An Ice Cold Grave (Harper Connelly Mysteries, No. 3)
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Harper Connelly heads to Doraville, North Carolina, to find a missing boy?one of several teenage boys who have disappeared over the last five years. And all of them are calling for Harper. She finds them, buried in the frozen ground. Soon Harper will learn more than she cared to about the dark mysteries and long-hidden secrets of Doraville?knowledge of the dead that makes her next in line to end up in an ice-cold grave.

Customer Reviews:

  • An excellent dark mystery series!
    An Ice Cold Grave is the third book in Harris' Harper Connelly series, a dark mystery with feather-light touches of paranormal. For those who haven't encountered it before Harper is a woman who gained the uncanny ability to sense the dead and read their last moment after being hit by lightning. After surviving a horrible, abusive childhood she and her step brother Tolliver travel around using her talent to survive.

    In An Ice Cold Grave Harper and Tolliver have been called to Doraville, North Carolina where a woman, angry at the past sheriff's handling of the disappearances of several teen boys, asks Harper to find the bodies of the boys that surely must be dead by now. Harper begins her hunt, and to her horror finds not only the six missing boys, but two others as well, all buried in what looks suspiciously like a serial killer's dumping grounds.

    Suddenly Harper finds herself not just blackmailed into staying nearby by the newly appointed sheriff, but a target of the serial killer's outrage.

    As usual Harris offers a tale that features a delicate thread of darkness. There is true horror in this book, but by the characters trying to block it out, move past it and not dwelling on it, even when it rises up and tries to claim them, it becomes secondary, and undertow rather than a flood of dark themes. The characters are Harris' strength. They are complex, easy to sympathize with and as a reader you find yourself wanting things to work out for them.

    This particular book is more scattered than the previous books, but it reflects the complexity of the serial killer nature. Despite the attention focused on Harris' other series, this is her best. An Ice Cold Grave is satisfying, page turner that fans of dark fiction should definitely give a chance....more info
  • Great Series
    Charlaine Harris has quirky, interesting characters that I love getting to know. I also recommend her Sookie Stackhouse series and Aurora Teagarden series....more info
  • well um.... Ok, not the best out of the series very disapointed
    Ok the story up to the relationship between Harper and Tolliver was good the gory details of the murders did not bother me it was the relationship between Harper and Tolliver ok, for to books we see them as brother and sister then we get Harper asking to go down on him!!! ( WHAT), I could not go any further. Sorry even if they were not of the same blood it just was the creepy factor; reading how close they were and how they helped raise their younger sisters.

    And I have a feeling that old Tolliver is the one taking pictures of her and plastering them on the web without her knowlege!! WT heck is that.....more info
  • Really limits the possibilities
    This series had a really nice Southern Gothic feel to it, partly due to the "uncertain" quality of the relationship between Harper and Tolliver. I stopped reading the book after the affair began. The tension between the two, the complexity of the wounds each received growing up, only added to the dark, somewhat "noir" edge of this series. With their relationship in the open, I no longer really care about them. Harris has domesticated them and robbed them of some of their mystery. Where Flannery O'Connor shows us how imperfect people cling to each other in a dark, mysterious world one step removed from eternity, Harris has really cut the legs out from under the series. I do recommend the first two books, however....more info
  • Disappointed in explicit sexual content
    I am a big fan of Charlaine Harris books, and have read 10 of her works so far. I was not
    prepared for the explicit content of Harper and Toliver. I could see the relationship
    blooming, and expected a more delicate reference than the way it was exposed. I can
    understand Harper is kind of up front and can be gritty, but it just turned me off the
    way it was written. I know life to be life, and since I am not the author, I leave that
    to Miss Harris.......but.....I did not care for this chapter or the way it was revealed in this
    book. Naughty can be nice?
    I do want to Thank Charlaine for hours of wonderful reading. I hope to acquire her other
    Sandy G....more info
  • Excellent addition to the Harper series...disturbing murder descriptions.
    After being struck by lightning as a teenager, Harper Connelly has developed the unique ability to find the dead and see how they died. She and her stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, run a business in which they travel the country assisting law-enforcement personnel and family members of the dead. In her third case, Harper is hired by a woman to find her missing grandson. In fact, numerous teenage boys have disappeared from Doraville, North Carolina. Harper finds the bodies, but still reeling from coming into contact with her first serial killer, she is attacked and injured. She stays in Doraville to recover and assist in the investigation.

