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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.
Published: Penguin Group on
ISBN: 9781101205778
List price: $7.99
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I enjoyed this mystery a lot, even more than the first book in the series! The plot kept me interested, perhaps in part because it had to do with an old cemetery (I like old cemeteries a lot!) and a college campus (I work on one).

The relationship between Harper and Tolliver made much more sense to me in this installment of the series. They seemed to be much more of a team, both professionally and emotionally, in this book.more
This gets two starts because I am nitpicky about certain things and Charlaine Harris was incapable of keeping the details about Mariella and Gracie straight from one book to another. This is understandable if there are seventeen or so books in between but this was the second book.more
I was excited to check out this series because I really enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse series. Eh, no. While an interesting and entertaining listen, I found the plot to be predictable and the incestuous undertones a little disturbing. Just because someone is not your relative by blood doesn't mean they can't still be considered your brother. And he is described as being skinny, pock-marked, and with a ponytail! Get real!

Anyway, when I first began this one, I did not know it was the second in the series. She catches you up pretty quickly so I did not feel lost. But I felt like the killer was obvious from the first interaction with that person.

And what the heck kind of a name is Tolliver?more
I loved the true blood series, so i thought i would read one of her other series. not bad at all.more
Three's a crowd, especially in a grave. Picking up directly where Grave Secret left off, this installment finds Harper visiting an old cemetery on the campus of small, private Bingham College in Memphis. She's there to prove her talent in front of a doubting professor and his class; they've been de-bunking psychics, but they're about to get a lot more proof than they bargained for.Didn't want to put it down.more
In Book 2, Harper is once again in the middle of a murder investigation, this time she's in my home state, Tennessee, and she finally found the body of Tabitha Morgenstern, the 11yo who went missing months back that she wasn't able to retrieve. Here that case finally had some closure but not without serious complications for her and Tolliver.Grave Surprise is where we also witness Harper and Tolliver try to build a relationship with their two younger sisters but it still has that sense of alienation and awkwardness.At this point, Sookie is still a more developed character than Harper. However this series is interesting in its own way and much of it is credited to CHarris' fantastic writing. And like most series, Book 1 is a little slow but it's starting to get some traction in book 2 which I hope will continue to do so as I move forward with the series.more
It has the same feeling of "geez I wish people would stop harassing Harper for what she does for a living" as the first book did. Not in a bad way, just makes you feel sorry for Harper and want to punch those idiots who are first in line to seek her help, then follow it up with treating her like some sort of specimen that should be put into a bottle.Sure... her relationship with her brother is not normal... but that's really the point of their relationship, isn't it. It's how Harris wrote Harper to be able to overcome her childhood and deal with her talent - by relying on her brother. And it makes as much sense as any other justification would.I don't think I liked it quite as much as the first one, perhaps because the antagonist's identity and rationalizations for the crime were just a bit too far-fetched.more
That the Harper Connelly books are not what they seem becomes apparent in this, the second book in the series.Like the first book, this one is focused around the consequences of Harper using her strange gift for finding the dead and knowing how they died. The plot is complex enough to be satisfying and plausible enough not to be irritating but you soon realise that the purpose of the book is to understand more about Harper and her relationships to her family.During the book, I was curious to find out who the bad guy was but the real fascination was in learning more about Harper’s background and her relationship with the men in her life, especially her “brother” and the pierced and tattooed young psychic.Harper is both fragile and strong. The two parts of her are bound together by her bravery and her need to find the truth.Harris succeeds in getting the reader to see the world through Harper’s eyes and to sympathise with that point of view. All the little details are right and the pace is well-managed.I would have been happier with a little less need to recap the first book in the second but this did not mar my enjoyment of the book as a whole.more
I raced through it, I really enjoy this series, easy to read and entertaining . I was pretty sure who was responsible early on but I didn't mind that at all since I was intrigued by teh interplay of characters.more
An outstanding follow-up to the series opener, this offering continues the story of Harper (the lightning-struck girl who can see dead people) and Tolliver (the step-brother that manages the business they built on her skills). Once again the murderer isn't hard to figure out early on in the story, but once again it doesn't really matter- the gradual sharing of information about Harper and Tolliver's lives and their past is more than enough to capture reader interest. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!more
I must admit that I was slightly dissapointed in Grave Surprise it just didn't like she actually wanted to write th book (or at least that is my impression.) Harper in the first book had been one of my favorite characters I thought it was very unique that she could feel the cause of death from dead people. The story was a bit see through for me but the strange little fit Harper threw in the hotel over something she thought about Tolliver was weird and just seemed out of character for her. I think I will at least give the third book a chance to see if maybe she was in a writing rut when she wrote this one? Other then finding the book a bit stuffy and weird compared to her other works I have read I am sure there are plenty out there that would enjoy this book. The concept is very unique (at least I think it is) and it is worth giving it a try.more
