Grave Secret (Harper Connelly Series #4)

Grave Secret (Harper Connelly Series #4)

by Charlaine Harris

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Lightning-struck sleuth Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver must face their family’s troubled past in this gripping mystery from #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris.

Taking a break from looking for the dead, Harper and Tolliver decide to visit the two little girls they both think of as sisters. But as they travel to Texas, memories of their horrible childhood resurface...
To make matters worse, Tolliver learns his father is out of jail and trying to reestablish contact with other family members. Tolliver wants no part of the man—but he may not have a choice in the matter. Soon, family secrets ensnare them both, as Harper finally discovers what happened to her missing sister, Cameron, so many years before. And what she finds out will change her world forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425237519
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/02/2010
Series: Harper Connelly Series , #4
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 152,316
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Charlaine Harris is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse and Midnight, Texas, fantasy/mystery series and the Aurora Teagarden, Harper Connelly, and Lily Bard mystery series. Her books have inspired HBO’s True Blood, NBC’s Midnight, Texas, and the Aurora Teagarden movies for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. She has lived in the South her entire life.


Southern Arkansas

Date of Birth:

November 25, 1951

Place of Birth:

Tunica, Mississippi


B.A. in English and Communication Arts, Rhodes, 1973

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Grave Secret (Harper Connelly Series #4) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 498 reviews.
smoochys More than 1 year ago
I can appreciate and admire Ms. Harris' success with the vampire series. What I can't appreciate is the half-hearted effort that she put into this book. Readers of this series have been anxiously waiting to find out what happened to Cameron. Although the mystery was finally solved, the culprit was a joke, as was much of the book. Save your money and wait for the library edition.
Billify More than 1 year ago
I love this series but I thought this enstallment was a bit of a let down. It was nice to have the interaction with Harper's family and some past issues resolved but overall I though the book was a little boring. #3 was much more entertaining and much more of a page turner. However, it was nice to get family things out of the way. Maybe the next book will move forward instead of backwards.
Dyanie More than 1 year ago
The book was good, I just expected more from it. Plus I kind of felt like the author was cutting this series short, almost like she was bored of writing it. Just considering, most of her series are fairly long. The ending came abruptly and she seemed to sum up the series in a couple paragraphs. I was left a little disappointed.
Midas_Mulligan More than 1 year ago
I have to agree with the other reviews that say Mrs. Harris' focus on the Stackhouse Series caused the quality of this series to slip*. There is a noticable decline in the quality of the storyline that begins towards the end of 'An Ice Cold Grave'(book 3) and continues throughout this book. I found myself at times struggling to care, and for the first time, forcing myself to finish the book. The pace was too quick and choppy at times, struggling to seperate the action sequences from the dramatic family related portions. There was so much coming to a head at the end of this book, plots stemming from this individual novel and others that have been rolling along since the start. The ending came on suddenly, without warning. It was a massive set up for a lackluster conclusion. I wasn't sure what was more absurd the final showdown with her case and clients, or with the conclusion of her sister's disappearance. The aftermath.... which entails her sisters and her relationship with Tolliver, are basically wrapped in a few measely paragraphs, almost as footnotes. Of course everything was loosely tied up, where it could stand as a finished series, or be re-opened down the road. *Note: I don't blame her for focusing her attention on the series that is making her money and bringing her fame, but it is apparent that this series, which was very good in it's own right, took a nose-dive towards the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This latest Harper Connelly installment relies on farfetched coincidence and unrealistic confessions to resolve the mystery plot lines. Consequently, the book simply isn't a gratifying read. There's no gradual unraveling of clues leading to logical deductions which result in well-earned solutions. Other than determining that Texas tycoon Rich Joyce was killed, Harper does nothing. Instead, the killer is identified by a co-conspirator's implausible and overly convenient confession. Furthermore, the mysterious disappearance of Harper's long-lost sister, Cameron, is resolved by an unbelievable coincidence which links a previously unknown baby, (born to Joyce's housekeeper immediately prior to her death), to Tolliver's drug-dealing father. Once again an improbable confession confirms the disappearance scenario. Note, the author attempts to inject suspense and tension into the plot by adding violent attacks directed against Harper, Tolliver and others connected to them; but, given the perpetrator(s)' desire to obscure his/their prior misdeeds, the attacks are absurdly counter-productive and, as such, patently artificial. Moreover, the rationalization employed within the book to explain the use of open violence is utterly unconvincing. No one seeking to obscure or otherwise downplay a criminal or quasi-criminal occurrence would draw attention to the importance of that occurrence by openly attacking the initial or subsequent investigator. Similarly, Cameron's disappearance scenario exceeds the bounds of credibility. Specifically, the vanishing of a well-known teenager like Cameron, (while her backpack remains abandon on the street), would invariably cause the kind of intense scrutiny that the kidnapper sought to avoid. As an additional matter, the story periodically portrays Harper as embittered, calculating and/or less-than-forthright. Most worrying is Harper's uncharacteristic uncertainty and caution when interacting with Tolliver. Despite these substantial flaws, this story effectively wraps-up the outstanding family and romantic issues in Harper's life, and dedicated series' fans might enjoy that aspect of the book.
