Title: Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Narrator: Susan Bennett
Publisher: Ace (Penguin)
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Acquired Via: Personal Collection
From Charlaine Harris, the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a darker locale—populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that’s how the locals prefer it...
Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.
There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).
Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth...
I'm a bit of a book snob, in case you're new to the blog or haven't picked up on that yet. Though I loved both the Aurora Teagarden and Harper Connelly series by Charlaine Harris, the Southern Vampire Mysteries aka the "Sookie Stackhouse" books, left a bad taste in my mouth. It made me hesitant to pick up Midnight Crossroad though I've had a shiny, new hardcover sitting on my nightstand pile since its release day last year. And now that I've read it, I completely understand Tom Cruise's couch-jumping, and I'm hungry for more!
As a small-town southern girl, I feel like Charlaine Harris is my spirit animal. I don't care what you say - Midnight Crossroad was written for me. The first paragraph or so could almost be describing my own hometown, and the quirky characters could very well just as easily be someone I know. (If you can't say that a Midnight resident is like someone you know, you should go find some new friends and neighbors.) Her writing reads just like a story a hilarious aunt or neighbor could be telling, and if you don't have someone like that either, well, you should pick up Midnight Crossroad in order to have those friends.
I didn't even realize it until I read Midnight Crossroad, but Harris writes the best secondary and tertiary characters. Though I haven't figured it all out yet because I'm rusty on her books, but many, if not all, of the residents in Midnight, Texas have had cameos in her other novels. I know for a fact that Lily Bard and Harper Connelly are referenced in the book, and if Sookie was, I wasn't paying attention. That being said, every character in Midnight Crossroad was fascinating, and I never really had a favorite. I wanted to know more about everyone, and I'd be happy to see point of view chapters from everyone in the coming books. Okay, I lied. Mr. Snuggly is my favorite because he's purrfection.
I don't read a lot of mystery novels because I don't like a lot of tension, and Midnight Crossroad doesn't have that. Yes, I want to find out "whodunnit" regarding the murder in the novel, but I was perfectly happy to read the interactions between all of the characters and be given the little pieces of the mystery as they became available.
One thing I did miss in Midnight Crossroad that was in the Sookie novels was the really hot sex scenes.
I can't believe I just typed that.
Yes, Charlaine Harris writes the best non-awkward, non-icky sex that I've ever read in a paranormal novel. They always read as very natural - as in they progress naturally, not vampire sex being natural - and I hope two characters that I'm shipping gets the Charlaine Harris sexytime treatment. But if not, that's fine, too, as long as there is the gutbusting humor that kept me listening to the book.
Since I also listened to most of the Southern Vampire Mysteries, I wondered how I would take to a new narrator because Johanna Parker is one of my all-time favorite narrators. (Maybe because she's the first I ever enjoyed. Anywho.) I shouldn't have worried because Susan Bennett did a wonderful job bringing the characters to life and giving them each their own voice. My only complaint is... Well, I don't want to give anything away.
If you like southern fiction, paranormal/urban fantasy, or anything supernatural, I urge you to pick up Midnight Crossroad. Charlaine Harris is back on her A-game, and I am so happy that this series is out in the world to read. You won't be disappointed.
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