Not too bad, a pleasant and undemanding supernatural detective mystery. Our heroine Harper gained a mysterious ability to sense the dead, after being struck by lightning. An easy read, with some interesting plot twists.I quite enjoyed it, and it would make a decent beach or bath book. I liked it rather better than the Sookie Stackhouse one I also read by the same author. The characters are more plausible.more
Harper Connelly is back in Grave Surprise, the second in a series written by Charlaine Harris about the lightning-strike-survivor who finds corpses through a strange sixth sense. This time, Harper and her step-brother Tolliver are traveling to Memphis for what's supposedly just a college class demonstration -- though they assume (correctly) that the professor is out to prove they're frauds. They all get a bit more than they bargained for when Harper not only correctly explains the cause of death for every person buried in the small college cemetery (take that, professor), but finds that one additional body has been buried there. The body is that of a little girl who went missing two years prior from Nashville... and the twist comes with the fact that Harper had been hired to find the girl, but met with no success at the time (without a hint as to the body's location, she could never find the girl in the places they searched). Now, nearly two years later, she meets success... in the town where the bereaved family has relocated to try and make a fresh start. While the family can finally have peace, no one thinks these facts add up to a coincidence. Harper and Tolliver are drawn in to the case, though obviously her peculiar talents are somewhat limited in terms of finding out the who's of things... which makes it helpful when bodies keep showing up as a means of providing clues. The tie here is almost more emotional and it's unsurprising that little things keep popping up to keep Harper in town... not the least of which is yet another fresh body, this time that of the professor originally calling her to Memphis. I wasn't as thrilled with Grave Surprise as I was with Grave Sight, mostly because I feel it was a transition novel, getting us to a point with character development so that the next book could get interesting (aka the relationship between Tolliver and Harper being weird). You probably should read Grave Sight first before this one, even though I feel like we were treated to a lot of repetition as far as their backgrounds were concerned. The mystery itself was intriguing, but also somewhat predictable in the end, which was a disappointment. Still, it was an amusing enough quick read and if you liked the first, you'll likely still enjoy the second to some degree.more
Harper is a strong character that you can't help but love. This book did feel like a slight repeat of the first though. Some of the information was almost verbatim. Luckily, I didn't mind it too much as I read Grave Sight many months ago. I'm already halfway through An Ice Cold Grave, and I'm struggling to accept the developments between her and Tolliver that first appear in this novel. It was subtle throughout this book until she clocks you around the head with Harpers epiphany at the end.It was a little melodramatic, rushed, but it certainly makes the series that much more interesting...more
Per my review for the first book, I expected the second book to be more polished than the first.It wasn't.I simply cannot sympathize with Harper Connolly's plight nor can I even say I really like her. The characters are so wooden, the plot convoluted and the writing so stilted that I cannot even begin to fathom why people like this series even as a guilty pleasure.My reluctance to read the Southern Mysteries is now even more intensified because if I cannot even invest time into Harris' secondary series, why should I invest in her first?It's a shame, as I said before, as I like the premise of the series but it's just so badly done! I now wonder if Harris is hurting for cash and is using the fan base of her primary series to fund her other series' as a means to gain popularity?more
A really compulsive read - I was very annoyed when I was interrupted as I really didn't want to put it down! Definitely recommended for long journeys etc.more
Lightning Struck Harper Connelly can now feel the energy of the dead, and the newer the stronger. Great new idea for a series by Charlaine Harris. I found this book refreshing with a great new storyline and entertaining characters.more
Grave Surprise is the second installment of the Harper Connolly series by Charlaine Harris. I rated the first book a 3 stars- and this book WAS an improvement over the first which is why it got .5 points (or stars?) better in my opinion. Maybe I'm grading this series so hard because after reading Charlaine's Southern Vampire Series I expect a lot? Haha, nahhhh... My real complaint about this book is that it seemed a little redundant. I felt like the plot was super similar to that of the first book and there wasn't as much character development as I had hoped. Harper once again is struggling with her past and the fact that no one really accepts her for who (and what) she is. There isn't really anything cheery or upbeat about Harper (or the plot) in this book. Wow, I sound like Debbie Downer, don't I? That isn't the case- I just wanted to get the negative out of the way first! I don't want to leave you guys with a bad taste in your mouth afterall. Hehe. It was nice to see that Harper's reputation, career wise, is growing as well as her relationship with Tolliver is changing.So, what do we have in Grave Surprise? A whole lot of 'who did it.' I don't mind a good thriller/mystery, so I liked trying to guess the murderer. (I'm normally really bad at guessing, so it is fun for me!) Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver, are requested by a professor in Memphis to read a cemetery on campus. His point in having her read the graves was to prove her a fraud. (Only the professor himself and a few others that worked for the college knew the names and causes of death for those in the graves.) Boy, did Harper prove the professor wrong! And in front of his entire class of undergraduate students! Serves him right. Not only does she identify all the corpses- she identifies one that has secretly been buried there. Surprise! It is the body of a young girl that Harper tried to locate once before- unsuccessfully. Now that they finally found the body, who kidnapped, killed and hid the body of the young girl?The characters are well developed in this novel- I was just hoping that Harper would become a little less dependent on Tolliver. I have to say, their relationship does make me feel a little uncomfortable, but it is unique nonetheless. I haven't read anything that I can relate to this and I do like when books make me feel uncomfortable. Ah- and before I forget- there were some very intriguing secondary characters in this book. I enjoyed most of them while some irritated me. I like to be irritated by characters too, only makes it seem more real ;o) I can't wait to dig into book #4. (I already read book #3, just need to quit slacking and post a review!!)I think that anyone who enjoys a good mystery should dig into this book. (As well as anyone that loves our Miss Stackhouse!) This was a breezy summer read. I won't be keeping it for my bookshelves, but I'm glad I read it. Three POINT five stars from me, Harper Connolly! (AND I love the Elvis shout outs!! It was fun seeing them in this as well as the Southern Vampire Series. Props to Harris. Hehe.)more
