Friday 30 October 2009

A TOUCH OF DEAD: A Sookie Stackhouse Collection

Sookie Stackhouse enjoys her job as a cocktail waitress in Merlotte's, a small-town bar in small-town Bon Temps, deep in Louisiana. She's funny and pretty and, thanks to her grandmother, she's very well-mannered - but since not many people truly appreciate her ability to read their minds, the guys haven't exactly been beating down her door... And then along came Bill, tall, dark and handsome - and Sookie couldn't 'hear' a word he was thinking. He was exactly the type of guy she'd been waiting all her life for. Of course, Bill had a disability of his own: fussy about his food, not into suntans, bit of a night person: yep, Bill was a vampire. But at least now Sookie knows there ARE guys she can date who won't worry about her catching them thinking about other women... And that's going to make Sookie's life really interesting!

This gorgeous and sleek book contains five short stories by Charlaine Harris that up until now were included in other anthologies. They're all about Sookie Stackhouse and take place between certain books in the series. I think the UK/Australian cover is absolutely gorgeous. This is the US cover, which is really cute too. And the inside is just as stunning. There's an introduction by Charlaine herself, and a two-page illustration at the beginning of every story.

Now, here's a little about the stories...

FAIRY DUST: A fairy walks into a bar, seriously she does. Claudine walks into Merlotte's looking for Sookie. She and her brother Claude need Sookie's help to figure out who killed their triplet, Claudette. They've got three human suspects - a stripper, a bouncer, and the owner of the club.

This is a short but fun story where Sookie uses her telepathic ability to figure out who killed the fairy. I enjoyed it heaps, and liked finding out a little more about Claudine, Claude and fairies in general.

DRACULA NIGHT: When Eric invites Sookie to Fangtasia for an annual vampire event that celebrates Dracula's birthday, she agrees to go. She also finds out that Eric is quite the Dracula fan who secretly hopes that Dracula will make an appearance at his party. But when the person who claims to be the Lord of Darkness shows up, the unexpected happens.

I enjoyed this one too. It was a lot of fun to see the cool, calm, and collected Eric acting a little neurotic. Pam was great in this little story, her side comments made me laugh.

ONE WORD ANSWER: While Sookie is doing some late-night gardening with Bubba, a limo arrives at her house. A man who claims to be a lawyer by the name of Mr. Cataliades gets out and tells her that her cousin Hadley is dead, but that's not all he's there to tell her. His visit entails more revelations then she expected.

I really liked the simplicity of this story. It's a straightforward tale that gives Sookie some answers about her estranged cousin, but also has a few very cool twists in the end. Well-worth reading.

LUCKY: When Greg Aubert pays Sookie a visit, hoping she'll help him figure out who's been sneaking past his spell to get into his insurance office at night, Amelia and Sookie investigate. What that entails is a telepath (Sookie) and a witch (Amelia) following one clue after another, until Sookie can find whoever's responsible. Who would've thought that someone could hog all the luck in one town?

This was a great story that captured not only Sookie's world, but what makes a short story really work. I loved it!

GIFT WRAP: Sookie's all alone on Christmas Eve, but when she goes for a walk in the woods and finds an injured Were, she insists on taking him home to make sure whoever attacked him doesn't return to finish him off. But the mysterious stranger brings a little festive magic to her night.

This delicious tale was excellent. I wasn't expecting the sneaky twist at the end, but loved it.

A Touch of Dead is a collection that every Sookie Stackhouse fan should own and will love. I know I did!

A Touch of Dead: A Sookie Stackhouse Collection, October 2009, ISBN 0575094435, Gollancz Paperback

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