Aurora (Roe) Teagarden is a 28-year-old librarian in a Lawrenceton, Georgia. She belongs to a club called Real Murders, twelve people who meet once a month to talk about famous murder cases from the past. But on a night when it is her turn to present, she finds a fellow club member dead, killed in a manner eerily resembling the Wallace case, the subject of Roe’s presentation. It appears obvious that the murderer must be one of the club members. Roe tries to figure out who it is, and finds some romance along the way.
Two things have really hampered my enjoyment of Real Murders. One is the odd linguistic choices. The other is Roe herself.
1) Strange language. One character’s eyes are constantly referred to as “tan.” Eyebrows have an unnerving tendency to fly all over people’s faces. There are “disk drives” instead of diskettes next to a computer. Magazines spill out like a trail of slime. You get the idea.
2) Roe. I just could not warm up to Aurora Teagarden in this book (liked her a lot more in Three Bedrooms, One Corpse). She seemed too condescending and self-centered, preferring to focus on the faults of those around her, rather than their good qualities. I could totally be projecting, too 😛
I am glad I read Three Bedrooms, One Corpse first, because had I started with Real Murders, I am not sure I would have wanted to read the rest of the Aurora Teagarden series. This is an early Charlaine Harris book, and it definitely shows. She has grown as a writer tremendously in the past 20 years, and that’s wonderful to see.
Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
Publication Date: December 1990
Pages: 290 (Paperback)
Source: Public Library
Rating: 2 stars (Bad)