I listened to the Book-on-CD version of this book, narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan. After enjoying the first book in the series, I was vaguely disappointed in this second volume. On the plus side, Harper's paranormal abilities have certainly developed some interesting new twists -- physical manifestations of ghosts, anyone? On the other hand, I'm made extremely uncomfortable by the evolving relationship between Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver. That, plus the mystery in this one wasn't very surprising at all.On the other hand, Bresnahan's narration was well done, with subtle variations for character voices, and a strong solid voice for Harper as the main narrative presence. Despite my slight disappointment in this volume, I look forward to listening to Ice Cold Grave very soon.more
straight up mystery series that gets better n' better with each bookmore
Title: Grave SurpriseAuthor: Charlaine HarrisGenre: Mystery# of pages: 295Start date:End date:04/4Borrowed/bought: borrowedMy rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best]: B+Description of the book: Harper has a rare talent. In an accidental lightning strike when she was a teenager, Harper has the ability to sense dead people. With the help of Tolliver, her brother, Harper goes to solve another mystery. Harper is asked to do a demonstration for a college class. Everything seems normal until she finds Tabitha, a case she had worked many months before. Tabitha was a young girl snatched in midmorning her own front yard.Review: Harris has done it again with another fun series that is a playful mix of genres. I would recommend she strengthen the character development of the morgensterns and the aunt. The ending was a total surprise to me mostly because the explanation of Mr. Morgenstern's charismatic personality seemed . . .off? I always thought Harper and Tolliver had a strange relationship. . and yeah, Charlaine went there. Loving this series!!! Sad to see there are only four thus far.more
Fun Fun Fun! I love Harper, though there's a little something creepy sometimes between her and her step-brother... But they're great and I can't wait to read the next! Harris, you better start writing faster!more
This is the second book in the Harper Connelly Mystery series, which features the team of Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver Lang who travel around the country helping to locate missing persons.Twenty-four year old Harper was struck by lightning at age 15, and ever since, she can find dead people if the approximate location is known, and she can determine the cause of their deaths.In this book, Harper and Tolliver travel to Memphis, hired by a prickly college professor to go through an old graveyard and share information about the dead with the students. At the last grave, however, Harper gets a surprise, when she discovers that the old grave has a second body inside, a body she “recognizes.” Several years earlier, she had been hired to come to Nashville and try and locate the body 11-year-old Tabitha Morgenstern, a young girl apparently abducted. She had failed to do so, but now, in more than a remarkable coincidence, Tabitha is literally right under her feet.Harper and Tolliver connect with the Morgenstern family again, but Harper also experiences a more significant connection: she senses a ghost in the graveyard who communicates with her, and she doesn’t know why. Furthermore, she finds out that the grandson of a psychic called in on the Morgenstern case may be able to read minds. And finally, she is beginning to understand that the only one in her life she can trust is her stepbrother; should she stop thinking of him as her “brother?” She muses:"I often thought, and sometimes said, that Tolliver would be better off if he hadn’t undertaken the role of my backbone. But when I tried to imagine myself going on the road alone, I felt a huge hole in my middle that refused to fill with anything.”Discussion: Charlaine Harris can’t resist the tug of the supernatural! It wouldn’t surprise me if in the next “episode” of this series, we meet up with werewolves and vampires!The characters in this series are darker than in the Sookie Stackhouse books; Harper uses language Sookie wouldn’t dream of using, and although both young women have a “disability,” Harper’s has bad physical repercussions, and she’s often in pain and/or depressed.Nevertheless, Harris’s sense of humor and endearing quality of self-deprecation lighten up the series. As an example, when Harper encounters the ghost, she and Tolliver have this conversation:Harper: ‘This is a thin place.’”Tolliver: ‘What’s that?’Harper: ‘A place where the other world is very close to this world, separated only by a thin membrane.’Tolliver: ‘You’ve been reading Stephen King again.’”Evaluation: The “mystery” portion of this book is rather insubstantial, but Harris's characterization is rich and marbled. I like the characters of Harper and Tolliver, I love Harris as a writer of tongue-in-cheek supernatural books, and because of those two factors, I wouldn’t hesitate to continue with this series.more
Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver have been invited to Memphis to give a demonstration. Dr Nunley, who teaches an unorthodox class at Bingham College, has it in mind to expose Harper as a fraud. But when Harper makes a surprising discovery at the old cemetery, even Dr Nunley is left speechless.Harper had finally found Tabitha Morgenstern who had disappeared eighteen months ago in Nashville; only its months later and in the wrong city. Something about all this was not quite right, and when a new body turns up Harper and Tolliver decide its time they did some investigating of their own.However, Harper finds herself distracted with prophecies, and ghosts and other things... Harper is accused of having more then one suitor. But is it the teenager Victor who is so obviously hiding a secret or two? the black leathered, white haired, pierced all over Manfred who so obviously has feelings for Harper? or is it the last person Harper expected, who will capture her affections?Harper is gifted, strangely so, but despite her unique talent and association with death she is still very human and very likeable. As a character Harper is attainable and full of personality, her story highly imaginative while still remaining grounded. A thrilling mystery and a great read.more
