All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris is the 9th book in the Aurora Teagarden series (Available October 4, 2016).
New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris gives her fans what they’ve been clamoring for—a return to the fun and excitement of the Aurora Teagarden series.
In the small Georgia town where a pregnant and happy Aurora Teagarden lives, four teens suddenly vanish from the school soccer field one afternoon. One of them is Aurora’s fifteen-year-old brother Phillip, who goes missing along with two of his friends. The fourth missing child, who was with them at the field, is an eleven-year-old girl who was just hoping to get a ride home from soccer practice.
But that’s not all; an even worse discovery is made at the children’s last known destination. A dead body—another girl named Tammy, who was the girlfriend of one of the missing boys—has been found there.
My cell phone rang about five o’clock. I noticed the time because I had been trying to imagine what we could have for dinner that night and, so far I hadn’t come up with anything. I was exhausted, after a very mild day at work. Would this be the norm until the baby was born? That would be a real pain. Supper had to be ready early because, Robin’s writers’ group was meeting tonight at the new Community Center, at seven.
Right after I’d gotten home I’d gotten a load of clean clothes out of the dryer to fold. Then I’d collapsed on the living room couch to read for a few minutes. When those minutes were up, I’d tried to summon up some energy. Either this exhaustion was a result of the pregnancy, or an energy-draining vampire was sneaking in at odd moments.
Maybe we could have bacon sandwiches with fruit salad?
When the phone rang, I answered it without much enthusiasm.
“Roe,” said Beth Finstermeyer brightly. “Listen the kids wouldn’t happen to be at your house, would they?”
“I’m sure they’re not, but just in case they slipped past me, I’ll check Philip’s room,” I said. A finger of dread tickled my spine.
After a personal search for the kids turns up nothing, Aurora is more worried than ever. The local police and sheriff’s departments comb the county for the missing kids and interview everyone even remotely involved, while Aurora and her new husband, true crime writer Robin Crusoe, begin their own investigation, determined to find Phillip.
However, when Aurora begins investigating, she learns some very interesting facts—one of which is that the eleven-year-old girl, Liza, who has vanished with the boys, is the victim of bullying in person and online. That information, plus the fact that a wealthy boy named Clayton Harrison has also gone missing and that his parents have been contacted demanding a ransom for their son’s safe return, adds to the mystery of the children’s disappearance.
Aurora and her husband sift through the questions in their minds. Is Phillip’s disappearance related to the gambling debts of Aurora’s and Phillip’s father? The man has been threatened before by “debt collectors.” Is a group of middle school bullies involved with the dead body and possible kidnappings? What is Clayton’s connection to the missing children? Or is “new to town” young Phillip himself responsible for taking the other children? After all, this isn’t the first time the teenager has pulled a vanishing act, having first turned up on Aurora’s Georgia doorstep after running away from his California home and their father. Is he concealing something that Aurora doesn’t know about?
All unanswered questions to be sure, but as the days go by, only two questions need to be answered. Are the kids still alive, and where could they be? Aurora is determined to find her brother and bring him home before the Christmas holidays. That is if he’s still alive.
The 9th Aurora Teagarden mystery neatly follows the last book in the series, which was published in 2003. The book is a good cozy mystery and a must-read for Aurora Teagarden fans.
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Kristen Houghton is the author of nine top-selling novels, including For I Have Sinned and Grave Misgivings, books 1 and 2 in the best-selling new series, A Cate Harlow Private Investigation. Book 3 in the series, Unrepentant: Pray for Us Sinners, will be published Fall of 2016. She is hard at work on a new series that features a paranormal investigator with distinct powers of her own.
Houghton is also the author of two non-fiction books and numerous short stories which appear in popular anthologies.