Sookie Stackhouse isn't your ordinary Southern barmaid. With her "disability" -- reading minds -- and a penchant for vampires, she's a magnet for trouble. When some of the local girls who like the bloodsuckers start turning up dead, Sookie's honey, Bill Compton, and her brother Jason, come under suspicion. It's up to Sookie to use her powers to help solve this mystery, before one or more of the people she cares about end up dead or accused of a crime she's (pretty) sure they didn't commit.
This was a fun story, and a good mystery. It leaves you guessing whodunit right up to the end. Bill and Sookie's romance isn't so gushy as to leave you squirming, though their relationship seems a little on the abrupt side.
I put off reading this series for quite a while, as I'd only read a short story or two by Harris I hadn't cared for prior to this. A friend urged me to read the first novel after she bought and read it, and I found it quite enjoyable. Looking back, I think the shorts were geared toward someone who was familiar with the series, which was part of why I had such a hard time getting into them. With a full novel to flesh out the character of Sookie Stackhouse, and the people who surround her, it made a big difference.
While I've been hesitating about reading this series, I know it's considered an urban fantasy staple, much as Hamilton and Butcher are. Now that I've actually picked the first book up, I can see why. Looking forward to reading the rest of this series (and finally getting around to watching True Blood)!