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Dead as a Doornail    by Charlaine Harris order for
Dead as a Doornail
by Charlaine Harris
Order:  USA  Can
Ace, 2006 (2005)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Sookie Stackhouse has been up to her neck in vampires since the creatures decided to out themselves and join the human world. Sookie's not exactly the ordinary small-town Louisiana cocktail waitress she seems to be. She can read minds, but blessedly not vampire minds. This makes them appealing to Sookie who finds it hard to concentrate amid the chatter of other people's thoughts.

In this fifth mystery of the series, Sookie's latest problem is her brother Jason, who is bitten by a shape-shifter and transforms into a were-panther when the moon is full. While Jason is still struggling with his new experiences as a changeling, a sniper begins targeting shape-shifters. Since shape-shifters aren't out like vampires, the human world is unaware of their existence. The officers investigating the shootings don't realize that the victims all have dual natures in common. Sookie finds herself searching for the killer, while trying to protect her brother from both the shooter and those in the shape-shifter community who aren't sure they can trust the newcomer.

Humorous dialogue, a twisty plot, and out-of-this-world suitors keep Sookie on her toes and in danger throughout. Harris's wacky sense of humor creates some fascinating characters and settings, as when Sookie visits a Shreveport nightclub called Fangtasia. A famous undead Southern celebrity is sighted in a bit part when he shows up with a muddled message for Sookie from Fangtasia's vampire owner. Dead as a Doornail is a fun book and my first read in the Southern Vampire series. Harris does an excellent job of keeping the reader unobtrusively up to date on what happened earlier in the series, without giving away past plots.

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