I am originally from a very small town with a population of approx 1500. I didn’t actually grow up there, but I was born there and my extended family still (mostly) reside in it’s town limits. I remember loving to go and visit my grandparents and listening to all the local gossip. Everyone knew everyone, and everyone knew who I was even if I hadn’t a clue who they were. It is in this small town that I developed my love of reading mysteries and due in great part to the influence of my grandmother.
Originally published in 1990, I first picked up Real Murders in 1993 to read at a hospital while visiting where my grandmother was staying for some health issues. She loved a good mystery and I loved a good murder story so logically this seemed like the perfect book to share. I would read to her and when she would fall asleep, I ‘d just keep reading. When she would wake she would ask what happened while she was away and I would get her caught up and she would always have an interesting “real life” tie in to how somebody in the story was like “so in so” from her town, or how back in the day there was this scandal…we had such fun bonding over this book.
The heroine Aurora “Roe” Teagarden is a small town librarian who has a book club that meets to discuss true crime and real life murders. Her parents are divorced and her mother is a beautiful and successful real estate agent. Her father is remarried and has a young son from the new marriage.
Though the plot is fun and interesting, it is the author’s talent for character driven storylines that are the real deal. The brilliant array of characters in the novel is pure Charlaine Harris genius, in my opinion, it is what she does best.
Real Murders is a great example of the quick-paced “rainy day” mystery read. It pulls you in instantly and before you know it you’ve breezed through the pages! I have since read almost all of the Aurora Tea Garden mysteries. I’ve watched Roe’s character grow and mature, but to me…this first book in the series is the keeper on my book shelf.