This is a review of the novel “Grave Surprise” by Charlaine Harris. It is the second novel in the Harper Connelly Series. It follows on from “Grave Sight“.
As this book is a part of a series, the following review may reveal some details of the previous novel/s. Do not read if you intend to read this series in the future and don’t want to know of any potential plot spoilers.
Harper Connelly and her brother Tolliver Lang are back on the road, finding the dead, and/or determining the cause of death for those that they find. They have been invited to Bingham College in Memphis Tennessee, by Dr Clive Nunley as special guests for his “An Open Mind: Experiences Outside the Box” class. It’s obvious that he is hoping to expose Harper as the shady fraud he believes her to be. Pity for him, he’s wrong. But he’s not the only one that gets a shock during Harper’s guest appearance. Dr Clive Nunley has asked Harper to tour the old cemetery on campus grounds, and list the cause of death for those interred there. The Professor has only just discovered the untouched records of the cemetery, and Harper has no way of obtaining any helpful information before her appearance. It’s clear that Dr Nunley considers this to be a perfect test of Harper’s “abilities”.
He’s sorely disappointed when Harper passes his test. However, Harper has found something unexpected. On her examination of an old grave, she’s discovered two bodies as opposed to the expected single body. There’s the grave’s original occupant and there’s fresher remains. Even more surprising is the fact the Harper has recognized them as the remains of a child that she was hired to find years earlier. Tabitha Morgenstern went missing in Nashville, and she’s been presumed dead for all this time. Who murdered Tabitha? It seems too much of a coincidence that Harper is the one who finally located her. Tolliver and Harper find themselves embroiled in mystery again.
I really, really love the way that Charlaine Harris writes mystery. I will never tire of her writing style. Also to be admired, is the way she creates her characters. All of them have such personality and are so individual. I enjoyed this novel. I liked how it highlighted another part of Harper’s life and work, how she dealt with clients, media and skeptics.