Like so many other folks, I came to these books via True Blood. I'm very, very aware that a TV series adaptation uses an author's characters as more of a "hint" than a "blueprint". That said, I can't fault either True Blood or The Southern Vampire Mysteries for being two different beasties. Actually, I get to enjoy and love them BOTH, as almost two variations on a theme. Sookie's world of Northern Louisiana is a "hoot and a hollah" to read; I can't remember the last time that I laughed so hard reading a "murder" series. I adore Sookie like no other character! She is certainly NOT a "Mary Jane", nor is she the stereotypical heroine who has alcohol/drug/dression issues as so many Crime genre chicks suffer from. Sookie is plucky, humble, proud, caring, callous....in other words, she comes off as ME<<
The other characters of the book are equally entertaining and well-filled out. I enjoy authors who use ordinary, boring, plain characters along with the sterotypical gorgeous ones. Not ALL of Sookie's vamps are "drop dead gorgeous"; some are just plain folk, turned vamp.
I read all nine books in 12 days. Once a book was begun, I couldn't put it down...it was THAT good! Give yourself a gift and buy the entire series; it's money well spent!!!