Book review: A Touch of Dead-Sookie Stackhouse: The Complete Stories

A Touch of Dead-Sookie Stackhouse: The Complete Stories
By Charlaine Harris, published by Ace Books a/k/a The Berkley Publishing Group, Penguin Group
Copy purchased by reviewer
ISBN: 0441017835

Reviewed by Ida Vega-Landow

For those of you who can’t get enough of Sookie Stackhouse, this slim volume contains five short stories about our mind reading heroine by her intrepid creator, Charlaine Harris, the Southern belle with the macabre sense of humor. This book is for those who wonder what Sookie does between books—I myself have often wondered when and how she found out about her cousin Hadley’s death before she went to New Orleans to settle her estate in “Definitely Dead”—and whether Ms. Harris can tell a complete story about Sookie without it being book length. Happily, she can do so, with the humor and solemnity we’ve come to expect from the creator of the Southern Vampire series.

If you like fairies, clap your hands for “Fairy Dust”, which is about the murder of Claudette, the triplet sister of Claudine and Claude, the two fairies who have appeared so often in Sookie’s life. Claudette was another character mentioned in passing in one of the novels, which made me curious to know more about her. “Gift Wrap” features Sookie’s great-grandfather Niall Brigant, a real fairy prince who gives her one heck of a Christmas present one lonely Christmas eve. They’re the first and the last stories in this collection.

In between these two gems is “Dracula Night”, from the anthology “Many Bloody Returns” about horrific birthdays, in which Sookie is invited to Club Fangtasia, the local vampire hangout, to celebrate Dracula’s birthday. “One Word Answer” is about the death of Sookie’s cousin Hadley and how she uncovered the murderer without even leaving town. “Lucky” co-stars her witchy friend Amelia Broadway and how they turn detective to help a local insurance agent, who’s also got witchery in his family. He’s been exceptionally lucky and now fears that his luck is running out.

“A Touch of Dead” is a tasty little bite of Sookie in the night, which should hold us until the return of HBO’s “True Blood”, the sanguine series based on the Southern Vampire novels, next season. Despite the growing popularity of the “Twilight” novels and movies, I prefer “True Blood” and the Southern Vampire series, which is definitely for adults, not teens. Go, Charlaine! Show those wimpy little teenybopper bloodsuckers how real vampires prey! Halleluiah!