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Aurora Teagarden, Book 1
Goodreads⎮Reviewed July 2018
Narrator: Therese Plummer
Length: 6 hours 7 minutes
Publisher: Recorded Books⎮2009
Synopsis: Though a small town at heart, Lawrenceton, Georgia, has its dark side – and its crime buffs. One of them is librarian Aurora “Roe” Teagarden, a member of the Real Murders Club, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. It’s a harmless pastime – until the night she finds a member killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss.
As other brutal “copycat” killings follow, Roe will have to uncover the person behind the terrifying game, one that casts all the members of Real Murders, herself included, as prime suspects – or potential victims.
3.75★ Audiobook⎮After breezing through the Harper Connelly series last week, the Aurora Teagarden series seemed like a natural progression. I got excited after discovering that this series has been adapted by Hallmark into a series of movies starring Candace Cameron Bure (Full House).
I was easily able to make it through Real Murders and two more installments in just a couple of days. This series was even easier to hear than Harper Connelly. However, it’s simply just wasn’t as interesting. There are no paranormal elements to this series. Aurora Teagarden is just a regular, albeit obnoxious, protagonist who is always at at the wrong place at the wrong time. I can’t even call her at a crime solving protagonists because She really just sort of “lucks into” the information she finds out.
The mystery plot for Real Murders was set up pretty nicely. The series of murders that take place are all copycat murders based on famous cases from the past. Our protagonist, Aurora, is a member of a club called “Real Murders” that meets every so often to discuss famous killings and cold cases. To me, that’s more than a little bit strange. It reminds me of when I accidentally stumbled across the corner of Tumblr that worships serial killers…
But that wasn’t what put me off. I get that fires are lit by all sorts of things and, in this case, it actually worked to nicely set up the mystery. But even with Charlaine Harris at the helm, Real Murders just didn’t do it for me. It was ultimately weighed down by an annoying heroine. I think if Aurora had been more endearing, I would be more willing to put up with little annoyances. As it was, I just couldn’t connect with her. She seemed very two-dimensional and so unlike Harris’ other heroines.
This is my fourth series from Harris and it happens to be my least favorite. It’s the only one that doesn’t have some sort of supernatural angle, so I wonder how much that factors into my dislike of it. Even so, I’m a big enough fan of Charlaine Harris’ other work to not want to shut the door on this series completely. I’m open to circling back around to it at some point in the future, possibly after I finish the Sookie Stackhouse series.
For lovers of cozies, especially clean mysteries, this series is an excellent choice. Aurora comes across as a “doe-eyed do-gooder”, perfect for Hallmark. My Gran would love this. In fact, I’ve already recommended the movies to her.
Narration review: I’ve heard several other stories from Therese Plummer, so I was excited to see that she narrates this series. As it turned out, her narration was my favorite part of the audiobook. Plummer excels at providing characterization. When voicing a six-year-old character, it sounded like she was plugging her nose during his dialogue, which was effective and humorous. Plummer is an excellent performer and, if you are planning on giving this series a shot, I highly recommend trying it on audiobook. ♣︎