Author: Charlaine Harris
Series: Aurora Teagarden Mysteries (Book 9)
Publication: Minotaur Books (October 4, 2016)
Description: Aurora Teagarden is basking in the news of her pregnancy when disaster strikes her small Georgia town: four kids vanish from the school soccer field in an afternoon. Aurora’s 15-year-old brother Phillip is one of them. Also gone are two of his friends, and an 11-year-old girl who was just hoping to get a ride home from soccer practice. And then there’s an even worse discovery―at the kids’ last known destination, a dead body.
While the local police and sheriff’s department comb the county for the missing kids and interview everyone even remotely involved, Aurora and her new husband, true crime writer Robin Crusoe, begin their own investigation. Could the death and kidnappings have anything to do with a group of bullies at the middle school? Is Phillip’s disappearance related to Aurora’s father’s gambling debts? Or is Phillip himself, new to town and an unknown quantity, responsible for taking the other children? But regardless of the reason, as the days go by, the most important questions remain. Are the kids still alive? Who could be concealing them? Where could they be?
With Christmas approaching, Aurora is determined to find her brother…if he’s still alive.
After more than a decade, #1 New York Times bestseller Charlaine Harris finally returns to her fan-favorite Aurora Teagarden series with All the Little Liars, a fabulously fun new mystery.
My Thoughts: This ninth Aurora Teagarden mystery takes up right after the eighth which was published in 2003. Aurora is recently married to mystery writer Robin Crusoe and they two have just learned that they are expecting a baby. Thoughts of being recently married and expecting a first baby at age 37 would be enough to throw anyone off stride. Add to that the disappearance of Philip, Aurora's much younger half brother, along with two of his friends and a younger girl who had a crush on Philip and you have all the stress any one character should have to bear.
Of course, Aurora and Robin are determined to find Philip. Aurora begins investigating and learns all sorts of interesting things before events get even more fraught. Another young girl is found dead behind the beauty parlor. It turn out that she was the girlfriend of Joss who also disappeared. Then Aurora learned that the youngest girl Liza had been the victim of bullying both in person and online. Aurora also learned that another boy, Clayton Harrison, was also missing and that his parents had been asked for ransom for him.
Adding to Aurora's stress is the fact that her father and his current wife come to town looking for Philip too. Aurora and her father do not get along at all since she blames his infidelities for ending her parents' marriage. She also blames him for causing Philip to run away from home in California and hitchhike his way to her in Georgia. His wife had also disappeared and apparently couldn't find room in her new life to contact her fifteen-year-old son.
This was a small town cozy that felt a little old-fashioned to me despite timely references to online bullying. I think that it was likely because of Aurora's personality and old-fashioned manners that I felt the story seemed dated.
This would be a great story for people who remember the earlier Aurora Teagarden books fondly or who enjoy small town cozies.
If I'd thought things had been bad, the next day was worse. Way, way worse.I got this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.
The press arrived. In droves.