Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire novels (Dead Until Dark and LIving Dead in Dallas)are reminiscent of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series,(a series I thoroughly enjoy reading over and over) but Sookie, the heroine of Ms. Harris's novels is less like Anita Blake and more like Stephanie Plum, Janet Evanovich's bounty Hunter ( another thoroughly enjoyable and re-readable series) Anita Blake is more polished and experienced, more at ease with her supernatural abilities than Sookie. Sookie is more human and fallible, kind of a Calamity Jane, but very likable. Her budding romance with a newly arrived vampire is fraught with misunderstandings between species, but they manage to communicate very well anyway. The vampires in this series make no excuses for what they are, predators, but still have a not so nasty side, especially since they are trying to "mainstream" and live with humans. Ms Harris throws in a few shapeshifters, colorful local residents, and reprehensible villains, both human and supernatural. Prepare to sit yourself down for a wonderful read. The plots were well thought out and equally well written. I am eagerly looking forward to her the next book in this series.