Real Murders: A page turner of suspenseful mystery without the gore

Annie Yoskoski, Staff Writer

“Real Murders”  features a young, bookish librarian named Aurora Teagarden. As the town librarian, Aurora loves mysteries and true crime novels. She and several other true crime lovers form a small club called Real Murders.

It is all fun and games until someone actually gets murdered in a copycat killing, starting a chain reaction that has members of the club dropping like flies. Aurora, along with detective pal, Arthur and mystery writer Robin, take it upon themselves to find the killer.

Some people can’t stomach murder novels. If you feel as though you are one of them, I can still guarantee you can read “Real Murders.” There is no gore, just lots of intrigue and suspicion. The characters are well developed from the start, letting the reader fill their shoes and solve the mystery.

The language is indicative of the novels setting, a small town in Georgia, giving a down home feel to the entire novel. The details are meticulous in this novel, which I loved. There is no secret plot hidden to the reader that helps to solve the puzzle. Each and every clue is set out for the reader.

Surprisingly, the ending is still not what one would suspect. In fact, it was the only part of the book I didn’t like. Not to give anything way, but it felt rushed. An entire saga of mystery goes on only to be resolved in five pages. I wish there had been more build up to the ending, not just a sudden stop in investigating.

The only other thing I did not enjoy was the actual personality traits of some of the characters. Aurora sometimes comes off as whiny and very dependent on other people, even though she is 24-years-old.

Also, things pop up in descriptions of various characters that are hard to believe, giving the novel a quality of disbelief instead of making it more similar to true crime. This seemed to be the author’s goal.

All-and-all, I did enjoy this book. It was not too long, a perfect read for a weekend or a day-off. I was pulled into the story quickly, and spit out even faster after the ending, yet I still wanted to buy the next book in the series. Harris’ writing stands up to her unbelievable plot twists and characters that come straight out of an imaginary town. While the air of disbelief and unreasonable happenings hangs around, the ultimate feeling is enjoyment of a good story.

3.5 out of 5 stars.