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Definitely Dead

by Charlaine Harris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sookie Stackhouse (6)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,571181814 (3.89)196
Supernaturally gifted cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse heads for New Orleans, where she is forced to contend with her own family's dark legacy and a variety of potentially lethal characters.
  1. 30
    Bite by Laurell K. Hamilton (Trai)
    Trai: Contains "One Word Answer", the short-story prequel to Definitely Dead.

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Showing 1-5 of 179 (next | show all)
I can't stay away from these Sookie Stackhouse books. Luckily, you can get thru each one in a day or two. ( )
  kbountress | Jan 23, 2024 |
In this sixth volume of the series, some major developments occur. However, contrary to the blurb the book is not all about Sookie's visit to New Orleans, ostensibly to deal with the affairs of her cousin Hadley, who had become a vampire and been murdered by another vampire, six weeks before the current story opens. In fact, it isn't until page 150 that she is finally in a car heading there.

The first part of the story is pretty slow. It deals mainly with various 'domestic' issues such as Jason's love life, and his status as a "bitten" shapeshifter, and some changes in the line up of men who have been queuing to jump into bed with Sookie. A couple of her suitors drop out of the running when she accepts the fact that she could never bear to live in the inbred and remote community led by Calvin Norris, and she falls out with another man who was formerly a front runner. I did find her reaction to finding out that Calvin had fathered three children by different women - his duty as pack leader, since the birth rate is low in his community - rather extreme when she says she was profoundly glad she had never considered marrying him because she would have thrown up, during the conversation when they finally come to the end of the road in their potential relationship. I appreciate that she might have felt uncomfortable around the various women and their children, but this seems another symptom of the mentality which made her seethe with rage and jealousy when Bill brought his new date into the bar where Sookie works - despite the fact that he had been her abuser by most people's standards.

The impending visit to New Orleans is introduced early on in a weird revelation about Sookie's cousin Hadley, her vampire nature and her relationship with the vampire Queen of Louisiana. It seems that the vampire who killed Hadley has already been executed, and that this was carried out with Sookie as a witness, according to some vampiric ceremony. I hasten to say this is not a spoiler because Sookie feeds this to the reader as an infodump on page 13. I thought I must have missed out a volume. But no, I had read the book immediately preceding this one, which contains no mention of Hadley. I vaguely recall that a daughter of her aunt was mentioned in book 1 of the series, as someone who had gone off the rails, possibly through drug addiction, and had not been in touch even when her mother had died so could have been dead. It seems all along that she had instead become a vampire. But it is a weird authorial choice to tackle all that in a few paragraphs, as it seems sufficient material for a whole book, given that Hadley had been off the radar for years.

Sookie's new relationship with were tiger Quinn is the big romance of this volume. I did wonder if there was a continuity error when Sam reacted to Quinn's appearance at the bar - Sookie stated that she hadn't told him of Quinn's involvement (as an event organiser) in the leadership contest among the Shreveport weres at the end of the previous volume - since I did remember Sam's reaction to smelling a tiger's scent on Sookie in that story. I went back to check and it wasn't such an error as I thought, as he hadn't at the time realised the tiger was Quinn and she hadn't told him, but as he knows who Quinn is in this volume and can surely smell that he is a were tiger, it's odd that we don't see the "penny drop" from Sam's reaction.

As if there aren't enough supernatural elements in this series already, more are introduced in this volume: demons and semi-demons. Also, the fairy character Claudine mentions that she is attempting to become an angel, and it seems demons, fairies and angels are on some kind of sliding scale. Claudine acts again as fairy godmother, and a later revelation perhaps explains why she takes so much of an interest in Sookie. She does explain why she hasn't been able to turn up every time Sookie is in trouble, so the author obviously realised that needed to be covered.

More minor characters are introduced, but at least the witch Amelia is an appealing character and it seems might become a friend for Sookie. One thing that should be mentioned is that the book needs a trigger warning for a scene in the second half involving assault at the hands of one of a band of abductors.

As previously, the author describes scenes of action well, such as those set in the swamps, or the climactic battle. But the book drags in all the places where the setting is scenes of domesticity, people chatting about forthcoming marriages etc.

A huge revelation occurs in the New Orleans section of the book, which rocks Sookie to the core and leads to some rather reckless behaviour. Despite the other character's attempts to make amends late on, it seemed like classic abuser behaviour to me so I was pleased that Sookie did not fall for it.

The New Orleans setting was, I felt, rather wasted. Apart from a sequence set in swamps outside the city, there wasn't really anything evoked of the area or that couldn't have happened in any normal town.

All in all, a rather mixed bag so on balance it comes out at a 3 star rating ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
One of the best series I've ever read! ( )
  Danielle.Desrochers | Oct 10, 2023 |
eric making out with sookie in a pool of blood in the midst of a literal battle then picking up a decapitated head to go bowling with is the kind of crumbs I deserve and appreciate.
  Deah | Jul 31, 2023 |
Definitely Dead
4 Stars

Sookie must travel to New Orleans at the Queen of Louisiana's behest to finalize her deceased cousin Hadley's estate. But someone doesn't want her arriving in one piece, and the suspects range from rogue weres to treacherous vampires to Sookie's former lover, Bill Compton. Can Sookie stay alive long enough to find out what's going on?

Series note: Hadley's demise is recounted in the very short novella One Word Answer, but it is not necessary to read it to follow the events in this installment.

In terms of the plot, there are, once again, several intertwining threads that raise the question of how one small yet snarky woman can get into so much trouble in such a short period of time. In addition to a group of newly turned weres who want to turn her into kibble, Sookie finds a severed corpse in her garden and a rabid vampire in a closet.

With all of these goings on, it should be difficult for Sookie to even think of having a love life, but our intrepid herione has no problem in this department either. With Calvin, Alcide, Bill and Eric more or less out of the picture, Sookie's new beau is Quinn the huge and hunky tiger shifter. Only time will tell if he is her match made in heaven or hell.

All in all, Sookie's adventures are a laugh-riot and should never be taken too seriously. Looking forward to the next one.
( )
  Lauren2013 | May 5, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 179 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harris, Charlaineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Desimini, LisaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lagerman, JudithCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, JohannaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potter, Franz J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weisz, BöbeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilkinson, Sarahsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Obviously, this book was finished months before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. Since much of the plot is set in New Orleans, I struggled with whether I would leave Definitely Dead as it was, or include the catastrophe of August and September. After much thought, since Sookie's visit takes place in the early spring of the year, I decided to let the book remain as it was originally written.

My heart goes out to the people of the beautiful city of New Orleans and to all the people of the coastal areas of Mississippi, my home state. My thoughts and prayers will be with you as you rebuild your homes and your lives.
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I was draped over the arm of one of the most beautiful men I'd ever seen, and he was staring into my eyes.
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Supernaturally gifted cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse heads for New Orleans, where she is forced to contend with her own family's dark legacy and a variety of potentially lethal characters.

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