KrisPA More than 1 year ago
This was a perfectly awful book. I read the first three books in this series and enjoyed them, but this book was boring and predictable. The coincidence at the end is ridiculous. There's almost no mystery to this book at all. None. Mostly it is Harper wandering around and running errands. That's it. Readers almost always know what Harper had for lunch because Charlaine Harris always includes that mundane and not very interesting information. I get the feeling, as I did with her last Sookie Stackhouse novel, that Harris is writing these books just because she has to because she already accepted the advance. She wrote this one as if she had something more important to do, such as her laundry. The far-fetched and completely unbelievable (and oh-so-convenient) connection between their most recent case and the disappearance of Harper's sister Cameron is just ridiculous. None of the characters are interesting. The big ending, in which the bad guys reveal themselves, is almost exactly like one of the endings she wrote in a previous Harper book. When the overall mystery of Cameron's disappearance is solved, I'm irritated. It is too convenient and not believable. I'm extremely disappointed that I bought this book and will try to get a refund. Also, Harper continues to refer to and think of Tolliver as her brother even though they are a couple and have a sexual relationship---um, gross. Then she gets mad because people are confused and disgusted by their relationship. Uh, duh. The Harper and Tolliver in this book aren't the same interesting and compelling people they are in the earlier books. Don't buy this book. It is absolutely not worth the money.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Grave Secret is the fourth and final book in the Harper Connelly series by American author, Charlaine Harris. Whenever Harper and Tolliver head to Texas, the disappearance of their sister Cameron, some eight years previous, looms large. This time, they are hired by wealthy heiress, Lizzie Joyce to discover the means of her grandfather’s death. Lizzie’s brother, Drexell and her boyfriend, Chip seem vaguely familiar to Harper. When Harper reveals a few unknown facts about the Joyce family, she unwittingly sets in motion events that lead to Tolliver being shot, and a policeman taking a bullet for her. The reappearance of Tolliver’s father, Matthew, a death threat, anonymous callers claiming sightings of Cameron and a murdered PI all add complications. Psychic Manfred Bernardo’s appearance is welcomed, even by Tolliver.  This final instalment neatly wraps up a series full of interesting and appealing characters. The plot has several twists and turns and an exciting climax. an excellent Harris series.
Lollypop99 More than 1 year ago
Charlaine Harris was a great find for me. I love her book and since I've been to New Orleans quite a few times and have friends that live in the South, I feel real at home when I read her books. They are very true to life and it's hard to believe, at times, that the characters are not real. I look forward to every book she writes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a great book! And I never would have guessed at that ending! You should read it!!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Didn't realize this was fourth in the series. On to number one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought Sookie was her best, but Harper is right there with her!!
crazybatcow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this book a bit more than the middle two in the series, but not as much as book one. I'm glad the series is over though... I had wanted to know how the characters all turned out but I didn't want to read about Harper and Tolliver's relationship anymore - when a main character refers to her lover as her brother about half the time she mentions him, there is clearly some issue in her own head about their relationship, so why would she then get all miffy when others think it's not appropriate either?I actually liked how the Cameron storyline was resolved. I'd suggest reading the books in order though 'cause while each book does stand alone, plot-wise, the characters evolve throughout the series.
Amatheya81 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. Although it is slow in parts the thing I love about charlaine Harris is that you never know who the killer is until the last minute, even though she dangles them in front of your face the whole way though. Looking forward to the next installments!!!
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the final book in in the Harper Connelly series, and it¿s more about Harper¿s family than any sort of mystery. Not that Harper¿s family isn¿t already swallowed by the mystery of her sister Cameron¿s disappearance. Harper and Tolliver take their budding (unconventional and unpopular) relationship to Texas to visit their little sisters, but an unfortunate incident means that they are going to be stuck there a while. Is someone after Harper? Or is Tolliver the target?I thought Harris did a good job of wrapping up this series. Questions that have been unanswered for the previous 3 books are finally answered, and in ways that make sense but are also surprising. The only part that seemed a little too convenient was the seemingly unconnected hiring of Harper by some people with a tie to her past. This is one of Harris¿s odder series, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I¿m glad she wrote (what I think is) the final book and closed it out.
