Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 2)
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Product Description

While in Memphis, psychic Harper Connelly senses-and finds-two bodies in a grave. One of a man centuries-dead. The other, a girl, recently deceased. Harper's investigation yields another surprise: the next morning, a third body is found-in the very same grave.

Customer Reviews:

  • Much better than the first book
    The second book of the Harper Connelly Series was by far better than Grave Sight, the debut one. I could definetly connect much better with the main character and all she has been through life. Harper has the "gift" to locate corpses and find out their cause of death. Her step brother Tolliver is also her manager and they travel together through all job sites. The plot in this book is good and not as predictable(a big plus). Harper is trying to help a family whose 11 year old girl dissapear a couple years ago. It is very interesting how she develops throughout the book, and how her "feelings" for her step brother have, let's say, changed(or maybe she just now realizes what they really are). I highly recommend it....more info
  • Second in a new series is a hit!
    This is one of my favorite authors, i haven't read anything from her that hasn't been great reading. This is her second in this new series and i found it just as charming as the first book.

    Keep up the great work!...more info
  • AWESOME!
    I have read Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series and thought I would give this one a try - absolutely loved it!! Just as good with a different twist to Harris' humor level!! A must read....more info
  • Really good book!
    Don't let the cover picture of this book stop you from reading it. I almost didn't read it because it looked like it might be silly. I sure am glad I gave it a chance. This is my first time reading Ms. Harris, it won't be the last. I love the way she writes, doesn't add all the "filler description words". That is so refreshing. Try it, you will like it....more info
  • Loved it!
    I liked this book better than the first one, Grave Sight. I am a big fan of Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire series and I am happy to say I like this series almost as much. I look foward to the next one, I can't wait to see what happens between Harper and Tolliver!...more info
  • Not a vampire novel
    I really enjoyed this book. The heroine is complex and her abilities are interesting. How would you like to be able to find dead bodies? I am quite taken by the concept. But glad that is not in my skill set. ...more info
  • Paranormal Mystery
    I love Charlaine Harris books. Her characters are plain everyday people
    with paranormal abilitys. She builds relationships up between the
    characters so they all feel like family. Grave surprise had the same
    easy to read storyline that keeps moving and doesn't get bogged down.
    ...more info
  • Waste of time
    I read the first Harper Connelly book (Grave Sight) because I thought Harper's "gift" would make for a great story. I was wrong. It SHOULD have made a great story, but the writing was so tedious and the characters so one-dimensional that I was left wondering what in the world Harris's publishers were thinking when they gave the go-ahead on the book. But because I like the Sookie Stackhouse series (at least the characters in THAT series actually have personalities) I decided to give the second Harper Connelly book a try.

    I couldn't even finish it. The characters, once again, have ZERO personalities. They are about as interesting and likeable as navel lint. None of them come even close to being believable, and conversations between characters are ridiculously abrupt, dry, combative, and bear no semblence to reality whatsoever. Does Harper ever encounter people who are kind or helpful or treat her with any type of respect at all? Apparently not, because everyone she meets either accuses her, sets her up, suspects her, or is "out to get her" in some way. That's just not believeable.

    But the real reason I couldn't finish the book came when Harper suddenly realized she was in love with Tolliver. It seems as though even Ms. Harris couldn't quite stomach THAT relationship because she couldn't even bring herself to come right out and say it - she could only allude to it. What a cop out. If you're going to bring in a quasi-incenstuous relationship, at least have the guts to directly address it.

    For the last two books (okay...one and a half books) I had to listen to Harper introduce Tolliver as "my brother" about a hundred times and explain their relationship over and over again. By the end of the first book, I was like, "We GET IT. You're SIBLINGS. Not blood siblings, but you were raised as such. We get the point." So with that point being brought up OVER and OVER, we're all of a sudden supposed to believe that all of a sudden this brother/sister relationship has turned romantic? Ms. Harris should have never made them siblings only to have Harper lust after Tolliver later. I agree with another reviewer on this point: "EWWWWWWWW."

