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Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery    by Charlaine Harris order for
Real Murders
by Charlaine Harris
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2007 (1990)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

Available for the first time after being out of print for years, Real Murders - the first Aurora Teagarden mystery from popular author Charlaine Harris - is now available for fans of quirky little cozy mysteries.

When the action begins, petite Aurora Teagarden - a twenty-eight year old librarian and townhouse condominium manager in Lawrenceton, Georgia - has shown up early at the VFW hall for her presentation to the monthly meeting of the town's Real Murders Club, an extremely eclectic assortment of folks who enjoy discussing famous murder cases.

Aurora, otherwise known to her friends as Roe, will be sharing her research into the infamous William Herbert Wallace case, that of an English gentleman in 1931 who had brutally murdered his wife Julia.

As Roe arrives at the VFW hall, however, she makes a gruesome discovery. Real Murders Club member Mamie Wright has been murdered, and all physical evidence at the scene of the crime suggests a grim tribute to the Wallace murder case.

Roe and the local police are convinced that the murderer must be a member of Real Murders, but quicker than you can say serial killer, it seems as though the murderer is not content to stop with Mamie Wright. In fact, with an unsettling similarity to other famous murder cases, someone in Lawrenceton is stabbed to death in a bathtub (remember Jean Paul Marat?) and a couple are dispatched with an axe (remember Lizzie Borden's folks?).

Still without many clues and facing mounting dangers (including the prospect of being poisoned, attacked, or murdered herself), Roe continues to pursue the truth, but then she suddenly finds herself and a member of her family enmeshed in a shocking life-or-death dilemma.

But all's well that ends well, so do not worry about Roe (who must, after all, appear in a few sequels). Roe, of course, with a little help from her friends, survives, solves the crimes, and brings the vile murderer (or is it murderers?) to justice.

Real Murders is light and frothy (as are all cozy murder mysteries). Entertaining and unpretentious, Charlaine Harris's first Aurora Teagarden mystery is a pleasant little diversion from everything else that is going on in the world.

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