Sweet and Deadly

Newspaper reporter Catherine Linton ignored her investigative instincts when her parents died in a mysterious car crash six months ago — grief obscuring the warning signs that something was amiss. But when she discovers the beaten body of her father’s nurse on Linton property, Catherine quickly realizes her parents’ death was no accident.

Though the sleepy Southern town that Catherine’s family has called home for generations still prickles with racial tension and decades-old classism, Catherine never expected that Lowfield, Mississippi, could harbor a murderer. Now, it seems everyone has a terrible secret. But how many people in Lowfield would kill to keep them hidden?

Catherine finds herself both the sheriff’s lead suspect and the killer’s next target. With the help of her handsome editor, Randall, and her quirky fellow reporter, Tom, Catherine must untangle the dark roots of the murders and stop the killer who wears a neighbor’s face.


“Harris writes neatly and with assurance, and she avoids the goo that makes many equivalent books so sticky.”

The New York Times Book Review

“A first-rate mystery with [a] special character […] as convincing as it is surprising in its final resolution.”

Washington Post Book World

“Packs a perennial punch. It offers a rarity in popular fiction: an unromanticized portrait of a Southern Girl.”

Philadelphia Inquirer

“Engaging. Harris’ style has a charm and ease that remind one of Anne Tyler […] Original and surprising. Traces of Gothic romance add to the book’s unusual flavor.”

The Christian Science Monitor

“SWEET AND DEADLY is billed as a Southern mystery, and it does have that slow, sittin-in-the-shade quality as it lazily rolls along toward a shocker ending.”

Des Moines Register

“Introducing an author of rare talents […] Harris artfully keeps the mask on the killer until the stunning conclusion.”

Publishers Weekly

“A home run the first time out.”

Birmingham News

“As much novel as mystery as it explores the complex character and secrets of a small Southern town.”

Wichita Eagle-Beacon

“Charlaine Harris is a name to remember, not only because she has written an engrossing first novel about multiple murders but also because she has set that mystery in a small Southern town that Southern readers will find familiar and credible.”

Macon Telegraph and News

“SWEET AND DEADLY combines astute depiction of a Southern town with a crackling good mystery plot […] It has a little of everything: rich regional authenticity, good dialogue, interesting characters instead of stereotypes and taut suspense. Charlaine Harris has a great future as a writer.”

Savannah News-Press

“It grabbed me […\ as much a novel as a mystery. It is simply a well-written good read.”

Mystery News

Awards & Accolades