Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sweet and Deadly

Sweet and Deadly

This is Harris' first novel. You may be familiar with her Sookie Stackhouse series. Or, if you are a fan like me, you also know of her Harper Connelly Grave series and her Lilly Bard Shakespeare series (my personal favorite). I have not read the Aurora Teagarden Series. Like her other books, Sweet and Deadly is a mystery with some romance in it as well.

Sweet and Deadly is set in the south – but the South of about thirty years ago. I say this because you have to remember that thirty years ago there were no computers or cell phones. It is a bit jarring to read about Catherine typing her articles on a typewriter. In addition, if you are at all familiar with the south and its racial and social quirks you will understand where the main character, Catherine Linton, is coming from. However if you are used to the modern-type mystery with all of this century's gadgets and politically correct morals, you may find yourself a bit lost in the undercurrent.

The story begins with Catherine finding a body on her family's tenant property. She is immediately caught up in the terror and scandal of the deceased's demise and life. Add to that the previous unsolved death of Catherine's own parents in a horrific car accident, a hot summer in the south, several potential boyfriends and/or murderers and you have a great mystery story.

I kept trying to figure out who did it even while Catherine keeps finding bodies and becomes the number one suspect. There were a few plot devices that were very obvious and a very confusing twist at the end but overall this was a fun read. I must warn you that I read it at the beach, so perhaps I am giving it the sandy vacation review.

What did this book have to do with my faith? I think it mainly has to do with the contrast of proper behavior verses doing what is right. In other words, your faith versus your culture. Catherine is a quiet person and comes from a well-respected family. She is expected to act in certain ways – including sharing the latest gossip and treating non-whites as less than human. She refuses to do either. She also is expected to be a proper Southern lady. Yet, Catherine has not married and is actually intent on solving her parents' murder and bringing the perpetrator to justice.

Should you lie to protect those you love or tell the truth no matter what the cost? What do you do with those who are making your life miserable? Will you follow through on making sure they are shamed and hated by others? Or will you instead try to love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you? We are all constantly faced with such decisions in which we have to choose whether to go with the crowd or stand up in faith. It is never an easy thing to remain faithful.

I highly recommend Sweet and Deadly for those who love mysteries and/or are a Charlaine Harris fan.

Happy reading!


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