    It is a safe bet I will NOT be reading Ice Cold Grave. ...more info
  • Great Mystery Plus More
    This is about Harper Connelly and her step brother Tolliver. Harper was struck by lightning and now has the ability to sense how a person died by touching them or standing on their graves.

    They are called in for a college course on psychic abilities. Most of the people that had been called into the class have been shown to have little or no ability. Unfortunately, by going through an old grave yard telling how different people died, the records are sealed, and Harper finds the little girl that was abducted 18 months earlier that they couldn't find.

    Now Harper and Tolliver are considered suspects while they try to find out the truth. But after a confrontation with the professor that thinks Harper cheated some how, he ends up in the same grave as the one the little girl had been found in.

    I really liked this book. Great story and surprise ending. I kinda had the who done it down, but I was completely off for why. This is a great story and I recommend it to anyone that likes a god mystery with a little paranormal thrown in....more info
  • great read
    I couldn't put this book down. I read it in two days. I am a big fan of all of the series written by Charlaine Harris. This second book in this new series is very promising. There is more back-story revealed in this book about Harper and Tolliver and their shared past. Also, the mystery in the story is complex and fast paced. The paranormal aspect of the book is original and refreshingly void of vampires and werewolves which seem to have taken over the paranormal genre....more info
  • If you haven't read Charlaine Harris
    Then you need to do so. The series featuring Harper Connelly is a welcome addition to Harris's other series. Harris writes for her readers pleasure so there is always a wealth of intrigue, plenty of action, and a bit of romance. Her plots are absorbing and believable, and the depth and appeal of her characters keep readers anxious for the next installment.

    This latest addition to the Harper Connelly series is even more engaging than the first. Harris's previous heroines are consistently dry, tough, no nonsense women and Harper Connelly is no exception. Harper is a young southern woman who was struck by lightening and along with a weak leg and fear of storms; she inherited the ability to "read" the dead. In Grave Surprise, Harper and her step-brother Tolliver are called in to give a demonstration of Harper's supernatural ability. During the reading, Harper comes across the body of young Tabitha Morgenstern, a previously unsolved case that has haunted Harper. Once again, Harper and Tolliver are under police suspicion and must solve the murder of Tabitha Morgenstern in order to clear their names. The book takes a series of unexpected terms and along the way new characters are introduced. Grave Surprise is a very enjoyable read and I recommend it to anyone looking to sit down for a few hours with a good book....more info
  • Another great series!
    Charlaine Harris has done it again. This series is just as wonderful as her other. Grave suprise joins the world of the dead and keeps you guessing who done it till the end. I really loved the characters in this book, they have alot of depth. I can't wait to read the next one. ...more info
  • This series has officially hooked me - I NEED to read book 3 now
    Plot Summary: A college professor invites Harper to prove herself in a psychic challenge in an old church graveyard. As Harper blithely reveals the identity and cause of death from grave to grave, she comes across two sets of bones underneath one headstone. The man has been in the dirt for a century or more, but the little girl's corpse is a shock. What's more, this is the same little girl who Harper searched for almost two years ago. A media frenzy descends upon Harper and Tolliver, along with the girl's family. Since the police are ever-suspicious unbelievers, it's up to Harper and Tolliver to solve this crime. In the midst of this mess, Harper has an epiphany about Tolliver that scares her into silent despair concerning her much loved step-brother.

    A long time ago, back when my husband and I were carefree DINKs* living in that megatropolis knows as L.A., we had lunch at a restaurant on the Santa Monica Promenade. My hubby ordered a crispy, spicy chicken dish that had him raving and craving it for days afterward. Whenever we had a chance to eat out, he'd pester me to go back to this restaurant, which was only so-so to my taste. Each time he tried it again after that first nirvana experience, that chicken dish never came out the same. It was either burnt, over-seasoned, under-cooked, or dry and stringy. Some authors can be like this. One book will make you hunger for that same kind of satisfaction, which sadly, never happens again.

