Book Review by Debbie Winkler
Target Age Group: adults
My Rating:4/5 stars, Not as Good as the Previous, But Still a Great Series!
The Julius House is the fourth book in the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries series. Aurora “Roe” has finally recovered from her injuries incurred at the end of the last book and is happily engaged to Martin Bartell, her handsome, older, richer boyfriend. For her wedding gift, Martin buys her the Julius house, the perfect house for her. Many people think she is crazy for living there due to the sudden disappearance of the Julius family who used to live there. Roe doesn’t worry about it in the slightest and concentrates on glorying in her happily engaged status. She loves being the bride instead of the bridesmaid and pushes any doubts about her soon-to-be-husband aside. When they return from their perfect honeymoon in England, Roe settles in to redecorate and get adjusted to her new life. She is surprised when Martin informs her that two of his friends are down on their luck and that they will be moving into the apartment over the garage. Still, Roe is in love and excited to meet some of Martin’s friends and does her best to welcome them. She soon discovers, however, that they are really there to guard her. When pressured, Martin confesses that he is a gunrunner in South America and that he is always worried about retaliation. To take her mind off of this confession, Roe decides that she is going to find out what happened to the Julius family and drags her bodyguard along for the ride. She soon discovers that sometimes it is better to let secrets remain buried…
I admit that the whole Roe/Martin wedding was a little contrived, but Roe really has wanted to get married all of her life and is extremely flattered that such an attractive, wealthy gentleman would be in love with her. It was fun to see Roe’s thought processes as she dealt with extreme changes and challenges in her new life. I quite enjoyed the whole Julius family subplot and, though the ending was a little bit too shocking, Roe’s whole investigation was quite logical and shows how one determined person can often put clues together that other people missed. As with the her other books, Charlaine Harris offers the reader a host of interesting supporting characters, many amusing details about the mystery and a fun, fast read for those who enjoy this type of genre. I feel that Harris’s other mystery series starring Lily Bard Mysteries series is stronger and her Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Series is cleverer, but anything that Harris writes is worth reading!
This is a cozy mystery, but it does showcase some dark themes including drug running, uninvestigated disappearances, and other mystery-themed violent sequences. Appropriate for readers ages 14 and up.