Sunday, October 16, 2016

All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris

All the Little Liars: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery by Charlaine Harris --- 229 pages

After a considerable hiatus, Harris returns with a ninth book featuring her intrepid small town librarian sleuth.

Aurora is about to embark on a whole new life with her second marriage to mystery and true crime writer Robin Crusoe, and a baby on the way at long last. But all that marital and maternal bliss gets put abruptly on hold when Aurora's fifteen-year-old half brother Phillip (who came to live with her to escape the fallout of his parents' catastrophically failing marriage) suddenly goes missing along with two of his friends, Josh and Joss, and an eleven-year-old girl named Lisa they were giving a ride home after soccer practice.  It's bad enough that the four kids seem to have vanished into thin air, but the ante gets upped considerably when another friend of theirs is found dead in an alley. Then Clayton Harrison, the spoiled son of a wealthy local family abruptly disappears, and his girl friend commits suicide.

Phillips as the new kid in town, and known to have a troubled past, is immediately suspect, but Aurora knows her half brother is a decent boy and fights to defend him in absentia.  She's convinced that all of this has something to do with the three girls who have been bullying Lisa. One of the bullies is Clayton Harrison's younger sister.

As time passes, Aurora becomes convinced the police are looking in the wrong places. She's been thinking furiously, and suspects the kids are being kept under wraps right there in town, in the last place anyone would suspect.  And she's determined to find out, because Aurora is convinced that the long this mystery goes on, the less likely there will be any happy ending.  Christmas is coming, and she wants her brother back.

Charlaine Harris writes mysteries that start out like a cozy, but end up something a little more Southern Gothic in tone. This one however seems a little stale.

Click HERE to see the review from Kirkus.

Click HERE to read the review from the Criminal Element Blog.

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