All The Little Liars

Charlaine Harris

Even though it has been nine years since Charlaine Harris published her last Aurora Teagarden novel, this ninth book in this series flows seamlessly from the previous storyline and I really enjoyed revisiting this character.  Since book eight, Roe Teagarden has made it to the television screen in two Hallmark movies that have made the character a little too insipid for my liking.  As with many literary purists, I much prefer the original; the grittier, less angelic and realistic Aurora of the books is more to my liking.  For those readers who have not read the previous books in the series, it is possible to read this one as a standalone, but I would recommend reading the entire series first.

Aurora Teagarden is a librarian who works in the small town of Lawrenceton, Georgia – a suburb of Atlanta.  In the very first book in this series, Roe belonged to a “Real Murder” club whose members attempted to solve crimes that remained unresolved.  That led to a murder in Lawrenceton that Roe had to solve without dying herself in the process.  She has since been through three boyfriends, a husband and is now married to husband number two (who was a boyfriend in a previous book).  She is also pregnant for the first time at the age of thirty-seven and she and her true crime author husband Robin Crusoe are looking forward to the event.   Aurora is a child of divorce and has a very strained relationship with her father (who cheated on her mother).  She has a  younger half-brother – Phillip – who feels the same way about their mutual father and has come from California to live with Roe and Robin.  Shortly before Christmas break, Phillip and three other kids simply vanish.  While the police take the case seriously, Roe cannot help but try and find her brother herself.  She and Robin begin their own investigation which leads to the death of another local teenager and the discovery of a vicious bullying ring.

Charlaine Harris does mystery extremely well and All the Little Liars is no exception.  I never saw the ending coming until just before the mystery was solved.  The only problem I had with this book was that it is just a little thin at 240 pages and I felt it needed to be fleshed out in order to achieve a more well-rounded result.  Aurora’s mother is a hoot and is a fierce Mama Bear toward her only child.  She has played a fairly prominent role in the previous books in the series, yet gets little screen time in this story and I think that had a detrimental effect on the book overall.  Roe and Robin are newly married and expecting a baby, and while attention is paid to their relationship, it is not enough to satisfy.  It feels as though the book has been cut down to the bare essentials.  Having said that, I still really enjoyed it and hope Harris continues this series or if I can be a fangirl, then I’ll  request another Lily Bard book too!  Once again Charlaine Harris has a winner.


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Book Details

Reviewer :      Mary Skelton

Grade :     B

Sensuality :      Subtle

Book Type :     

Review Tags :     


  1. Chrisreader October 21, 2016 at 9:57 am - Reply

    I’m glad Aurora is getting some love again from Charlaine Harris. Real Murders was the first book of Harris’s I ever read long before Sookie Stackhouse was even a concept of hers. I have never been able to bring myself to watch the Hallmark adaptations of the Teagarden books because I just know they will take out Aurora’s snarky edge. For a southern librarian/lady Aurora can be pretty peppery but that’s one of the things I like. After the first few Sookie books I fell out that series, but I plowed through all her other ones as she wrote them even a couple of her stand alone ones.
    It’s funny but the progression of the Aurora books helped me predict roughly what was going to happen with Sookie because it seemed to be following a similar pattern romantically. I remember being disappointed after Real Murders that Robin Crusoe just disappeared and I was very jarred after reading A Fool And Her Honey, but I have to say I think for Aurora things worked out very well in the end,
    I am really looking forward to reading this (it’s on hold for a digital copy from the library) as I think Harris works best as a straight mystery writer (her characters are off bear anyway) and it’s my humble opinion that the Sookie books just got away from her and her plan for a while. One of the things I liked about the “Grave” series was there was a complete story arc and wrap up in a few books. Nothing was dragged out forever. I think the Aurora books have a nice set of characters (I agree about enjoying her Lauren Bacall lookalike Mom too) and using the brother who played a big part in the first book is a good way of bringing things back around and showing how much time has passed.
    Thanks for the review!

  2. Mary Skelton
    Mary Skelton October 21, 2016 at 10:57 am - Reply

    I watched the first Hallmark movie and my husband (who was on his computer in the same room) eventually gathered up his laptop and went to another room to escape the movie. It was that bad. I soldiered on to the bitter end, but I will not bother with the second movie. I am curious about the Midnight, Texas movie coming out. That was the only Harris book I never finished and I am wondering if I should have stuck it out. I have loved all her other series and I was thrilled when All the Little Liars came out.

  3. Chrisreader October 21, 2016 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    @MarySkelton That is the only Harris book I never finished either! I later bought it on sale for $1.99 with the intention of giving it another try someday. It had the oddest beginning of any of her books. Usually she just draws me right in. Thinking about it afterward, I think it was the first book of hers I remember that was not written first person. I just couldn’t make myself like it. Even Manfred, who I thought was an interesting character wasn’t enough of a draw. Someday I will tackle it again.

    Candace Cameron Bure will never equal the Aurora in my head in looks or personality. It’s just a complete mismatch. As is Hallmark channel for her books which were always quite dark for supposed “cozies.” So many of them end on a dark or somewhat unhappy note (if that is the right word). Everything isn’t tied up with a bow.

  4. Mary Skelton
    Mary Skelton October 22, 2016 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    I was so excited about another Harris series. I wonder if I had my sights aimed too high with the Midnight book. I hadn’t thought about it not being in first person.

  5. Chrisreader November 5, 2016 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    @MarySkelton- I finally got my hands on this book and have to say I agree with all of your points. Harris doesn’t miss a beat bringing back Roe, it fits seamlessly into the series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also agree it’s a bit….thin? All of the bare bones are there but it seems to be missing the extra subplot she usually includes. A lot of the old supporting characters are mentioned but don’t get much book time. I would have enjoyed another 100 or even 50 pages or so. I could see this series continuing on easily from the point Harris leaves Aurora and company.

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