Rating: 4 stars
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Minotaur via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Review: It is no secret that I am a tried and true Charlaine Harris fan. If there is a book she’s written, I’ve read it. Her worlds are easy to get lost in and her characters are easy to love. Aurora Teagarden is no exception. Roe has always been one of my favorite characters. Whether it’s her career as a librarian (and therefore love for books!), her penchant for finding herself wound up in murder mysteries (how could there be so many in such a small town, one has to wonder), or her way of moving about in the world with a strong self-awareness of who she is while also being very cognizant of the needs of others, I couldn’t say. All I know is, I’d love to be friends with Roe.
As for this book in particular, #10 in the Aurora Teagarden series, I’m not going to lie. It isn’t my favorite. Don’t get me wrong. The plot is pretty good. The writing is exactly what you’d expect from Ms. Harris. But there was something missing for me, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. The last book was so, so good, and I was really excited about it because it had been a long while since anything had been written in the series. In fact, I thought the series was over. But even after such a long break, All the Little Liars was right on track with all its predecessors.
So, what was different about this one? Well, two things. To be honest, I just don’t feel the relationship between her and her new husband, Robin. It feels like friends who made one of those “if we aren’t married to other people by the time we’re 40…” kind of things. I just don’t feel any connection between them. It’s not a romance novel, so that shouldn’t be a huge issue, but since their relationship and their family is a major part of this particular book, not being able to feel a spark between them was a little off-putting.
The second thing is, the baby changes everything. Don’t get me wrong, it should. As a mother, I know having kids changes everything in your world – how you see it, your place in it, your priorities, how you feel about yourself. So, naturally, it changed all of those things for Roe as well. But it also changes the tone of the story, and I wasn’t really expecting that. Everything is told from Roe’s point of view, so if her POV is dramatically changed, the readers experience changes as well, no? Not bad, just a shift I wasn’t anticipating.
At the end of the day, it’s Charlaine Harris. It was a pleasure to read, even if it was a little different from what I anticipated. And, I’m hoping there will be at least one more in the series, perhaps a chance to see Roe get back to herself a little more before winding things up.
If you’re a Charlaine Harris fan, I probably don’t have to convince you to read this one. If you aren’t familiar with the series, I highly recommend starting at the beginning, not because you’ll be lost if you don’t, but because you’ll have a better idea of who Roe is if you watch her grow through all of the books.