Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries; aka Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries; aka Those Books that Started the Show "True Blood"
Book Order: Dead Until Dark* (1), Living Dead in Dallas* (2), Club Dead* (3), Dead to the World (4), Dead as a Doornail (5), Definitely Dead (6), All Together Dead (7), From Dead to Worse (8), Dead and Gone (9), Dead in the Family (10), Plus assorted short stories
* indicates a book I have read
I haven't actually seen any episodes of the show True Blood that is based off this series of books. I've heard varying reports about how closely the show follows the books, but if anyone else wants to weigh in on the comparison I'd love to hear more thoughts. For those that are unfamiliar with the books or the series, Harris bases her vampire mythology on the premise that vampires have "come out of the coffin" and live among humans as (mostly) accepted citizens. The vamps no longer need to feed on people thanks to the development of a synthetic blood substitute called True Blood, hence the name of the hit TV show. Overall, I like the lighthearted feel to the series and appreciate Harris's unique take on urban fantasy.
This book provided a nice change from predictability in that Sookie was cast more in the role of rescuer rather than damsel in distress (although she did wind up in peril eventually). I liked the addition of new characters and the development of some that have lingered in the background a bit and I think that one of Harris's greatest strength in this series is her characters. Sookie is a strong and likable heroine and even when the reader doesn't agree with her actions or decisions, she is still a character to root for.
I may be in the minority among fans of the genre, but personally, I like paranormal romance books for the paranormal more than the romance. I like the involvement of vampires, werewolves, psychics and shape-shifters. Also, it is the mystery aspect, more than the love stories, that has kept me interested in this series, and I remain intrigued as to where Sookie's adventures will lead her next.