Hallmark’s Aurora Teagarden movie series has a surprising connection to HBO’s popular vampire series, True Blood. The same author wrote the books upon which both series are based.
‘Aurora Teagarden’ Was Charlaine Harris’ First Series
Charlaine Harris is the author behind the Aurora Teagarden book series, upon which Hallmark’s popular Aurora Teagarden movies are based. Her books are about a Southern librarian “whose bookish bent for murder gets her involved in a real-life killing spree,” Barnes and Noble’s synopsis shared. The series starts out in Lawrenceton, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, where Aurora is part of a club called Real Murders that analyzes famous cases. But then she’s pulled into a real murder investigation and everything changes.
Hallmark has aired a long line of Aurora Teagarden movies, including:
- A Bone to Pick: 2015
- Real Murders: 2015
- Three Bedrooms, One Corpse: 2016
- The Julius House: 2016
- Dead Over Heels: 2017
- A Bundle of Trouble: 2017
- Last Scene Alive: 2018
- Reap What You Sew: 2018
- The Disappearing Game: 2018
- A Game of Cat and Mouse: 2019
- An Inheritance to Die For: 2019
- A Very Foul Play: 2019
- Heist and Seek: 2020
- Reunited & It Feels So Deadly: 2020
Harris actually authored the Aurora Teagarden series before the Sookie Stackhouse series. She received a Best Novel 1990 nomination for the books and wrote several in the mid-1990s, her True Blood Wiki bio noted. In fact, the Aurora Teagarden series was her very first series, she said on Facebook. But she doesn’t currently have any plans to write more books in the series.
In answer to a fan’s question on Facebook, she commented that she doesn’t write any of Hallmark’s Aurora Teagarden scripts.
Harris Is Also the Author of the Sookie Stackhouse Series Upon Which ‘True Blood’ Is Based
Harris is also the author of the Sookie Stackhouse vampire series. HBO’s hit series True Blood was based upon the book series, although the TV series did make some changes along the way. The series is also known as The Southern Vampire Mysteries, as Harris has a penchant for writing about mysteries that take place in Southern towns.
Her Sookie Stackhouse series won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001, 11 years after her Aurora Teagarden series had its first award nomination. Also in 2001, she debuted a new fantasy series about a woman who could locate bodies after being struck by lightning.
In a story for TV Insider, Harris said that the True Blood TV series was much more violent than her book series. She wrote: “When I saw the first episode, I was impressed and terrified because it was so different [from the books] and so graphic.”
Now HBO is considering making a reboot of its successful True Blood series. When she shared the news on Facebook, one fan wrote: “I hope this time they follow your books more closely. I loved the show, but the books were soooo much better!”
Another reader wrote: “I’m sorry and this is just my opinion and they ruined it the books were so much better than the show it changed the whole concept.”
She Was Threatened by Fans When She Ended the Sookie Stackhouse Series
Aurora Teagarden fans were a lot nicer to Harris than some Sookie Stackhouse fans. After she wrote her last novel — the 13th in the Sookie Stackhouse series — Harris received death threats, threats to cancel book orders, and suicide threats, The Guardian reported. The threats were based on a choice she made about how to end a romance — a choice that many fans were not happy about. The hate came after a copy was leaked online early and people realized which of her suitors Sookie would ultimately choose.
Harris said that some emails from fans threatened that they would kill themselves if Sookie didn’t end up with a specific character. Harris said she was disappointed by the reactions.
“I wrote the best book I could, and I’m confident I stayed true to the characters I’d been writing for so many years,” she said. “It’s disappointing to have people impugn my character in such a personal way, but I hope on the whole that many people are entertained by the book and find it a satisfying end to Sookie’s adventures.”
Her UK editor said the reactions were actually from a minority of readers. Harris said that overall, despite seeing ugliness from fans, she saw more kindness.
“I’ll be happy to put this behind me and go back to doing what makes me happiest: writing the best books I can,” she said at the time. “This has been my pattern for 32 years, from way before the Sookie books, and I hope it’ll be my pattern for a few more.”
In May 2020, she shared on Facebook that she doubted she would write any more Sookie Stackhouse novels. She wrote: “I sincerely doubt I’ll ever write another book about Sookie, and so far I haven’t been inspired for plot lines for any of the other characters. I hope all of you who enjoyed the books will try my new series about Lizbeth Rose, a gunslinger.”
She Said the Aurora Series Was Much Less Controversial
In a story for TV Insider, Harris said her Aurora series was much less controversial than her Sookie book series.
“The Aurora Teagarden movies have been far less controversial (than True Blood),” she wrote. “People who watch Hallmark movies are usually big fans of Candace and tend to like the Aurora movies because they’re pretty mild mysteries with very little explicit sex and violence.”
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