Jaie22 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not the best introduction to the Harper Connelly series. Wish I hadn't bought it new. Then went back and read the preceding book in the series and liked it (and this one) a lot better. So the lesson is, if you read the Harper Connelly books, read them in order. Thank you.
alana_leigh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Grave Secret is the fourth and final installment in the Harper Connelly Mysteries, written by Charlaine Harris. On the whole, this series has provided interesting, quick reads that I didn't love but I certainly wouldn't dissuade anyone from picking up and reading. Grave Secret focuses on a case that hits home for Harper and Tolliver in unexpected ways. A wealthy Texas ranch woman likes weird and interesting things, and so invites Harper to do a reading at the family cemetery... only to meet with knowledge of events that happened eight years prior that complicates the lives of her and her family. Her father didn't die peacefully, but instead had a snake thrown at him, causing his heart attack... and his caretaker appears to have died from complications following childbirth (though no one seems to have known she was pregnant). Given that she invited a woman who could describe causes of death, I think it's fair to say that this woman had it coming. As did anyone else in the family if they had anything to do with these past events.Surely this isn't Harper and Tolliver's problem, right? Well, let's just say it plays a greater role in their lives when Tolliver gets shot and Harper finds herself getting death threats, and they have a sneaking suspicion that this case is at the center of their issues. Top it off, they're having their own family complications as Tolliver's dad, Matthew, has gotten out of jail and wants to reconnect with his sons. This filial love doesn't quite extend to Harper, his step-daughter, and there's only a mild interest in his real daughters, adopted by his sister-in-law and her husband. Originally, Harper and Tolliver had been glad to see their half-sisters, but now they're beginning to fear for everyone as a strange tip on a Cameron sighting has Harper confused... and concerned that somehow, they're coming to the end of their search for what happened to her abducted sister (as strangely enough, she was abducted shortly after the events in question for the Texas ranch family).This is, clearly, the final installment in this series and fans who worry about loose ends shouldn't have too much to fear. All questions are answered by the end of the novel, though not necessarily to intense satisfaction. I can't express surprise, as I realized halfway through the book where the chips would fall, but I am still somewhat disappointed. It is, at least, a somewhat action-packed book, with the shooting at the beginning getting the tension bar set high from the get-go. The ending had a bit of fizzle as we solve one case then move on to deal with another. Very British murder mystery with the long descriptions and accusations. Still, I suppose this particular plotline wasn't going to take Charlaine Harris through multiple sequels and I'm impressed she got to four books instead of three, so that's something. At least the events in this book didn't cause the same discomfort as the events from An Ice Cold Grave, though I think it's safe to say that Tolliver and Harper have the *worst family ever.* I read the whole series in about a week, so if you're looking for something quick to breeze through and you've enjoyed other Charlaine Harris books, this should fit the bill.
pacey1927 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was shocked to find out this is the concluding novel in the Harper Connelly series by Charlaine Harris. There are only four books and I had no clue it was wrapping up! Harris has created an excellent and unique series here and it could've gone on much longer before overexposure set it. I adore Harris' Southern Vampire series as much as anyone else, but I hope Harper wasn't ended early because of that series. This series features Harper Connelly, a woman who ca find dead bodies and see how they died. She and her step-brother Tolliver travel the country using her unique talent to earn a living. Harper would also like to locate the body of Cameron, her sister who has been missing and presumed dead for eight years. "Grave Secret" answers the questions about Cameron's disappearance and wraps everything up to my satisfaction. We learn more about Harper's past and we end up having a good idea about where her life goes in the future. The writing is engaging and enjoyable as always. I had such sympathy for Harper and the young girl she used to be. She had to deal with such awful things growing teared me up a few times. The mystery certainly played second fiddle to the characters in "Grave Secret". Their lives, future and past, were the most important tale to be told. However there was still a good twist or two that I never saw coming. I am happy with the way the series concluded but I am heartbroken to find out it is over so very prematurely.
