“Definitely Dead”
Book Six of The Southern Vampire Mysteries
by Charlaine Harris
Published 2006 by Penguin Group (USA)

You know, I still can’t figure out what it is about these books that have me eager to read the next book in the series, but that is the case in Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries based on the life of Sookie Stackhouse.  I was intrigued when I read a short story from the Sookie Stackhouse world, and then when HBO made the series “True Blood,” I just had to read the first book. Now here I am finished with book 6 and eager to get into book 7.  Normally I’m not one to go for romance stories featuring vampires, I would rather stake the undead than kiss one, but Ms. Harris has thrown in enough other creatures from the supernatural world that keeps the books lively and entertaining.  In this book we have vampires (of course), werewolves, were-panthers, were-tigers, demons, fairies and witches.  Let me warn you now before you read too much further into this review that if you haven’t read any of the books in the series, this book has some spoilers you may want to wait to read about.  In this book a lot is found out about Sookie and her bloodline, Vampire Bill and his relationship with Sookie and a few other surprises.

If you have read the books up to this point you will realize that Sookie doesn’t have the greatest luck with suitors.  So far she’s been with two vampires, Bill & Eric, and a werewolf, Alcide Herveaux.  She has also been “hit on” by a were-panther.  But here in “Definitely Dead,” Bill is dating another woman, Eric is trying to stay away and Alcide is dating another woman.  She finally tells Calvin, the were-panther, that she’s not interested.  So with all the bad luck with men, can Sookie find someone?  That answer seems to be yes and he’s in the form of a were-tiger, Quinn.  Quinn and Sookie met when Quinn was moderating the battle for pack leader in the Shreveport werewolf pack.  As we begin book six Quinn asks Sookie for a date and she accepts.  If you’re wondering why she doesn’t just date a regular human, well that’s where her “disability” slips in.  You see, Sookie is telepathic, she can read the thoughts of all humans, and that really puts a damper on human relations.  With the supernatural folk, Sookie seems to draw a blank, but every once in a while she can pick something up from the supes.

Some background info you should know is that Sookie once killed Alcide’s former girlfriend, a were-fox, by the name of Debbie Pelt.  But no one knows this and everyone thinks that after Alcide abjured her she just took off.  Not only did Sookie kill her but Eric hid the body, the bad thing is that this was when Eric was an amnesiac, now he doesn’t know where he hid the body.  This is probably for the good but Debbie’s family is eagerly searching for her.  Also, in Sookie’s background (told in the short story “One Word Answer” in the compilation “Bite” {2005}) Sookie’s cousin, Hadley, has crossed over to being a vamp, and the lover of the Louisiana Vampire Queen.

So with that in mind, Quinn and Sookie are attacked by two freshly bitten young weres as they are leaving the theatre from their date.  Quinn then warns the Shreveport pack that since Sookie was a friend of the pack they should not allow this to happen.  Sookie then has to go to New Orleans to attend the party celebrating the marriage of the Queen of Louisiana and the King of Arkansas.  This marriage is purely a political thing, but Sookie soon discovers there is something more going on.

Sookie and Quinn are captured and make their escape through a Louisiana swamp.  Sookie and the witch landlady for Hadley’s apartment, Amelia are attacked by a freshly made vampire and a major war begins between two vampire factions.  All this action and Sookie manages to out wit the bad guys and manage to maintain that level of humor that is Sookie Stackhouse in the Southern Vampire Mysteries.  These books are really fun to read.

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