    Ice Cold Grave is an excellent addition to the Harper series. The story line is well written and it kept me glued, reading it in one sitting. However my pleasure in the story was marred by the disturbing description of horrible murder, torture and rape of children. That is just too far over the line for my reading pleasure. I tried to skim over that part. So I have to subtract one star.

    However, the story itself was facinating from cover to cover. I am a loyal fan of Charlaine Harris work (Sookie and Harper) and will look forward to the next installments. Yet, I will read the reviews on the next Harper before purchase just to make sure it does not have so much yuk factor. So pleased with the eventual development between Tolliver and Harper.
    ...more info
  • A unique blend of good plotting and disgusting character development
    This could have been an excellent book in a very good series. The idea of the dead communicating from the grave has enormous potential. This author demonstrates both the ability to write well and the capacity for unique story lines, but...

    Here comes the big BUT. The incestuous relationship between the two step siblings is just too off putting to tolerate. A few may argue that a sexual relationship between step children is not illegal however; it is beyond normal moral values.

    It would seem that for whatever reason, Charlain Harris set this series up for failure. Since the majority of the mystery genre reading public is female and most have children this series may be considered distasteful in the extreme.
    ...more info
  • Love and serial killers in small-town North Carolina
    Since being struck by lightning, corpses talk to Harper Connelly. The talent was disturbing at first, but now she makes a living finding bodies--and determining what happened to them. When she's called into a small North Carolina town missing a series of boys, she fears she'll discover something unpleasant--but she has no idea how unpleasant it will be. The boys were tortured, sexually abused, and left to die--and whoever did it is still at large.

    Finding the bodies is Harper's job, but when she's attacked, the case gets more complicated for her. Since the police won't let her leave the town, she decides to investigate a bit more.

    Being hospitalized does serve one additional purpose, though. Harper has been in love with her step-brother for years but has been afraid to tell him for fear that it will destroy their relationship. There's no way that truth can avoid coming out this time--although Harper worries that she'll lose everything by making the gamble.

    Author Charlaine Harris continues her Harper Connelly series with a mystery that stretches Harper's talents to the limit and also brings back psychic Xylda and her grandson, Manfred--a young man who happens to have a crush on Harper. With a strong start and an action-packed conclusion, there's a lot to like about AN ICE COLD GRAVE. Harris's writing is engaging, and the first person narrative brings us into Harper's thoughts and dangers.

    I would have liked to see a bit less of the romance between Harper and her step-brother. To me, this element slowed down the story. While it's perhaps understandable to be afraid of change, Harper's inability to see Tolliver's jealousy and desire as anything other than what it really is makes her seem less intelligent than we know her to be. On the other hand, Harris's handling of the animal-torturing youth, Chuck, is strong and compelling.

    ...more info
  • Evocative use of winter season
    Charlaine Harris' use of the cold of winter, as brought out by the title, is very effective in setting the nature of the crimes brought to light by Harper Connolly's lightning-bestowed talent for finding corpses in this book. The horror of what was done to the boys is chilling and is meant to be chilling. The attitudes of some of the local law enforcement establishment, past and present, are also chilling and, I believe, meant to be seen that way by the reader.

    Equally, the season is used effectively, in a contrary direction, as an impetus to move forward the relationship between Harper and Tolliver -- who is not, as he points out at a critical moment, her brother. There has been plenty of background on this: their parents married when they were both in their teens. They are not consanguineous kin. It's actually somewhat odd that some readers perceive their relationship as incest, given how carefully Harris built it up through the first two books and the first half of this one.