MsMoonlight on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a word: RivetingI just LOVE this mystery series. Harper was struck by lightning when she was a teenager. Her stepbrother, Tolliver did CPR and saved her life. After that event, Harper has been able to "read bones". When she walks over a grave, the dead cry out to her telling her who they are and how they died. Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver have made a living off her abilities, travelling all around the country locating dead/missing people for a fee.When their latest job takes them back to Texas, they decided to spend some time there visiting with their siblings who were adopted by their aunt. Harper's childhood had started off wonderful, with two loving parents. Then her parents fell into heavy drugs, split up and tore the children's world apart. Harper's mother hooked up with Tolliver's father when the kids were teens and they become very close. It was their job to look after the younger children because their parents wouldn't in their doped up states.But one day, Harper's sister Cameron just disappears and now it's eight years later and Harper still hasn't given up on finding her sister- dead or alive. With Tolliver at her side, they dig into their families ugly past and find things they never dreamed of. Betrayal, deceit, hatred, murder and lies.This mystery was wonderful and heartbreaking. After reading the first books in the series I knew what finding Cameron meant to Harper and reading as it all unravelled was both heartbreaking and refreshing in that it was over now. Harper could finally find some sort of peace and move on with her life. She needed that and deserved that, so I was happy for her.While some people were icked out by Harper and Tolliver being together as a couple (this occured in the 3rd book), I loved it. They were perfect for each other. While they were raised as siblings, they were not blood related at all. So there was no 'ick' factor for me. I liked this part of the story because these two were like soul mates, no one else could be better for them than each other are.A wonderful mystery/crime series with a paranormal twist. I highly recommend this series. These books really should be read in order.
barbgarcia1987 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth book in the series, but it is the first one I read. I enjoyed it and then bought the other three and have since read the first one so far. Coming into a series at the fourth (and I have been told the last) book can be confusing, but most of my confusion was cleared up by the end of it. While I would not recommend starting with #4 in any series; this one was definately doable for me.
BellaMiaow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'd say that wraps it up for this series. No, I won't tell you why I'm saying that, or it'll ruin the book for you. The Harper Connelly series hasn't ever been as strong as the Southern Vampire series, in my opinion, but it wasn't too bad in comparison to some of her earlier work, like the Aurora Teagarden and Shakespeare mysteries. She seemed to be experimenting with something darker this time around. I haven't looked at the Amazon rank or any other figures for the series, but it's my gut feeling that they never took off in comparison to the Sookie Stackhouse series, especially since True Blood has gotten so much attention with the television series. I have to wonder what that feels like for Ms. Harris, as this really was a decent concept with some promise, and it doesn't seem to have been given that much of a chance to blossom.In any case, Harper and her brother are prickly characters and not very easy to relate to, and they don't get any easier in this book. They are back in their home town, and we get to now a lot more about their origins this time around. We finally get the whole story about their missing sister, and we meet the two little sisters who live with an aunt and uncle.The portrayal of the devout blue-collar people with their working-man's faith is absolutely smack on. I came from those people, and I could taste the sweet tea and see the linoleum and the absolutely clean Formica dinette, feel the cracked chairs the characters sat on and look around at the carefully kept house. Harris did a great job with that town and those people, so much so that I'm sure she either came from a similar place or has spent plenty of time in one.There isn't as much new magic/plot stuff as there are answers this time. The sexy gypsy boy-almost-man is back, to my delight. Harper's love interest is still a bit of a squick, but I suppose it makes sense for the characters. I have to wonder how many authors would stick with that kind of decision, knowing the backlash they'd get from their readers?If you've read the other Harper Connelly books, read this one for closure. If you haven't, this isn't the place to start!
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth (and surmised last) novel in the Harper Connelly mysteries series. This was a pretty good book and it tied up a lot of the mystery surrounding Harper and Tolliver's family.In this book Harper and Tolliver are doing a job near the area they were raised in as children. During Harper's reading she unintentionally upsets her client by revealing some unknown information about death of one of the people in the cemetery. She thinks nothing of it until someone shoots Tolliver through the window of their motel. During a visit with Tolliver's brother, Mark, they find out that their dad (Tolliver's dad, Harper's step-dad) just got let out of jail. All of these things start piling on top of each other; someone's out to kill Harper, Tolliver's dad won't leave them alone, there is a spotting of Harper's sister who went missing twelve years earlier, and Harper's most recent client is out to get some answers. Could it all be coincidence? Or is everything that is happening related?This was a great mystery. I was a bit concerned when the beginning of the book read more like a complex soap opera than anything else. But to Harris's credit there are a lot of entangling relationships to set up at the beginning of the book. Maybe a third way through the book things really start to pick up pace as the mystery grabs hold and Harper is constantly fearing for her life.I have always liked Tolliver and Harper's characters. They are believable and vulnerable; and yet, they do their best to be good people. I loved how Harris dealt with their evolving relationship. Harris does a good job with all of the characters in this series.The plot was twisted and somewhat complicated. I enjoyed it. The pace of the book is definitely relentless and griping once you get past the first third. Poor Harper goes through so much over and over again. It was a well put together book, with a good pace, and a good plot.I also enjoyed how everything was wrapped up. You get answers to most of your questions, there are a couple small unknowns left, but the book sums up everything nicely and leaves the characters in good spots. This has been a fun series to read all around and this book was no exception to that.