The last book in Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries series, "Dead Ever After," comes out Tuesday. Before then, take a look back at how Sookie went from boring rural life to dealing with one supernatural drama after another. (There are spoilers if you haven't read the books, which inspired HBO's "True Blood.")
"Dead Until Dark"
Meet Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic barmaid living in a world where synthetic blood allowed vampires to "come out of the coffin." In this first book, she meets her first vampire, Civil War veteran Bill Compton, and falls in love with him while getting sucked into the supernatural world and dealing with her grandmother's murder and two near-death experiences of her own.
"Living Dead in Dallas"
Sookie's hired out to the Dallas vamps to help find missing nestmates. Bad luck piles up for her: a co-worker is killed, a maenad attacks her, and she gets kidnapped by an anti-vampire group. Her romantic life gets complicated: vampire sheriff Eric Northman, a 1,000-year-old Viking, tricks her into drinking his blood and kisses her a couple of times even though she's still with Bill.
Bill's been secretive and disappears for "work." Sookie ends up in Jackson, Miss., to use her telepathy to find out where he is. Bill's being tortured at the king's house. She's injured and takes more of Eric's blood so she can rescue Bill. She stakes his maker but ends locked in trunk with Bill, who attacks her. She breaks up with Bill.
"Dead to the World"
Eric loses his memory and ends up hiding at Sookie's house while his vampire child Pam tracks the witches who cursed him. Fresh off her breakup, she gives in to her attraction to the handsome and now-sweet vampire sheriff. After the witches are defeated, Eric's memories are back, but he's forgotten his time with Sookie and leaves her twice-heartbroken.
"Dead as a Doornail"
Wereanimals are getting shot, including Sookie's boss Sam (and eventually Sookie), so she borrows a vampire bartender from Eric's club. Then her house burns down with her inside. She's saved at the last minute. The borrowed vampire tries to kill her, revealing he set her house on fire and was sent to hurt Eric by taking something that he loves.
Sookie starts dating a weretiger named Quinn and ends up in New Orleans, where she learns Bill was sent by the queen to procure Sookie for her telepathy. She ends up kidnapped — again — and attacked by a vampire — again.
"All Together Dead"
The Louisiana vamps travel to a summit in Illinois, where's she's forced into a permanent bond with Eric. She also learns the anti-vampire group has planted bombs and saves Eric and Pam before they go off and countless others from the wreckage with her telepathy.
"From Dead to Worse"
Boyfriend Quinn is missing, Sookie finds out she's part fairy and she gets caught up in a werewolf war and vampire takeover, and Eric's memories return.
"Dead and Gone"
Werewolves reveal themselves. Eric tricks Sookie into marrying him, vampire style. And she gets kidnapped and tortured by evil fairies.
"Dead in the Family"
Eric's sadistic maker shows up. Assassins try to kill Pam and Sookie. Fairies keep popping up at her house. In the end, she ends up with dead vampires and fairies on her lawn — again.
Sookie breaks blood bond with Eric and learns where her telepathy came from. She finds "get out of jail" fairy trinket and also helps Eric eliminate an enemy.
Things are tense between Eric and Sookie, especially after Eric gets caught up in a murder investigation. She also finds out about Eric's unwanted contract to marry another vampire. In the end, she uses the fairy trinket to save Sam's life.