    Overall, this series has shown much more depth than the author's popular Sookie Stackhouse series. I hope that Harris produces other books in the future that become more than just an evening's entertainment....more info
  • Best of the series, so far
    First Sentence: The eastern seaboard is crammed with dead people.

    After being struck by lightening, Harper Collins was left with spider-web scars, a weak leg and the ability to find dead people and to determine how they died. With Tolliver, whose dad married her mom but they're not related by blood, by her side, they are in North Carolina where Harper has been hired by Twyla Cotton's missing grandson, Jeff. In talking to the Sheriff, six boys have gone missing without a trace. Near the place where Jeff's cell phone had been found was an abandoned house--and, Harper perceived, eight bodies. Now that the bodies have been found, someone is not happy and Harper's life is in danger.

    This is my favorite book of the series so far. The characters, and their relationship, have developed. Learning about Harper's gift and how it works is fascinating. There is enough skepticism of Harper's abilities yet willingness to let her use them on the part of the authorities to make the story realistic. The plot was tight with enough possible suspects to keep me going. There is an escalating feeling of suspense with the protagonists continually almost leaving town but then something else happening to keep them there. An ice storm, the illness of a friend's mother and the alteration in a relationship all add dimension to the story. Readers should be aware that this book is more graphically violent and sexual than previous books.
    ...more info
  • fast paced and fun
    I've come to be particularly fond of the quirkiness of Charlaine Harris' characters. In this latest Harper Connelly mystery, much of what has been simmering under the surface comes to fruition. It's a delightful read and I couldn't put it down....more info
  • Mind Blowing!
    An Ice Cold Grave is mind blowing and a fantastic read. It did not take me long at all to read once I finally bought it. Harper and Tolliver are back at the job and this time end up in North Carolina where young boys have been missing for days, months, and even years. When the most recent victim's grandmother hires Harper to find the body, for she knows that he has to be dead, Harper finds more than just one body. She finds several.

    When Harper and Tolliver try to leave town after solving the case they are delayed when someone beats up Harper. Could it be the kidnapper?? Harper is determined to try to solve this mystery even though she did her part. Mandfred and his grandmother come along to support Harper and help her out, but then tragedy strikes them. Meanwhile Harper is trying to deal with the developing feelings that she has been having for Tolliver that are anything but sibling love. Tolliver's reaction to her feelings that suddenly get reveal are life changing for the both of them.

    Then there is a turning point in the case where they catch the kidnapper/murderer, but something is still nagging Harper. She believes strongly that there is yet another murderer out there somewhere prowling the streets of the quaint town.

