Title: Definitely Dead
Author: Charlaine Harris (Reader: Johanna Parker)
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: May 2006
Length: 10 hr 34 min (324 pages)
Series: Sookie Stackhouse (#6)
Audio or Book: Audio Book
Reason for Discovery: True Blood
As a person with so few living relatives, Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse really hated to lose one. But she never guessed that it would be her cousin Hadley—a consort of the Vampire Queen of New Orleans. After all, technically speaking, Hadley was already dead. And now, as unexpected heir to Hadley’s estate, Sookie discovers the inheritance definitely comes with a risk. Someone doesn’t want Sookie looking too deeply into Hadley’s past—or for that matter, Hadley’s possessions. And they’re prepared to do anything in their power to stop her. But who? The range of suspects runs from the Rogue Weres who reject Sookie as a friend of the Pack to the Vampire Queen herself, who could be working through a particularly vulnerable subject—Sookie’s first love, Bill. Whoever it is, they’re definitely dangerous—and Sookie’s life is definitely on the line…
In this latest Sookie Stackhouse book, Sookie's cousin Hadley has died a true death (she was a vampire) in New Orleans. Although Sookie is just supposed to clean out her cousin's apartment, Sookie gets pulled into local vampire politics. Hadley was the Vampire Queen's favorite and hid one of the Queen's prized possessions. To make matters worse, Hadley made a questionable and dangerous decision right before she died.
Although this was yet another fun romp in the world of Sookie Stackhouse, I was a bit frustrated with the book at first. Specifically, the book seemed to meander a bit before Sookie went to New Orleans and the book's mystery. In some ways, this book felt like a filler episode of a television show. We got our fun mystery, but its complexity was sacrificed so we could move all of the characters into place for a later book. I'm glad that all of the books for this series are already published, so I can just move quickly from one book to the next. I think I would have more felt annoyed, if I had been anxiously awaiting this book and discovered that a chunk of the book is just getting the characters prepared for a future book.
Although the beginning annoyed me and I felt that the book rambled a bit at first, once the book started to focus on Sookie's cousin and the New Orleans mystery, I thought this was a fun book. I really love it when Sookie visits other cities, because we get to meet new characters (I love Hadley's landlord Amelia who is a witch) and to see how vampire politics work in different locations. I enjoyed meeting the Vampire Queen and learning about how vampire "royalty" marriages work.
One little shocker in this book was a steamy "sexy time" scene between Sookie and her latest flame, Quinn (a weretiger). This series is technically paranormal romance mysteries; however, not every book has steamy scenes. In fact, in the previous book, there were no intimate scenes at all. Going from a book that had no steamy scenes to one with a steamy scene was a bit unexpected, not bad, just surprising. I also think listening to the steamy scenes always feels a bit more unexpected and naughty than reading these scenes.
Audio: I continue to love Parker's reading. I am so happy that I bought these audio books, because I can see myself listening to these books over and over again. I find Parker to be a great and relaxing reader.
Overall, I found Definitely Dead to be another fun book in the Sookie Stackhouse series once it got going a little bit. I look forward to seeing what Sookie's new relationship with the Queen of Louisiana takes her.
I give this book a 4 out of 5.