Not a bad book, but not quite as good as the first due to redundancy. Very similar to the first in the plot & all. Again, the heroine isn't very upbeat nor is the story line. Same issues with folks accepting her for what she is/does.The biggest drawback was background of the heroine. We're treated to several pages where she crams in all the background info we learned through the first book & then she dishes it out again through out the book. OK, she & her step-brother had a rough time as kids, but I had that drilled into me in the first book. It was shoved in my face over & over again until I was skimming at times.There is one 'shocking revelation' on her part. I don't like spoiler reviews, so I won't say what it is. It didn't strike me too well, though. It was understandable in many ways, but her reaction seemed over dramatic. Maybe it's a female/moral thing. Very possible. I'm a guy & my morals tend toward practicality, so others could think this was OK. I think I'll go looking for a topic that discusses this & see what others think.more
This is the second book in a series and the second one that I have read. It is jems like this that make me glad that I still have access to a real live book shop and not stuck with online shopping only.The basic bacground to the series is that the main chatacter, harper, after being struck by lightening is able to locate the bodies of those who have passed away. She can also determine cause of death. She and her half brother Tolliver are going arround America offereing her services. In this case she has been asked to demonstrate her tallent to a group of students. The lecturer has arrranged for her to visit an old graveyard for which the details have only just been found so that she will not have been able to look up details of the burrials in advance. In this old graveyard there is a modern burial that should not be there that she identifies and so the mystery begins.I am notr certain that I was every really in doubt as to the final outcome of the book however the characterisation and flow of the book made this one of the most enjoyable read I have had in some time. It was not creepy, the matter of fact way that harper describes what she feels makes what she does and the circumstances seem almost normal.It was interesting to have a small vinagret of another person with special tallent and have harpers opinion on those who have a talent and those who pretend to have one shown.I will be looking for more books by this author, not only good characters and story line, but good writing of descriptice passages and characters that are three dimensional and believablemore
I chose this book for my Random Book Selection for the Take a Chance challenge. I went to Books-A-Million to the discounted section. The directions I had written down were 2nd section from the right, 3rd row down, and 10th book from the right. The book my hand landed on was Grave Surprise by Charlain Harris.Here is my review:Dr. Nunley teaches a class on Open Mind experiences at a local college in Memphis, Tennessee. He has called on Harper Connelly and her brother Tolliver to be a guest at his next experiment. Harper had been struck by lightening and has since been able to tell who was in a grave and how they died. On this day she is taken to an ancient cemetery where only the professor knows who is in the graves and how they died. As Harper goes about her business of demonstrating her abilities for the class, she has no way of knowing things are about to be turned upside down. As she steps onto the last and oldest grave she tells the professor there is a young girl there. He laughs. She then points out the original occupant and how he died is lying below a young girl who has only recently been placed there. The shocking thing is she and her brother had looked for this young girl unsuccessfully in the past. Upon digging up the grave they find the remains of young Tabbitha Morgenstern. It is a strange coincidence that they are in Memphis and find the body and then find out that the Morgenstern's had moved to Memphis less than a year before. As they are trying to find out what is going on the Professor turns up dead in the same grave. Now they are sure that something is wrong. They set out to find out who is setting whom up and the reason why. I loved this book. It is the first of her books I had read. It will definately not be the last one I read. I enjoyed this author and her style of writing a lot. The twisted ending was great. I would give this book a rating of 5 out of 5more
Liked it immensely. Harper is an interesting character burdened with abilities she didn't ask for but uses for the good. Harris could flesh out Tolliver a bit more the next go round though.more
This is a delightful, fun read which inspires me to obtain more of Charlaine Harris's books.In this one, Harper Connelly is among the minority of people who survive a lightening strike, like those who go on, the medical problems are quirky and bothersome. None, however more unique than the fact that Harper is left with the ability to connect with people who died, and thus discerning the cause of their death by coming in contact with the graves and/or bodies of the deceased.A few years earlier, Harper and her brother Tolliver were hired to investigate the disappearance of 11 year old Tabitha Morgenstern. Unable to solve the case, fast forward two years later when they are called to a graveyard in Memphis, TN where a college professor of a local university tries to debunk them in front of his students.It was not surprising that Harper was able to accurately stand on the graves of the deceased, call out the names and tell the students the cause of death, but what was disconcerting was the fact that corner of the graveyard contained a man buried years ago and on top of his coffin, was the buried body of the eleven year old Tabitha.While the book is not in depth and gripping, it was interesting enough for me to finish it in three short sittings. The characters were well developed and the story line was well written. If you are looking for a quick read that holds your interest, I recommend this bookmore
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Reviews

I enjoyed this mystery a lot, even more than the first book in the series! The plot kept me interested, perhaps in part because it had to do with an old cemetery (I like old cemeteries a lot!) and a college campus (I work on one).

