The first book of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and the inspiration for the HBO series True Blood, this book is a wonderful mix of mystery, supernatural, and romance. The plot is very similar to the first season of the TV show, featuring Sookie Stackhouse as a waitress with the disability of being able to read minds. Bill the vampire moves to town, and the reactions of the town folk are mixed – but Sookie finds him intriguing since she cannot read his mind; she can finally relax and not have to work so hard to keep the world out of her head. But when those who have been romantically linked with vampires start being murdered, Sookie’s life is in danger. There is character development throughout the book, the vampires are dark and dangerous, and the sex scenes are explicit. It’s an easy read, a pleasant mind candy book.
4. Charlaine Harris, Living Dead in Dallas, 291 pages, Supernatural/Romance/Mystery, Paperback, 2002.
The 2nd book in the series finds Sookie’s coworker murdered and Sookie attacked by a maenad as a message to Eric, sheriff of the local vampires, leading her to eventually go undercover to a very adult party to clear the local detective being framed. Also, Sookie is sent to Dallas, on loan to the vampires there to find who kidnapped one of their nest mates. While investigating, she is taken prisoner by the Fellowship of the Sun, an anti-vampire group, whose plan to have a fiery morning service is in jeopardy should her rescuers find her in time. Sookie’s relationship with Bill the vampire runs hot, very hot, to cold, while Eric tries so very hard to tempt her away. Vampire romance is a nice diversion.
5. Charlaine Harris, Club Dead, 292 pages, Supernatural/Romance/Mystery, Paperback, 2003.
Bill the vampire is missing, abducted, and it is up to Sookie to find him. Eric pulls a few strings, and she is the guest of the werewolf Alcide Herveaux in Jackson, Mississippi. It’s a covert mission, made all the harder by reports that Bill has been less than faithful as a boyfriend. As usual, Sookie finds all sorts of trouble, and is getting hurt way too often in service to vampires who don’t value her as more than an asset in their business affairs. Not as much sex as the other novels, since Sookie’s vampire lover is being tortured in another state, but Eric tries to remedy that. I can’t wait for the next book to see if Sookie and Bill come to an understanding. These books are kind of addicting.