Midnight Crossing by Charlaine Harris

Midnight Crossing by Charlaine HarrisMidnight Crossing by Charlaine Harris

Series: #1 Midnight, TX
Genres: Mystery Romance, Paranormal Romance
Published by Ace on March 31, 2015
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars  

Atmospheric, deceptively simple, small town at its best, colorful characters, secrets and mysteries abound and this is just the beginning to this new series set in the spooky town of Midnight, Texas. I eagerly picked this one up and devoured it, amazingly. I think it might be a case of right book; right time, but it’s also the fact that I settled in quickly and fell in love with the community of quirky people living in Midnight. I can’t even explain it entirely because it wasn’t cover to cover action, breathtaking scenes, tantalizing passion or witty dialogue that did it. I think it was the author’s ability to unleash the reader’s curiosity and establish a connection that never leaves. I wanted to know all the details, thoughts and activities for all the people of Midnight. Now, this does not mean that there weren’t exciting moments. There were the white supremacists after a fabled cash of weapons they thought the pawn shop owner was hiding, a murder investigation and a kidnapping to liven things up nicely. And if that wasn’t enough to keep my interest, every single person in this town has secrets and I’m nosey enough to want them all.

The book and the series are set in the same world as the author’s other series. It was fun to recognize connections to the Harper Connelly and Lily Bard series through a couple of the current book’s characters. The connection is loose so it’s not necessary for the read to have read the other series.

The story opens with Manfred Bernardo moving to the dusty one-signal light West Texas town of Midnight. It is through his observations of his new neighbors and the town life that things begin. His first day leads to an encounter with most of the town’s residents who do not exhibit curiosity about him and ask no personal questions. He knows he has come to the right place. They might all be the strangest set of neighbors that include at least a witch and a vampire if not other mystical types, but they are friendly and neighborly even if they don’t invite probing into their private lives. The welcoming atmosphere is soon shoved aside when a body is found during the town picnic expedition and rough strangers come to town looking for a hoard of weapons. The town doesn’t invite scrutiny and takes care of it’s own. Manfred is accepted and catches on quickly to the rhythm of life there and finds that he doesn’t do it reluctantly. In the end, it will take all the inhabitants of Midnight to thwart the trouble that won’t leave them alone.

I pretty much covered my impressions of the book earlier, but I wanted to add a few more bits and bobs. The story is told by multiple narrators in third person perspective. Manfred, Bobo, and Fiji seem to standout as the lead characters, but the other townsfolk are very present throughout the story. I will also make mention that the predominant genre element is mystery, but paranormal, romance and general fiction would fit the bill to a lesser extent too. The mystery was a good one that left me with my mouth open to see who did the murder. There were also a few surprises dropped in to keep things interesting. The paranormal was not strongly present, but it did flavor a few scenes just enough for some fun. I don’t know why, but the kidnapping adventure was humorous to me. There are a few romances trying to blossom in town, but this was a minor element and barely there at this point in the series. I just can’t get over how much enjoyment I derived from spending time with this fascinating group that are home folk in their quirky and weird ways. It’s like the Addams Family and all of their closest friends.

Oh, and I just have to mention the cool thing I noticed about the covers of this series that really struck me after I finished this book and picked up the next installment. Each cover is textured and set up so it’s like one is looking out of a dirty window on various aspects of the town. There are actual clues to the mystery placed in what the viewer sees through the dirty pane of glass. Totally fab!

All in all, it was a splendid start to a series and I look forward to my next visit with the denizens of Midnight. This was the set up book and it did its job while also providing a good plot. The blend of mystery and paranormal with hints of romance were a heady combination. The book and series crosses so many genres that I’m not entirely sure who to specifically recommend this to, but I guess if you like a bit of everything in your book then this is for you.

My thanks to Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #155 UF

New to Me #181 series

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • Lindy Gomez

    Wow! This story sounds great! I love a story full of mystery, that spikes your curiosity. The small town setting is always great, because then you get to feel like you really are a part of the story, and getting to know all of the characters. I think it’s genius that the book covers reveal clues about the story. I love it when a story has connections to an author’s previous stories in different series.’ How fun!!! Beautiful Review! You have such a lovely vocabulary!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    • Thank you, Lindy! I had such a fantastic time getting into this first book. It’s not dynamic, but it pulled me in with all its little things. Oh and the cover, when I realized what they did, I thought the same thing- genius idea!

  • Charlaine Harris her Sookie Stackhouse series, made me fall in love with mystery and urban fantasy, but I still haven’t read the last book and never picked up this series, not sure why. Your review certainly makes me reconsider that. And that’s so fun there are connections with her other series. I love her Harper Connely series! I always liked how this author writes murder mysteries, so I a happy to know there’s one in this book as well. And that’s so cool the cover contain clues to the mystery. I am adding this to my to-read list!

    • I haven’t read her Harper Connelly series yet either, Lola, but enjoyed the mystery and storytelling of the Sookie books too. I plan to go back and read all her older series for the mysteries.

  • Hey Sophia:) this story does sound good not to mention all the mystery that’s involved in it. cover is also mysterious in its own way because, I don’t know if it’s just me, but the cover looks kind of slanted which made me stare even harder at the book. 😉

    • Yes, the cover does have a warped convex view like you’re looking out on a scene. This was one time that I was glad the publisher sent me a physical copy of the review book so I could get the full effect of the cover.

  • I read like one book in her Harper Connelly series but I did like it…a lot. I like the idea of the loose tie in to that series…I might have to try this one out and I love the that it’s more mystery than anything else.

    • Yeah, this was great. It wasn’t full of pizzazz, but it was full of curious people and activities. I still need to read her Harper Connelly series.

  • I had trouble reaching through her Sookie Stackhouse series, so I might give a try to that one, the mystery appeals to me 🙂

    • Depending on what part caused you trouble, these are different. Sookie’s got into the romance and power struggles of the paranormal people lots of times where these focus more on the mystery and secrets the people hide while living away in this small town- or at least so far. 😉

      • The trouble is… I got bored, lol ! It’s the mystery part that attracts me here 😉

        • Gotcha! LOL! Well, there’s a new mystery with each book so that should help.

  • LOL I would NOT have noticed the cover window thing. I like the covers on these though. I liked this one as well. I think you nailed it with the curiosity. That’s what had me so pulled in I think. It’s just such an odd little place.

    • It was the coolest thing. After I read the book, I sat there staring at the front and thinking about my impressions only to notice that hey, I was staring out a dirty window watching the murderer drive by and off to the right was the place they worked. I looked over the cover of book two and realized that they must have done it again since I was again looking out a window on a scene….yeah, so nifty.

      Oh definitely it was the curiosity thing for me. I had no idea I was such a nosey person. They would tell you at work that I was utterly lacking in curiosity, but I guess I store it up for small town mystery books. 😉