    An Ice Cold Grave is a fabulous read!! I cannot wait until the next one, the only compensation to get is that the Sookie Stackhouse book will be out around May and then in September we'll get the next Harper book, yea!!...more info
  • Harper just can't stay out of trouble!
    Once again Harper Connelly just can't stay out of trouble! All she wants to do is her job, get paid and move on! Of course there is nothing wrong with that, except she finds more than she's originally hired for! I can't tell you how much I love Charlaine Harris's books! I started with the Southern Vampire Novels (and I still continue to read them) and then just happen to pick up a new genre. Not since Lily Bard and Sookie Stackhouse can you ever find a female character like Harper. She has such courage, wit , immense passion and compassion (not to mention has strange talent when it comes to earning a living!) You'll not be dissapointed with this book, especially when it comes to Harper's brother/manager Tolliver!...more info
  • Another Winner by Charlaine Harris
    I loved this book, did not want to put it down. So far this is the best one in the series. Can't wait to read the next one....more info
  • oh wow very differant twist
    This is the third installment in the Harper mystery series and it really keeps getting better. The only beef i had about it the language was stronger in this installment as were some of the described sex scenes, but other than that, it was excellant.
    The book alludes to Harper finding her missing sister also in another book possably forthcoming.
    ...more info
  • The best of the series so far...
    This story follows Harper (who can 'see' in her mind where bodies are buried and how those bodies came to be...well dead bodies) and her 'brother' and manager Tolliver. Some things shift in this novel, including her relationship with her brother, who really isn't her brother. Also, the murder case is intriguing. At times its grisly, and Charlaine Harris doesn't shy away from some of the more heart wrenching aspects of the case. The deaths focus on young to teenage boys and the torture they endured before dying. Harper for some reason is more compelled by these deaths than any of her previous ones and vows to find out who killed them. She has a theory that she has to try to get the sheriff to belive. There is plenty of intrigue, thrills, and horror to this volume, but its also heavier on the romance side of things than the previous books. Still very worth a quick read....more info
  • better than I expected -- a pleasant read
    "An Ice Cold Grave" is a modern day variant murder mystery. The setting is much like our own, the major difference being that the main character, H--, is a woman who was hit by lightning and now "knows" when human bodies are nearby, and can psychicly determine cause of death and some other details. She and T-- are hired to find a teenage boy who is presumed to have been murdered. What they find in the ice & snow are multiple victims from a pretty horrible murderer. A string of bad luck causes H-- and T-- to be stuck in town in the midst of the investigation.

    Though this book is third in a series, I dodn't feel that you'd need to read the previous two. For those of you who have read the previous, I think this one is better than #1 and #2. I wish I had read it first! The "everybody hates me" elements have been dropped or subdued, the police are both reasonable and respectful, and we aren't drowned in casual sex. H-- and T--'s reason for remaining in town is contrived, but we knew it was coming, so no biggie. The feeling is more murder mystery than scifi/fantasy. The middle drags a bit, but the ending was exciting, well written, and left me wanting more.

    For myself, I'd appreciate a sequel that didn't have any murders, but that is probably asking too much. Books with murders make me feel down. If you don't mind reading about murders, you should add one star to my rating....more info
  • This is a page turner
    I love Charlaine Harris' books. All of her series! But I especially love her Harper Connelly mysteries. I think it's because Harper is both strong and yet vulnerable, and that's difficult to get across in print. But Harris manages to do it and the books are stronger for it.

    Harper Connelly suffered a lightening strike and since that time (her step-brother Tolliver saved her life), she has not only been able to locate corpses but knows what and how they died. She and Tolliver have taken that talent and made a living out of her psychic abilities. They travel together working to help family members and police solve cases. Finding the bodies is easy-it's telling the family and seeing the pain of death that is difficult and draining to Harper.

    Harper and Tolliver arrive in Doraville, North Carolina to find the missing grandson of a local resident. It turns out there are a number of missing boys from the community. It doesn't take Harper long to find the six missing boys' bodies (plus two that they didn't know about) and become embroiled in a serial killer case. Harper doesn't want the kind of publicity that comes along side a serial killer case and tries to leave town. She is stopped from leaving by a physical attack from an unknown person (could it be the killer?). If Harper isn't careful, she could be the next victim.

    This is a page turner. And I love that Harris explores a bit of Harper's inner self. It makes the mystery even better.

    Armchair Interviews says: Read An Ice Cold Grave! You'll love it!...more info
  • Ice Cold Grave
    I love Charlaine Harris, period. She is a bit scary, and always great fun.
    When one of her books is published, I inhabit her world for as long as the story lasts.

    "Ice Cold Grave," is suspenseful, a little sexy, as are all of her books, and great fun.

    Mrs. Harris claims to be a soccer mom, but she is so much more. I wish she lived across the street. Not next door, mind you. I wouldn't be too happy if one of her vampires showed up in my bedroom... On second thought, maybe I would....more info
  • Getting To Know Harris
    About a month ago I read all the Sookie Stackhouse books, and decided to read her other stories. I like this series. I think anyone who reads Ms. Harris has to expect creepy and unresolved relationships.

