I can be kind of slow when it comes to discovering new authors. I'm embarrassed to admit, I'd never heard of Charlaine Harris until I watched True Blood on HBO.
I'll wait while you all catch your breath from laughing...
Are you back? Okay.
I didn't start reading the Southern Vampire Mysteries until the HBO series was over (trying to avoid spoilers--that thing about Sam the bar owner was quite a shock, wasn't it?) Anyway, I've devoured all of the SVMs since then, including the latest book 8: From Dead to Worse. From Dead to Worse is quintessential SVM. There are two big Supe showdowns, lots of danger, pluckiness and angst for Sookie, and an excellent surprise at the end. You may notice I'm not being too specific because I don't want to spoil it for you. The gist here is this book is excellent; there's excellent characterization, excellent plotting, excellent setting, excellent you-name-it. Read it!
Ms. Harris may well be my new favorite author.
Finding a wonderful new author is one of the best gifts of all.
Happy holidays, everyone! Best wishes for 2009!