The relationship between Harper and Tolliver made much more sense to me in this installment of the series. They seemed to be much more of a team, both professionally and emotionally, in this book.more
This gets two starts because I am nitpicky about certain things and Charlaine Harris was incapable of keeping the details about Mariella and Gracie straight from one book to another. This is understandable if there are seventeen or so books in between but this was the second book.more
I was excited to check out this series because I really enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse series. Eh, no. While an interesting and entertaining listen, I found the plot to be predictable and the incestuous undertones a little disturbing. Just because someone is not your relative by blood doesn't mean they can't still be considered your brother. And he is described as being skinny, pock-marked, and with a ponytail! Get real!

Anyway, when I first began this one, I did not know it was the second in the series. She catches you up pretty quickly so I did not feel lost. But I felt like the killer was obvious from the first interaction with that person.

And what the heck kind of a name is Tolliver?more
I loved the true blood series, so i thought i would read one of her other series. not bad at all.more
Three's a crowd, especially in a grave. Picking up directly where Grave Secret left off, this installment finds Harper visiting an old cemetery on the campus of small, private Bingham College in Memphis. She's there to prove her talent in front of a doubting professor and his class; they've been de-bunking psychics, but they're about to get a lot more proof than they bargained for.Didn't want to put it down.more
In Book 2, Harper is once again in the middle of a murder investigation, this time she's in my home state, Tennessee, and she finally found the body of Tabitha Morgenstern, the 11yo who went missing months back that she wasn't able to retrieve. Here that case finally had some closure but not without serious complications for her and Tolliver.Grave Surprise is where we also witness Harper and Tolliver try to build a relationship with their two younger sisters but it still has that sense of alienation and awkwardness.At this point, Sookie is still a more developed character than Harper. However this series is interesting in its own way and much of it is credited to CHarris' fantastic writing. And like most series, Book 1 is a little slow but it's starting to get some traction in book 2 which I hope will continue to do so as I move forward with the series.more
It has the same feeling of "geez I wish people would stop harassing Harper for what she does for a living" as the first book did. Not in a bad way, just makes you feel sorry for Harper and want to punch those idiots who are first in line to seek her help, then follow it up with treating her like some sort of specimen that should be put into a bottle.Sure... her relationship with her brother is not normal... but that's really the point of their relationship, isn't it. It's how Harris wrote Harper to be able to overcome her childhood and deal with her talent - by relying on her brother. And it makes as much sense as any other justification would.I don't think I liked it quite as much as the first one, perhaps because the antagonist's identity and rationalizations for the crime were just a bit too far-fetched.more
That the Harper Connelly books are not what they seem becomes apparent in this, the second book in the series.Like the first book, this one is focused around the consequences of Harper using her strange gift for finding the dead and knowing how they died. The plot is complex enough to be satisfying and plausible enough not to be irritating but you soon realise that the purpose of the book is to understand more about Harper and her relationships to her family.During the book, I was curious to find out who the bad guy was but the real fascination was in learning more about Harper’s background and her relationship with the men in her life, especially her “brother” and the pierced and tattooed young psychic.Harper is both fragile and strong. The two parts of her are bound together by her bravery and her need to find the truth.Harris succeeds in getting the reader to see the world through Harper’s eyes and to sympathise with that point of view. All the little details are right and the pace is well-managed.I would have been happier with a little less need to recap the first book in the second but this did not mar my enjoyment of the book as a whole.more
I raced through it, I really enjoy this series, easy to read and entertaining . I was pretty sure who was responsible early on but I didn't mind that at all since I was intrigued by teh interplay of characters.more
An outstanding follow-up to the series opener, this offering continues the story of Harper (the lightning-struck girl who can see dead people) and Tolliver (the step-brother that manages the business they built on her skills). Once again the murderer isn't hard to figure out early on in the story, but once again it doesn't really matter- the gradual sharing of information about Harper and Tolliver's lives and their past is more than enough to capture reader interest. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!more
I must admit that I was slightly dissapointed in Grave Surprise it just didn't like she actually wanted to write th book (or at least that is my impression.) Harper in the first book had been one of my favorite characters I thought it was very unique that she could feel the cause of death from dead people. The story was a bit see through for me but the strange little fit Harper threw in the hotel over something she thought about Tolliver was weird and just seemed out of character for her. I think I will at least give the third book a chance to see if maybe she was in a writing rut when she wrote this one? Other then finding the book a bit stuffy and weird compared to her other works I have read I am sure there are plenty out there that would enjoy this book. The concept is very unique (at least I think it is) and it is worth giving it a try.more
Not too bad, a pleasant and undemanding supernatural detective mystery. Our heroine Harper gained a mysterious ability to sense the dead, after being struck by lightning. An easy read, with some interesting plot twists.I quite enjoyed it, and it would make a decent beach or bath book. I liked it rather better than the Sookie Stackhouse one I also read by the same author. The characters are more plausible.more
