Charlaine Harris Schulz (born November 25, 1951) is an American mystery author, best known for The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries, also known as The Southern Vampire Mysteries. She has also written two mystery series, the Lily Bard or Shakespeare series and the Aurora Teagarden series as well as the Harper Connelly Mysteries which fall into the realm of Magical Realism. The Midnight, Texas novels bring in minor or recurring characters from just about all her other series. Three of her series (Sookie Stackhouse, Aurora Teagarden and Midnight, Texas) have received tv adaptations to mixed reactions from her fanbase
Works by Charlaine Harris with their own trope pages:
Other works by Charlaine Harris contain examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Harper Connelly and her stepbrother were nearly sold into prostitution as children by their drug-addicted parents.
- Broken Bird: Lily Bard, due to her having been gang-raped, tortured (leaving her body permanently scarred), then left for dead.
- Canon Welding: Citizens of Midnight, Texas include Bobbo Winthrop from the Lily Bard mysteries (and shows that even in his late twenties, he's still dealing with his grandfather's actions in that series), and Manfred Bernardo from the Harper Connelly mysteries; a short story note that's implied to take place before the series has Manfred meeting Sookie.
- Foreshadowing: The plot of the first Harper Connelly novel comes about because one of the victims is the secret daughter of one of the town's leading citizens, and in the second novel the villain has no compunctions about killing her niece so she can steal her sister's husband. These themes note foreshadow the answer to the quartet's overall Story Arc: who murdered Harper's older sister Cameron? It was Mark, Tolliver's older brother. Cameron figured out that the youngest of the Connelly/Lang brood, Grace, was in fact a kidnapped infant of a wealthy family who was 'swapped' with the original Grace, (who died very soon after birth) with the intention of either ransoming her back or waiting to claim the family's inheritance. Mark murdered Cameron to keep her from going to police and sending his father to jail.
- Heroic Neutral: Lily Bard is just a cleaning woman, albeit one with a traumatic past and a black belt in karate, and would be happy to be left to that but friends, acquaintances and customers keep insisting on getting murdered around her.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
- In the Harper Connelly Mysteries series, each title features the word "Grave".
- In the Lily Bard Mysteries series, titles follow the pattern "Shakespeare's ______".
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Played relatively straight in the Harper Connelly series. Harper is struck by lightning at the age of fifteen and has realistic and permanent aftereffects from this. She can also find dead bodies and tell you what they died of, which ability appeared only after the strike.
- Magic Realism: The Harper Connelly stories, about a woman who, after being struck by lightning gains the ability to locate dead bodies and know how they died. The existence of other people with psychic powers is mentioned briefly in the first book and we meet a couple in the second. Harper also encounters a ghost in the second book, Grave Surprise.
- My Greatest Failure: Harper can identify any dead body in range of her power - but she can't find the body of her missing-presumed-dead older sister, Cameron, because she has no idea where to start looking.
- Not Blood Siblings: Harper Connelly develops a romantic and sexual relationship with her stepbrother Tolliver that eventually leads to them marrying, much to the shock of their relatives. Making it especially squicky, they have two mutual half-siblings from his father's marriage to her mother. Having said that, Tolliver and Harper didn't even meet until their early/mid-teens.
- Running Gag: of the black humor kind. Harper is long since resigned to constantly having to give 'freebies' to convince skeptics that her abilities are genuine. This is nearly always followed by said people looking down on her for charging money and earning a living by using said abilities.
- Southern Gothic: The Shakespeare series.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: most prominently towards the Aurora Teagarden TV movies, which are/have been adapted by the Hallmark Channel. Even though the stories qualify in the cozy/malice domestic genre, several of the books had some rather dark themes and implied some quite steamy content. This was all eliminated in the adaptations, especially the main character's immediate and intense sexual attraction with her eventual first husband, and said husband's death.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: In the Harper Connelly series: Tolliver's father, to his older brother Mark. It's why he murdered Harper's older sister Cameron.
- Your Cheating Heart: at least three deaths in the first Harper Connelly book came about because several married people couldn't keep it in their pants. The villain of the second Harper book is desperately in love with her brother-in-law, and murders her own niece in the deluded belief that if he was 'free' of his family he'd turn to her. However, the man is deeply in love with his wife to the point that he doesn't realize his Chick Magnet status and their marriage remains strong despite the loss of their child.