    Happily, Charlaine Harris is NOT one of those writers. I am always amazed at her ability to craft intricate, involved plots, and I would swear on a bible that her characters are real people who are living and breathing somewhere right now. Harper is an average person with a horrific past, and an unusual gift, ability, curse, whatever you want to call it. Sometimes when I encounter a character with superhuman skills, I can predict what their reaction will be in a given situation. Harper acts like a real person, and there is nothing canned about her responses. She's like a stumble in my stride, and I'm always surprised and mildly embarrassed that I didn't see it coming.

    Harper's moment of revelation was the most fascinating part of this story, and I'm so lucky I had the next book on hand, "An Ice Cold Grave," because I started reading book three immediately after I finished this one. I think you can guess what the revelation was, but I refuse to be a spoilsport. Sorry, you've got to read these for yourself.

    *DINKs - Double Income No Kids...more info
  • More please!
    Charlaine Harris has done it again! Great summer read! Good story development (and consistent with the first novel). Likeable characters with foibles and quirks that make them interesting. The underlying tension simmering between Tolliver and Harper feels real (familiarity does not always breed contempt after all!)Am looking forward to the further adventures of Harper....more info
  • Good story, great characters
    I was reluctant to start the Harper Connelly series because I liked the Sookie Stackhouse books so much and this series seemed so much more dark and bleak. I'm glad I did start reading them though, I've really enjoyed both "Grave Site" and "Grave Surprise". Harper is a good character, self aware and real. In "Grave Surprise" she seems less mentally frail, more stable than in the first book, which I liked. I find Harper's ability to find bodies and know their cause of death to be believable and not really "fantastic". Harper fits into the real world, albeit as an outsider because of her abilites, but still a part of "this" world and not an alternate reality. Charlaine Harris manages to address the topic of a missing child sensitively yet realistically and the supporting characters are well-drawn and the focus of the mystery. ...more info
  • Solidified Harper as a definite "MUST READ"
    While the first book was okay and had me coming back for more, the second book "Grave Surprise" made Harper a permanent fixture in my personal library. This time around, the characters are rich and the mystery flavorful. I now get the subtext with her and Tolliver and rather than being icky, it makes the story a little darker.

    After reading this, I went and bought the first book and this one. I look forward to the next Harper mystery....more info
  • Another Gem
    It's so rare to find an author who can successfully produce 2 anthologies. Charlaine Harris does this flawlessly. It almost doesn't seem as though the author of the Southern Vampire books could also be the author of these (so far 2) books. Each series has its own appeal and specialness. Grave Surprise has an extreme sensitivity and a pull that makes it a book you loathe to put down, but hate to finish....more info
  • Well-written mystery, with paranormal theme
    This was my first Charlaine Harris book, which I found based on recommended books from Amazon. I had heard of her, but was not familiar with her work, and had never even watched the HBO series about another of her characters, Sookie Stackhouse. To my pleasant surprise, as I've been disappointed by highly starred reviews often, IMO, the stars are well deserved. I found this to be a good story with an interesting twist on the "I talk to dead people" theme. The story was also well-paced. I enjoyed the interaction between Harper and Tolliver and how intelligent they were, something that seems out of the norm lately (pet peeve: women who race into dangerous situations without thought for their own, or anyone else's safety).

