Grave Surprise is the third of the Harper Connelly series. Struck by lightning at age fifteen, Harper survived due to the quick intervention of her sister, Cameron, and stepbrother, Tolliver, but was left with a weakened right leg and a shaky right hand. In addition, she suffers from headaches and many fears. The bizarre accident of nature gave her the ability to find dead people and diagnose the cause of their death.
Bad things happen in threes. Called to southern Tennessee to give Dr. Clyde Nunley’s class a demonstration of her talent, Harper finds more than the ancient body listed on cemetery records. The more recently dead body of a young girl is found on top, soon to be followed by a third body. The plot has more twists than a Shirley Temple ringlet as Harper and Tolliver investigate the murder of the third party while trying to clear Harper of any involvement with the second body.
Harris understands Southern characters, deftly shading them with Southern charm and tragedy rather than embalming them with mint julep. The back story of the mutual need and dependence between Harper and Tolliver is both a sad minuet of the survivors of brutal, downright trailer-park-trashy parenting and a cautious dance toward and away from a growing attraction.
This is a great read for mystery lovers and those who enjoy paranormal fiction.