Sookieverse Stories in A Touch of Dead are Good to the Last Bloody Drop

October 18, 2009 by  

Sookie StackhouseAll summer long, Alan Ball’s True Blood vampire mystery series has garnered sky-high ratings, getting us all hooked on the characters and story line. The end of Season 2 has left True Blood fans thirsting for more, feeling, as Charlaine Harris puts it, that there’s “Sookie, Sookie everywhere, but not a drop to drink.” However, with the release of Charlaine’s Sookie-centered short story collection, A Touch of Dead, Truebies can feed their cravings.

The stories are additions to Charlaine‘s bestselling Sookie Stackhouse Southern vampire mystery series, and while these stories have been available elsewhere in various collections, this is the first time that they have been put together into one bound edition.  The original publication dates of the collected short stories as they fit into the novel series are as follows:

A Touch of DeadDead Until Dark, 2001
Living Dead in Dallas, 2002
Club Dead, 2003
“Fairy Dust”, 2004
“One Word Answers”, 2004
Dead as a Doornail, 2005
Definitely Dead, 2006
All Together Dead, 2007
“Dracula Night”, 2007
From Dead to Worse, 2008
“Gift Wrap”, 2008
“Lucky”, 2008
Dead and Gone, 2009

The five stories have been placed in chronological order as they fit into the timeline of the novel series.   All of the stories take place after the action Book 2, Living Dead in Dallas, which was the springboard for True Blood‘s second season.

Ginnie Graham of Tulsa World raves about the collection, stating that:

“Arkansas native Harris brings humor and a straight-forward writing style to her unique twist on the paranormal romance genre, blending fantasy, science fiction and a healthy dash of sexual tension.

She has a knack for moving her stories along quickly, but without sacrificing the complexity she gives her characters. And just when action gets serious, she brings in some levity to keep it from becoming completely morose or disturbing.”

While several of the short stories (“Fairy Dust”, “Gift Wrap”, and “Lucky”) will refer to characters and events that True Blood HBO fans will not be familiar with unless they have also read the Sookie novels, there are two which do not require as much background knowledge and in which True Blood fans might find particularly intriguing (“One Word Answer” and “Dracula Night”).

Without revealing too much about the plot of the stories, I can give you a few tidbits to whet your appetite.

  • In “Fairy Dust”, Sookie is called in to use her telepathic powers to help solve a murder at a strip club.  This tale is a major spoiler for some important information TV viewers are not yet privy to, so I can’t tell you any more than that without ruining the surprise.  Those who have read the novel series, however, will be in on the secret and will be able to step right into the flow of the story without difficulty.
  • True Blood fans who can’t wait to know more about Sophie Ann, the vampire Queen of Louisiana, and Sookie‘s cousin, Hadley Hale, will definitely want to take a look at “One Word Answer” in which Sookie meets the Queen for the first time.
  • “Dracula Night” gives a humorous look at the Viking vampire, Eric Northman, who is revealed to be a superfan of Count Dracula as he prepares to celebrate his icon’s birthday and waits for his appearance the way Peanuts characters wait for “The Great Pumpkin” to arrive on Halloween.  There is much to love in this sweet little gem of a story, including the tender relationship between Pam and Eric, and Sookie finds herself touched by the childlike vulnerability she sees in the normally composed and strong Sheriff of Area 5.
  • Revealing more details from the tiny town of Bon Temps, “Lucky” deals with an insurance agent whose magical ability runs roughshod over his competition, forcing Sookie to step in and get to the bottom of the mystery.
  • The final tale, “Gift Wrap,” brings a werewolf into the mix.  There is a jaw-dropping twist at the end that will leave you wondering about what might come next for our beloved Sookie.

While Charlaine‘s delightful short story collection will not totally fill the void left during the hiatus of True Blood until June of next year when Season 3 begins, it will help keep the cravings at bay and give you a fuller appreciation for the world which Charlaine created and which Alan Ball and the cast and crew have revealed to us week after week.

The next novel in the Sookie Stackhouse series, Death in the Family, is due out in 2010.

SOURCE: Tulsa World

(Photo credits: HBO, Inc. and