    After reading the excerpt from "An Ice Cold Grave," at the end of this book, I plan to purchase it, along with some of her other books....more info
  • Full of fun twists
    What a treat to read this whole series in one shot. Harris is such a good writer. I thought I had the answer about sixteen times, but missed. She kept me guessing, but when the answer came, it was very satisfying and made good sense. These books really take the reader to a different world. The only problem with this series is that it's hard to find other books that measure up after you've read these. That's a happy problem. What a good writer. Wow. ...more info
  • Ms Harris has written better...
    This book, to me, reads as if the last chapter was something that popped into Charlaine Harris' head and she needed to write the rest as filler just to get us to read the ending. While still a good read it's far from her best and just left me feeling like I missed something. As an example; Somewhere, three quarters of the way through the book Harper has what reads like an epiphany, she sees her life rearrange. She bursts into tears. She, for a moment, contemplates suicide. Then she says, to herself "Keeping Tolliver with me for one more minute was an awful thing to do." and cannot and will not tell her step brother what's wrong. She also doesn't tell us, the readers. I felt let down as if a secret was exposed and I didn't catch it. I've read the pages several times and still don't see what she's getting at or why she was so upset. In the end this startling revelation seems irrelevant and they're moving on with their lives as if it didn't happen. I won't say "Don't read it." but I will say "Don't have too high an expectation for this novel." It left me feeling unsatisfied....more info
  • Better than the first!
    I am so glad I kept going after Grave Sight. It was a little slow but did lay down the foundation for this one. There are a couple of new characters with their own "abilities" making the story even better and the mystery surrounding this latest case will keep you guessing til the end. Enjoy....more info
  • One of her best.
    Just when you think you know where the story might be going, she throws in a curve. I can't wait for the next book....more info
  • Like very early Anita Blake series
    Good mystery, interesting plot and characters. Reminded me of the very early Anita Blake series....more info
  • It's not Sookie Stackhouse, but it's a good series nonetheless
    The second book in the Harper Connelly series contains the same elements the first one did - a touch of dark humor, a small amount of the paranormal, and a large dose of murder mystery. These are all good things.

    There is not as much fantasy content in this series as in Harris's Southern Vampire (Sookie Stackhouse) series. Mostly, this is our universe, our USA, our contemporary society, with just a few people who have odd paranormal gifts. (No vampires. No werewolves.) Harper's is being able to sense the dead, and feel what killed them. In this volume of the series, we meet a couple more people with psychic talents as well, including Manfred Bernardo, whose description is such that we can all picture him - any of us who live in an urban area or a college town know a 20-year-old who looks like that. His talent is revealed to us - and to Harper - in a clever and slightly kooky way, one of the touches of humor in the book. One of the things I like about Harris's writing is that she's capable of doing humor within a serious context, and without turning the book into a comedy farce. Her description of Xylda is priceless.

    There are two other major themes in this book, apart from the murdered bodies and solving their murder. First, there's the description of modern suburban Jewish life, with some of the contradictions inherent in it, and the reminder that in the South, there is still a touch of anti-Semitism. In fact, I was surprised to find myself thinking that the way the Morganstern family was described, other than the specific references to their physical appearance, they could well have been a black family, with the same sort of problems due to lingering racism.

    The second other theme is Harper's discoveries about herself, which startle and upset her far more than any discoveries she makes about dead bodies. There are some things she's not ready to talk honestly to herself about (as Xylda points out in a cryptic manner) just yet, but we can see, as we read the ending of the book, that Harper is going to have to face them sooner or later, and that it will be controversial when she does.

    The character of Clyde Nunley is very much like some skeptics I have met, who have gone beyond being skeptical and on into being actively close-minded about anything they can't immediately explain. I'm not saying I believe in any of that stuff myself - this book is definitely fantasy, as far as I'm concerned - but I'd like to think that, if somehow a person did a demonstration as compelling as Harper's, I would have more of an open mind than Nunley. The law enforcement characters are a mixed bag, some believing that she's really doing what she's doing, others believing that it must be a con; I like the way the law enforcement people aren't all stupid, or crooked, or bumbling. In some ways, the police and FBI agents remind me of the mixture of law enforcement that Anita Blake encounters in the early and middle books of her series by Laurell Hamilton. The FBI agent is a bit too involved with the case, but he's not evil; the police detectives are reasonably intelligent, even the ones who refuse to accept what Harper does.

    Family reading alert: minor, indirect sexual references, minor use of "bad language," nothing that shocked me, or that would shock any teenager who already watches TV or reads comic books.

    In short: good continuation of a series, extremely good descriptions of characters, adequately intricate plot with adequately justified solution, and I'd definitely keep reading the series....more info
  • Charlaine Harris does not disappoint, very scary!
    This was a scary and fun ride on the Harper Connelly express. Love reading an author from my hometown....more info