    I have no problem with Tolliver and Harper becoming a couple. They aren't brother and sister and didn't come together until they were teenagers. Plus, from the moment they're parents married, Tolliver and Harper were placed in the role of mother and father to the two youngest children. They weren't able to be children together, they had adult responsibilities and only had each other to lean upon and offer comfort and support.

    I was disappointed in how the love scene was written. I understand that Harper is only 24 or 25 and Tolliver around 28, but the juvenile language that the author uses to express their thoughts and feeling, doesn't fit their relationship. It should have been fraught with the tension of Tolliver's fear of almost losing Harper.

    We experience his increasing jealousy, which is normal, but that shouldn't have been the reason for the two of them to finally express their adult love for one another. After all that they have experienced together and their emotional commitment to each other, their coming together should have been more passionate, sweet, and filled with loving words. Yes, Tolliver does express some of his thoughts, but it's just not done to my satisfaction.

    As seems to Ms. Harris's way, I expect that Tolliver and Harper will eventually break up as a couple, and maybe come back together at then end of the series. I hope that this statement proves false, as I think, it would be more real if they grew to trust one another as a couple, and allowed their feelings to become firm with love and commitment. After their childhood and what they've experienced since Harper being hit by lightening, this would be the most satisfactory outcome, at least for me.

    As an aside, I think Tolliver's biological brother killed Harper's biological sister and we'll find this out in a future book. I hope Ms. Harris doesn't make it that Tolliver knew, because he so would not have kept this from Harper. Tolliver may have his faults, but he does love Harper more then anyone else. I think if this hypothesis proves true (his brother being the killer)that this will cause some hurt to the couple. However, it would only make them realize what they've always known that they only have each other.

    I thought the story was well done, and I'm interested and awaiting the next book.
    ...more info
  • Easy to forget
    I am a huge fan of this author but this book was easy to forget. Stick with the Sookie Stackhouse series if you like her and either put this one on the summer reading list or leave it be altogether. It just didn't give me a lasting impression....more info
  • Almost 5
    I'm really enjoying the Harper Connelly series by Charlaine Harris. The heroine is unusual, the story-lines are fresh (and a great departure from the talking pet formula). I can't wait to see what is coming next!

    I would have given this book 5 stars, but frankly, the whole nad-licking scene was off-putting. I'm not a prude, but gratuitous crap like that is jarring and in my opinion added nothing to an otherwise gripping and exciting storyline.

    Harris is a talented author when she uses her own voice and isn't trying to channel authors like Bertrice Small. Somebody should give her editor a slap upside the head....more info
  • Better than I was expecting
    After the previous two books, I knew where the two lead characters were heading. (Unfortunately)

    However, the writing which got them to that predictable spot was REALLY good. And the character development after that point seemed fresh and fully explored.

    The crime which serves as the reason for the book is disturbing.

    But I didn't know exactly where the story was leading, and the last major plot point was a surprise. So this is the best of the three Harper books to date.

    The lead characters have much more depth than was apparent in the first book. ...more info
  • Excellent continuation of a fun & suspenseful series
    An Ice Cold Grave was a great addition to the "grave" series. The story was suspenseful with both her work and relationship with "brother" Tolliver. This book has a bit more edge then the previous books, but if you enjoy a good mystery with an interesting and unique heroine, you'll enjoy this book. ...more info
  • bestof the bunch
    Charlaine Harris has some fluffy books (in the best sense), but this is not one of them. This novel is tense, real, and completely impossible to put down.

    One of my favorite things about the series - and this book especially - is that the main character's powers to sense the dead are so very limited. Harper can only do a rather simple thing - exactly the same thing a great detective plus a perfect autopsy would do - but Harris makes it clear how this power is disturbing, important, and disruptive to Harper's life. Those very limits are what make her story compelling and feel real, fantasy genre not withstanding. A wonderful read, and the best of the series....more info