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Friday, September 5, 2014

Midnight Crossroad By Charlaine Harris

by Terrance Mc Arthur

I’m a big fan of Charlaine Harris. I’ve read all the Southern Vampire mysteries (the basis for the True Blood TV shows) and the Sookie Stackhouse short stories, the Harper Connelly corpse-finding mysteries, the anthologies she has co-edited, and some of the Aurora Teagarden and Lily Bard books.

In Midnight Crossroad, Harris has moved her interests to the sun burnt spaces of West Texas and the not-quite-dead town of Midnight, at the crossroads of Witch Light Road and the Davy Highway, where there is at least one inhabitant who is quite dead. Manfred Bernardo, who runs an online psychic service, is the new kid in town, and finds that he is surrounded by family secrets.

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Across the street is a witch who gives classes in female affirmation, the local minister runs a wedding chapel and a pet cemetery, a gay couple sells antiques and does nails, the delectable girl at the convenience store has a father who forbids all outside contact for his children (No Facebook!), and Manfred’s landlord, Bobo, rumored to be heir to his white-supremacist grandfather’s cache of extra-military weapons, runs a pawnshop with a vampire as the night manager.

But all is not well in Midnight. There is a murderer among them, and the legend of the hidden munitions has brought dangerous interest from nearby paramilitary groups. Of course, it is never a good idea to attack a place where a vampire lives, especially one with a girlfriend with a background of mystery that seems to include archery, martial arts, and arson.

Image source: Ace

Manfred was introduced in a Sookie Stackhouse story from the Games Creatures Play anthology. He has psychic abilities, but sometimes he uses the skills of a scam artist, telling people what they are likely to believe. He likes girls a lot, and he is aware of being short and skinny in the middle of bigger-than-life Texas. He isn’t always brave, and he makes mistakes when he deals with women. I like him.

Midnight Crossing is like a better-looking Addams Family–a little bit creepy, often cooky, definitely mysterious, but ooky? I’m not even sure what that is! Sink your teeth into this book…before it sinks its teeth into you.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a Community Librarian for the WoW! (WithOut Walls) Division of the Fresno County Public Library, roaming the Valley to meet the public's information needs.

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