I've been lazy about updating, haven't I? So sorry.
Dead Until Dark is the first in a series of Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris. It's the story of a barmaid named Sookie Stackhouse, who has the unusual ability to read minds. The world Harris creates is filled with vampires, who have recently made their presence known to the rest of the world and become legal citizens. They can now exist on artificial blood, so humans have nothing to fear. Or do they?
There are some sort-of good vampires and really evil ones, too. And the first vampire Sookie ever meets becomes her first boyfriend. (It's a little hard to date regular guys since Sookie can read their minds and know exactly what they think about her body and such. Vampires are like a blank canvas.) But being with a vampire has more than the obvious drawbacks (he's dead and drinks blood), such as violence following in his wake. And soon the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana is spotted with the deaths of women who have all been with vampires.
Sookie is an extremely likeable character. She's only high school educated, but uses things like a word-a-day calendar to educate herself. She's a little back-woods, but she's also sweet and funny and unforgettable.
I have read all of the other books in this series currently out, but I won't be reviewing all of them. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed each one. If you care to check them out as well, I'll leave you with a list of the titles in order.
Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
All Together Dead (to be released May 1, 2007)