Harper Connelly is back in Grave Surprise, the second in a series written by Charlaine Harris about the lightning-strike-survivor who finds corpses through a strange sixth sense. This time, Harper and her step-brother Tolliver are traveling to Memphis for what's supposedly just a college class demonstration -- though they assume (correctly) that the professor is out to prove they're frauds. They all get a bit more than they bargained for when Harper not only correctly explains the cause of death for every person buried in the small college cemetery (take that, professor), but finds that one additional body has been buried there. The body is that of a little girl who went missing two years prior from Nashville... and the twist comes with the fact that Harper had been hired to find the girl, but met with no success at the time (without a hint as to the body's location, she could never find the girl in the places they searched). Now, nearly two years later, she meets success... in the town where the bereaved family has relocated to try and make a fresh start. While the family can finally have peace, no one thinks these facts add up to a coincidence. Harper and Tolliver are drawn in to the case, though obviously her peculiar talents are somewhat limited in terms of finding out the who's of things... which makes it helpful when bodies keep showing up as a means of providing clues. The tie here is almost more emotional and it's unsurprising that little things keep popping up to keep Harper in town... not the least of which is yet another fresh body, this time that of the professor originally calling her to Memphis. I wasn't as thrilled with Grave Surprise as I was with Grave Sight, mostly because I feel it was a transition novel, getting us to a point with character development so that the next book could get interesting (aka the relationship between Tolliver and Harper being weird). You probably should read Grave Sight first before this one, even though I feel like we were treated to a lot of repetition as far as their backgrounds were concerned. The mystery itself was intriguing, but also somewhat predictable in the end, which was a disappointment. Still, it was an amusing enough quick read and if you liked the first, you'll likely still enjoy the second to some degree.more
Harper is a strong character that you can't help but love. This book did feel like a slight repeat of the first though. Some of the information was almost verbatim. Luckily, I didn't mind it too much as I read Grave Sight many months ago. I'm already halfway through An Ice Cold Grave, and I'm struggling to accept the developments between her and Tolliver that first appear in this novel. It was subtle throughout this book until she clocks you around the head with Harpers epiphany at the end.It was a little melodramatic, rushed, but it certainly makes the series that much more interesting...more
Per my review for the first book, I expected the second book to be more polished than the first.It wasn't.I simply cannot sympathize with Harper Connolly's plight nor can I even say I really like her. The characters are so wooden, the plot convoluted and the writing so stilted that I cannot even begin to fathom why people like this series even as a guilty pleasure.My reluctance to read the Southern Mysteries is now even more intensified because if I cannot even invest time into Harris' secondary series, why should I invest in her first?It's a shame, as I said before, as I like the premise of the series but it's just so badly done! I now wonder if Harris is hurting for cash and is using the fan base of her primary series to fund her other series' as a means to gain popularity?more
A really compulsive read - I was very annoyed when I was interrupted as I really didn't want to put it down! Definitely recommended for long journeys etc.more
Lightning Struck Harper Connelly can now feel the energy of the dead, and the newer the stronger. Great new idea for a series by Charlaine Harris. I found this book refreshing with a great new storyline and entertaining characters.more
Grave Surprise is the second installment of the Harper Connolly series by Charlaine Harris. I rated the first book a 3 stars- and this book WAS an improvement over the first which is why it got .5 points (or stars?) better in my opinion. Maybe I'm grading this series so hard because after reading Charlaine's Southern Vampire Series I expect a lot? Haha, nahhhh... My real complaint about this book is that it seemed a little redundant. I felt like the plot was super similar to that of the first book and there wasn't as much character development as I had hoped. Harper once again is struggling with her past and the fact that no one really accepts her for who (and what) she is. There isn't really anything cheery or upbeat about Harper (or the plot) in this book. Wow, I sound like Debbie Downer, don't I? That isn't the case- I just wanted to get the negative out of the way first! I don't want to leave you guys with a bad taste in your mouth afterall. Hehe. It was nice to see that Harper's reputation, career wise, is growing as well as her relationship with Tolliver is changing.So, what do we have in Grave Surprise? A whole lot of 'who did it.' I don't mind a good thriller/mystery, so I liked trying to guess the murderer. (I'm normally really bad at guessing, so it is fun for me!) Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver, are requested by a professor in Memphis to read a cemetery on campus. His point in having her read the graves was to prove her a fraud. (Only the professor himself and a few others that worked for the college knew the names and causes of death for those in the graves.) Boy, did Harper prove the professor wrong! And in front of his entire class of undergraduate students! Serves him right. Not only does she identify all the corpses- she identifies one that has secretly been buried there. Surprise! It is the body of a young girl that Harper tried to locate once before- unsuccessfully. Now that they finally found the body, who kidnapped, killed and hid the body of the young girl?The characters are well developed in this novel- I was just hoping that Harper would become a little less dependent on Tolliver. I have to say, their relationship does make me feel a little uncomfortable, but it is unique nonetheless. I haven't read anything that I can relate to this and I do like when books make me feel uncomfortable. Ah- and before I forget- there were some very intriguing secondary characters in this book. I enjoyed most of them while some irritated me. I like to be irritated by characters too, only makes it seem more real ;o) I can't wait to dig into book #4. (I already read book #3, just need to quit slacking and post a review!!)I think that anyone who enjoys a good mystery should dig into this book. (As well as anyone that loves our Miss Stackhouse!) This was a breezy summer read. I won't be keeping it for my bookshelves, but I'm glad I read it. Three POINT five stars from me, Harper Connolly! (AND I love the Elvis shout outs!! It was fun seeing them in this as well as the Southern Vampire Series. Props to Harris. Hehe.)more
