I came to this series from a really roundabout way.
I was introduced to Charlaine Harris around the time the True Blood series started and it was one of the first series I ever tracked and bought every book from and even though things went off the rails towards the end and had issues throughout, I was hooked. I occasionally saw the Aurora Teagarden series mentioned on her website but never looked into it. When I saw those books at the library I noticed a lack of vampires and walked on by.
Fast forward a few years and I’m looking for something from the Hallmark channel to watch online because sometimes you just need something that will be ok in the end no matter what happens. I watched the first Hallmark adaptation of Real Murders and kept watching them because they were just the right amount of ridiculous to put on in the background while I baked or cleaned the kitchen.
Fast forward again to this year when I decided it was time to try reading the books. I don’t think I regret it but also I wasn’t missing much.
Harris’s trademark slut shaming and judgmental heroine combo comes through full force with Aurora Teagarden, whose name conjures images of embroidered pillows and tea cozies. This is the character who has an opinion about everything, is pursued by everyone, and gets in everyone’s business. She’s a Sookie Stackhouse prototype if I’ve ever read one. The book has some cringey moments where it really showed its 1990 sensibilities regarding race and sexuality. The concept of having a true crime friend group was interesting, especially when you look at the time period which was pre-My Favorite Murder or Netflix docs making serial killers a topic of interest people casually announce without fearing judgment. I don’t feel compelled to continue the series because I don’t really care about Aurora in the way I somehow did care about Sookie. But if you want to read some classic Harris with interesting crimes, this is a series for you.