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Dead­locked Char­laine Har­ris, Gol­lancz, $29.99 You don’t have to be a fan of the TV se­ries True Blood to dip into a Sookie Stack­house novel. In fact, it prob­a­bly helps if you’re not, given that many of the char­ac­ters and plot­lines dif­fer. The 12th book in the se­ries is a self-con­tained mur­der mys­tery that takes place amid the usual vam­pire pol­i­tics of Bon Temps, with a few fairy strip­pers, a psy­cho­pathic were­wolf and a can­ni­bal­is­tic elf added to the eclec­tic mix. Sookie, our tele­pathic hero­ine, is hav­ing do­mes­tic prob­lems with her vam­pire hubby (spoiler alert: it’s not Bill) and the sit­u­a­tion isn’t helped when a dead girl turns up on his front lawn. An ut­terly un­be­liev­able but still oddly com­pelling page-turner. Carolyn Collins

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