I listened to the Book-on-CD version of this book, narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan. After enjoying the first book in the series, I was vaguely disappointed in this second volume. On the plus side, Harper's paranormal abilities have certainly developed some interesting new twists -- physical manifestations of ghosts, anyone? On the other hand, I'm made extremely uncomfortable by the evolving relationship between Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver. That, plus the mystery in this one wasn't very surprising at all.On the other hand, Bresnahan's narration was well done, with subtle variations for character voices, and a strong solid voice for Harper as the main narrative presence. Despite my slight disappointment in this volume, I look forward to listening to Ice Cold Grave very soon.more
straight up mystery series that gets better n' better with each bookmore
Title: Grave SurpriseAuthor: Charlaine HarrisGenre: Mystery# of pages: 295Start date:End date:04/4Borrowed/bought: borrowedMy rating of the book, F- [worst] to A [best]: B+Description of the book: Harper has a rare talent. In an accidental lightning strike when she was a teenager, Harper has the ability to sense dead people. With the help of Tolliver, her brother, Harper goes to solve another mystery. Harper is asked to do a demonstration for a college class. Everything seems normal until she finds Tabitha, a case she had worked many months before. Tabitha was a young girl snatched in midmorning her own front yard.Review: Harris has done it again with another fun series that is a playful mix of genres. I would recommend she strengthen the character development of the morgensterns and the aunt. The ending was a total surprise to me mostly because the explanation of Mr. Morgenstern's charismatic personality seemed . . .off? I always thought Harper and Tolliver had a strange relationship. . and yeah, Charlaine went there. Loving this series!!! Sad to see there are only four thus far.more
Fun Fun Fun! I love Harper, though there's a little something creepy sometimes between her and her step-brother... But they're great and I can't wait to read the next! Harris, you better start writing faster!more
This is the second book in the Harper Connelly Mystery series, which features the team of Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver Lang who travel around the country helping to locate missing persons.Twenty-four year old Harper was struck by lightning at age 15, and ever since, she can find dead people if the approximate location is known, and she can determine the cause of their deaths.In this book, Harper and Tolliver travel to Memphis, hired by a prickly college professor to go through an old graveyard and share information about the dead with the students. At the last grave, however, Harper gets a surprise, when she discovers that the old grave has a second body inside, a body she “recognizes.” Several years earlier, she had been hired to come to Nashville and try and locate the body 11-year-old Tabitha Morgenstern, a young girl apparently abducted. She had failed to do so, but now, in more than a remarkable coincidence, Tabitha is literally right under her feet.Harper and Tolliver connect with the Morgenstern family again, but Harper also experiences a more significant connection: she senses a ghost in the graveyard who communicates with her, and she doesn’t know why. Furthermore, she finds out that the grandson of a psychic called in on the Morgenstern case may be able to read minds. And finally, she is beginning to understand that the only one in her life she can trust is her stepbrother; should she stop thinking of him as her “brother?” She muses:"I often thought, and sometimes said, that Tolliver would be better off if he hadn’t undertaken the role of my backbone. But when I tried to imagine myself going on the road alone, I felt a huge hole in my middle that refused to fill with anything.”Discussion: Charlaine Harris can’t resist the tug of the supernatural! It wouldn’t surprise me if in the next “episode” of this series, we meet up with werewolves and vampires!The characters in this series are darker than in the Sookie Stackhouse books; Harper uses language Sookie wouldn’t dream of using, and although both young women have a “disability,” Harper’s has bad physical repercussions, and she’s often in pain and/or depressed.Nevertheless, Harris’s sense of humor and endearing quality of self-deprecation lighten up the series. As an example, when Harper encounters the ghost, she and Tolliver have this conversation:Harper: ‘This is a thin place.’”Tolliver: ‘What’s that?’Harper: ‘A place where the other world is very close to this world, separated only by a thin membrane.’Tolliver: ‘You’ve been reading Stephen King again.’”Evaluation: The “mystery” portion of this book is rather insubstantial, but Harris's characterization is rich and marbled. I like the characters of Harper and Tolliver, I love Harris as a writer of tongue-in-cheek supernatural books, and because of those two factors, I wouldn’t hesitate to continue with this series.more
Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver have been invited to Memphis to give a demonstration. Dr Nunley, who teaches an unorthodox class at Bingham College, has it in mind to expose Harper as a fraud. But when Harper makes a surprising discovery at the old cemetery, even Dr Nunley is left speechless.Harper had finally found Tabitha Morgenstern who had disappeared eighteen months ago in Nashville; only its months later and in the wrong city. Something about all this was not quite right, and when a new body turns up Harper and Tolliver decide its time they did some investigating of their own.However, Harper finds herself distracted with prophecies, and ghosts and other things... Harper is accused of having more then one suitor. But is it the teenager Victor who is so obviously hiding a secret or two? the black leathered, white haired, pierced all over Manfred who so obviously has feelings for Harper? or is it the last person Harper expected, who will capture her affections?Harper is gifted, strangely so, but despite her unique talent and association with death she is still very human and very likeable. As a character Harper is attainable and full of personality, her story highly imaginative while still remaining grounded. A thrilling mystery and a great read.more
