Read Recently — March 2008 — A New Series Begins!

Real Murders: an Aurora Teagarden mystery by Charlaine Harris

So, yes, our heroine’s name is Aurora Teagarden. Teagarden. Her nickname is “Roe”, which of course is another term for fish eggs. Fisheggs Teagarden.

I didn’t really expect to like this book. Of course, you’ve seen me say that enough times to know what it means . . . I quite enjoyed it, really. It reminded me of Harris’ other mystery series (that I read; she has more that I haven’t read), the Lily Bard mysteries , which I also really enjoyed.

Ms. Teagarden lives in Lawrenceton, a small city outside Atlanta, and well on its way to becoming a suburb of same. Her mother is the town’s major realtor; Roe lives in a townhouse in a complex owned by her mother and functions as the manager of the complex when not working at the library.

Roe also belongs to a true-crime club called “Real Murders”. They meet once a month at the VFW hall, where one of their members talks about a particular murder (they spend two meetings on Jack the Ripper, just because). Tonight is to be Roe’s presentation on the “Wallace Murders” (based on a fictional case, I assume). One member of the group heads over early to the VFW Hall to open up; when Roe arrives, still early, that person is nowhere in evidence (other than the fact that the hall is open). When the rest of the group shows up and the first one still isn’t around, Roe goes looking for her. And finds her, dead. Murdered in the same way as the victim in the Wallace Murders.

And then, other members of Real Murders start turning up dead, murdered in imitation of other famous crimes (one is based on the killing of Marat), and an attempt is made on Roe’s life, though that is an amateurish poisoning attempt and completely unsuccessful. Not only is a killer on the loose, but he or she is also probably a member of the group.

So. Roe’s an intelligent young woman, less troubled than Lily Bard but in much the same outsider place in her community. I liked her a lot, and as a true-crime story fan, I liked the idea of Real Murders the group, though I probably wouldn’t attend their meetings. The mystery is interesting and the solution makes sense without needing to lie to the audience or withhold obvious information. In short, recommended.

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