📚 Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

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Midnight, Texas #1

Goodreads⎮Reviewed Aug. 2017

Narrator: Susan Bennett
Length: 9h 29m
Publisher: Recorded Books⎮2014

Synopsis: From Charlaine Harris, the best-selling 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….

4.75 ★ Audiobook⎮ Right now, I am just as happy as can be. I’m curled up on a Saturday night, in comfy pajamas, with a cat in my lap, and having just finished Midnight Crossroad. Even better, I already have the next two installments downloaded and ready to go. This is the sweet spot in a series. I’m already so in love with it and have plenty more to go.

Although not technically considered a cozy mystery, Midnight Crossroad was both cozy and a mystery. Most of the cozy factor comes from the small town appeal. After just one book, Midnight, Texas is already as real to me as my own hometown. And the characters! With names like Fiji, Manfred, Bobo, Lemuel, Madonna, and Creek, these folks weren’t easy to confuse with one another. They all had personalities and occupations just as odd as their names.

I’ve been wanting to get into Charlaine Harris’ books for sometime now. I’ve tried listening to her Sookie Stackhouse series, but wasn’t as intrigued after having already seen the TV show. Midnight Crossroad was a fresh introduction into her writing. Harris’ ability to create a small town atmosphere with memorable characters reminded me of Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series.

However, Midnight Crossroad was lighter on the paranormal than anything I’ve heard from Briggs. There were paranormal beings, for sure, but Harris focused more on how they inhabit and affect the world on a smaller scale. The world Harris created is very much centered around the town of Midnight, Texas. The isolationist quality she developed enhances the cozy feeling throughout the story.

One could argue that the town itself almost became a character in this story. In fact, it may have been the “main character”, given that the entire series is named after the town. And although there was a lovable group of distinct characters living in Midnight, I’m not sure which of them would otherwise be considered the main character. The story frequently switched points-of-view, so the listener heard from several characters. The POV switches were well done and didn’t disrupt the flow of the story.

I highly recommend this story and this series to anyone who likes Charlaine Harris or the paranormal genre, in general. I’d even recommend it to cozy mystery fans who don’t mind adding a little magic to their mystery. Midnight Crossroad could act as a “starter series” for anyone interested in bridging the gap between Mystery and Paranormal.

Narration review: I’ve never heard anything from Susan Bennett before. In fact, I’ve never even heard of Susan Bennett before.  But she deserves so much credit for making this story cozy and enjoyable. Her voice was inherently warm and inviting, which vibed well with the setting. In that regard, Bennett’s voice is similar to Lorelei King’s (of the Mercy Thompson series). Bennett went above and beyond to provide appropriate character distinction for the many different types of beings found in Midnight, Texas. Furthermore, she added appropriate flair and personality to each of them. Bennett’s performance was a pleasure to hear! ♣︎

$ Available at Audiobooks.com and Audible/Amazon


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