written by David Steffen
All Together Dead is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2007, the seventh in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris (which is the basis of the HBO show True Blood). The previous books are all reviewed here earlier on the Diabolical Plots feed.
Sookie is invited to a national vampire summit as part of Queen Sophie-Anne of Louisiana’s entourage. Sophie-Ann knows of Sookie’s mindreading abilities and wishes to user her ability to give her an advantage in expected power struggles within the vampire hierarchy. Sophie-Anne stands accused of murdering her husband (during the events of the last book) and one of the events happening at the summit is her trial, with charges pressed by her husband’s second-in-command. Also at the summit is Barry, the only other mindreader she knows, who is now employed in a similar position as Sookie to use as an advantage in vampire scheming. The anti-vampire church the Fellowship of the Sun has been ramping up their hostilities against vampires lately, and so security is extra tight.
Given the premise, it’s no surprise that there’s a lot going on in this book. Vampires are known for their scheming ways, and so filling a huge hotel with the highest ranking vampires from opposing factions all across the country is bound to be tense and complicated and potentially violent. There are schemes on schemes and there is plenty to keep the reader occupied trying to predict who is behind what. In this book, you get to see quite a bit more detail about the internal vampire hierarchy, and there are a lot of other singular moments that let you get a better feel for the broader worldbuilding that we have typically only been able to get small glimpses of from only knowing a few vampires in small communities.
Easily the best in the series so far, by a longshot. And, major bonus, there is nothing resembling this book in the TV series, so it is all fresh even to a TV viewer.