Not a bad book, but not quite as good as the first due to redundancy. Very similar to the first in the plot & all. Again, the heroine isn't very upbeat nor is the story line. Same issues with folks accepting her for what she is/does.The biggest drawback was background of the heroine. We're treated to several pages where she crams in all the background info we learned through the first book & then she dishes it out again through out the book. OK, she & her step-brother had a rough time as kids, but I had that drilled into me in the first book. It was shoved in my face over & over again until I was skimming at times.There is one 'shocking revelation' on her part. I don't like spoiler reviews, so I won't say what it is. It didn't strike me too well, though. It was understandable in many ways, but her reaction seemed over dramatic. Maybe it's a female/moral thing. Very possible. I'm a guy & my morals tend toward practicality, so others could think this was OK. I think I'll go looking for a topic that discusses this & see what others think.more
This is the second book in a series and the second one that I have read. It is jems like this that make me glad that I still have access to a real live book shop and not stuck with online shopping only.The basic bacground to the series is that the main chatacter, harper, after being struck by lightening is able to locate the bodies of those who have passed away. She can also determine cause of death. She and her half brother Tolliver are going arround America offereing her services. In this case she has been asked to demonstrate her tallent to a group of students. The lecturer has arrranged for her to visit an old graveyard for which the details have only just been found so that she will not have been able to look up details of the burrials in advance. In this old graveyard there is a modern burial that should not be there that she identifies and so the mystery begins.I am notr certain that I was every really in doubt as to the final outcome of the book however the characterisation and flow of the book made this one of the most enjoyable read I have had in some time. It was not creepy, the matter of fact way that harper describes what she feels makes what she does and the circumstances seem almost normal.It was interesting to have a small vinagret of another person with special tallent and have harpers opinion on those who have a talent and those who pretend to have one shown.I will be looking for more books by this author, not only good characters and story line, but good writing of descriptice passages and characters that are three dimensional and believablemore
I chose this book for my Random Book Selection for the Take a Chance challenge. I went to Books-A-Million to the discounted section. The directions I had written down were 2nd section from the right, 3rd row down, and 10th book from the right. The book my hand landed on was Grave Surprise by Charlain Harris.Here is my review:Dr. Nunley teaches a class on Open Mind experiences at a local college in Memphis, Tennessee. He has called on Harper Connelly and her brother Tolliver to be a guest at his next experiment. Harper had been struck by lightening and has since been able to tell who was in a grave and how they died. On this day she is taken to an ancient cemetery where only the professor knows who is in the graves and how they died. As Harper goes about her business of demonstrating her abilities for the class, she has no way of knowing things are about to be turned upside down. As she steps onto the last and oldest grave she tells the professor there is a young girl there. He laughs. She then points out the original occupant and how he died is lying below a young girl who has only recently been placed there. The shocking thing is she and her brother had looked for this young girl unsuccessfully in the past. Upon digging up the grave they find the remains of young Tabbitha Morgenstern. It is a strange coincidence that they are in Memphis and find the body and then find out that the Morgenstern's had moved to Memphis less than a year before. As they are trying to find out what is going on the Professor turns up dead in the same grave. Now they are sure that something is wrong. They set out to find out who is setting whom up and the reason why. I loved this book. It is the first of her books I had read. It will definately not be the last one I read. I enjoyed this author and her style of writing a lot. The twisted ending was great. I would give this book a rating of 5 out of 5more
Liked it immensely. Harper is an interesting character burdened with abilities she didn't ask for but uses for the good. Harris could flesh out Tolliver a bit more the next go round though.more
This is a delightful, fun read which inspires me to obtain more of Charlaine Harris's books.In this one, Harper Connelly is among the minority of people who survive a lightening strike, like those who go on, the medical problems are quirky and bothersome. None, however more unique than the fact that Harper is left with the ability to connect with people who died, and thus discerning the cause of their death by coming in contact with the graves and/or bodies of the deceased.A few years earlier, Harper and her brother Tolliver were hired to investigate the disappearance of 11 year old Tabitha Morgenstern. Unable to solve the case, fast forward two years later when they are called to a graveyard in Memphis, TN where a college professor of a local university tries to debunk them in front of his students.It was not surprising that Harper was able to accurately stand on the graves of the deceased, call out the names and tell the students the cause of death, but what was disconcerting was the fact that corner of the graveyard contained a man buried years ago and on top of his coffin, was the buried body of the eleven year old Tabitha.While the book is not in depth and gripping, it was interesting enough for me to finish it in three short sittings. The characters were well developed and the story line was well written. If you are looking for a quick read that holds your interest, I recommend this bookmore
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