Sunday 12 December 2010

THE AURORA TEAGARDEN MYSTERIES #4: The Julius House by Charlaine Harris

An omnibus edition of Roe Teagarden's adventures!Aurora Teagarden loves reading about famous murderers - until she finds herself investigating a real-life killing spree!Lawrenceton, Georgia, may be a growing suburb of Atlanta, but it's still a small town at heart. Librarian Aurora Teagarden - Roe - grew up there and she reckons she knows everything about her fellow townsfolk, including which ones share her interest in the darker side of human nature...

Okay, I started reading this series exactly a week ago... and I haven't been able to stop. As I've already mentioned, I loved the first, second, and third books, so I couldn't wait to get stuck into this one!

So much has happened in this former librarian's life. She's helped solve several mysteries, inherited quite a lot of money from a friend, had several disastrous relationships that haven't lasted, and is slowly trying to find what she wants to dedicate her life to now that she no longer works at the library. But one thing she didn't expect (and neither did I) was to be married.

That's exactly what's happened. Roe is now a married woman. She married the mysterious and very alluring Martin Bartell. He's given her the Julius House as a wedding present--the only house in Lawrenceton, and it's outskirts, that vaguely interested her--and she surprised him with an equally thoughtful present herself. The only problem is that the Julius House has been empty for a while because the occupants simply vanished one day. No one's ever found their bodies, no one has any idea what happened to them. They simply disappeared!

Naturally, Roe becomes consumed by the story and before long finds herself looking into it, trying to figure out what happened to the Julius family. Which involves asking all the wrong questions and making herself a target for more violence. Of course, that's not the only mystery in her life. An even darker and more personal one is that of her new husband. Just what kind of secrets is he hiding from her? And who is the Youngblood couple, really? Martin obviously wanted Shelby and his wife Angel to rent the tiny apartment over the garage, but won't tell Roe why...

Before long, Roe is once again deep in the middle of several mysteries that will more than likely solve the six-year question of what really happened to the Julius family? And along the way has to deal with some very serious issues, involving past and present secrets that her husband is keeping from her. Is this relationship doomed as well? Or will Martin end up being completely honest with her?

The Julius House is another fantastic addition to this series. Is it just me, or does this series seem to get better and better? Seriously, it's grabbed me pretty tight and refuses to let go. I really like Aurora, and enjoy seeing how much tougher she's becoming after all of the horrible experiences that are piling up behind her. She's fearless, and a cool narrator to follow around.

Well, I'm absolutely lovin' this series, but am very sad that I have to wait several months for the second (and final) omnibus...

The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Omnibus 1, December 2010, ISBN 9780575096479, Gollancz Paperback

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