that I’ve already read. I do want to reiterate the fact that it was a very good book and would recommend it.

Once I read that, I picked up a book that I haven’t read before but by an author who I have really enjoyed in the past. “Sweet and Deadly” by Charlaine Harris only took me a few days to read. Once I finished reading it I did some checking and it turns out that “Sweet and Deadly” was the first book that Charlaine Harris wrote, it was published in 1981. This made a lot of sense to me because it really felt like an author’s first attempt. I’ve got to say, “Sweet and Deadly” was pretty awful.

I read almost all of Charlaine Harris’s other novels, all the Aurora Teagarden Series (8 books), the Lily Bard (Shakespeare) Series (5 books), the Sookie Stackhouse Series (12 books with only one more to come), and the Harper Connelly Series (4 books). I enjoyed all of these books and naturally wanted to get my hands on the rest of the novels that Charlaine Harris wrote. So when I got “Sweet and Deadly” as a gift from my parents, I was very excited. It wasn’t until I was actually reading the book that I realized not all of Harris’s novels are at the same level.

That being said, “Sweet and Deadly” is a stand alone novel where the main character, Catherine Linton returns to her hometown of Lowfield, Mississippi six months after her parents were killed in a car crash that Catherine is convinced was not an accident. When she stumbles upon a body Catherine becomes more determined than ever to find whoever killed her parents and bring them to justice. The writing in this novel is very choppy and the entire time that I was reading it I felt that it must have been one of the first books that Harris wrote because of the amateur feel to it. Now while I did need to keep guessing until the end as to who the killer was, I felt the book was not great in so many ways. As I stated before, the writing was very choppy and the plot felt kind of rushed. I am glad that this wasn’t the first book that I read by her because I probably would not have picked up anything else had that been the case. I would have missed out on all of the great series that she has since composed.

Would I recommend this book? Not really. I doubt that anyone who read anything by Harris beforehand would enjoy “Sweet and Deadly” and anyone who had not read anything by Harris would most likely not want to read anything else by her after reading “Sweet and Deadly”. Not a great book.

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