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Grave Secrets, Harper and Tolliver finally learn what happened to Harper's sister (and Tolliver's stepsister), Cameron, when she disappeared eight years ago.The two are now together as a couple, and are trying to navigate this new relationship amidst people who don't quite understand their not-siblings-but-step-siblings history. When Harper's services are requested in Texas, very near their hometown, this new case coincides with Tolliver's dad'release from prison and he begins pushing Tolliver to let him back into his life, much to Tolliver's and Harper's disgust.This one is very bleak. There are quite a few deaths, and the revelation of what happened to Cameron is startling, to say the least.I felt like the story was a bit rushed - at least the resolution - and I get the sense that Harris is ending this series. Haven't checked into that hunch, but I'd be disappointed it that were the case. Harper and Tolliver are appealing as reluctant heroes. Having lived through hellish childhoods, neither of them are the chipper type, and the nature of Harper's job - standing over graves to experience the dead's last moments - doesn't lend itself to cheerful stories, but they're practical and caring in their own way.I recommend the series.
rexrobotreviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Grave Secret is the fourth and final installment of the Harper Connolly series by Charlaine Harris. This is a short and sweet series about a young woman that can sense the dead after being struck by lightning. 'Grave Secret' is a very solid conclusion to the Harper Connelly saga. We have all the mysteries solved and the plots wrapped up.Throughout the first three books Harper struggles with the loss of her sister. She can sense the dead but has never been able to sense her sister. Is she still alive? Who killed her? Where is her body? Well, we finally learn the questions to all these answers and even unveil a few other family skeletons. I do feel a little cheated with the story Harris provided for Harper's sister Cameron... but it did wrap things up nicely and covered all aspects of the plot.Harper and Tolliver are hired to work for the Joyce family. They have money to play with and find Harper intriguing so decide to have her read the old family cemetery plot. (Their grandfather has recently passed away and they want to know if Harper is the real thing.) She discovers that their beloved gramps has kicked the bucket in a less than natural way- and so has his caretaker. The murderer gets nervous that Harper is closer than she should be and becomes obsessed with stopping her from finding the truth. Yikes- we've got kidnappings, shootings and murders... poor Tolliver even takes a shot to the arm. As if they don't have enough going on in their lives, Tolliver's creepo dad is released from jail. They have to revisit their past in all sorts of new, painful ways. Apparently he wants to mend the fences and make things right.... but Harper assumes he has other motives. And as we know *this is a small world after all* and Harper may have found an unlikely link between her own family and the Joyces...Now that Harper and Tolliver have finished up a job for the loaded Joyce family, they have to face their biggest challenge yet. That's right, they're coming out as a couple. This was hard for me to swallow in each novel because Harper and Tolliver used to be step-siblings. This would not have been as hard for me to swallow if Harper would not have kept accidentally referring to Tolliver as her brother. I wasn't really into where Harris took Harper's personality. I felt as if she became stranger in the previous novel as well as this one- doing things that did not fit her personality.SO. It is completely obvious that we're seeing the last of Harper Connelly for now. We have Cameron's murder wrapped up, the situation and rifts within the Connelly/Lang family somewhat settled and last but not least- Harper and Tolliver's romantic subplot. The interconnected clues and lies are fun to play with, although some things a little far-fetched. Wait, what am I saying, this is a book where someone can sense dead people! Just like in the previous Harper books, we have some light humor and a gruesome edge. That's right, Harris likes keeping her murders gory!I would suggest that a person read the first book in this series and decide from there whether or not to move on with these books. I don't think, by any means, that you could read this book and enjoy it much without reading the previous books first. This is a good series for those who love mystery and Charlaine Harris.
phyllis2779 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love, love, loved it. Shot right through it. Lots of surprises and resolution of issues that have run through all of the books. Further development of the chief characters. Couldn't put it down once I started it, which is a contrast to the other book I'm reading, which I'm forcing myself to finish because I got it through the Early reviewers program.
flemmily on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Such a weird book with the incest factor - not really incest but Harper still calls him her brother...But enjoyable. Harper is not quite as charming as Sookie, but there is still this great southern housewife tone that I am surprised I like.