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Midnight, Texas #1

Midnight Crossroad

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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...

305 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2014

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About the author

Charlaine Harris

304 books35.2k followers
Charlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over thirty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Charlaine lives in Texas now, and all of her children and grandchildren are within easy driving distance.

Though her early output consisted largely of ghost stories, by the time she hit college (Rhodes, in Memphis) Charlaine was writing poetry and plays. After holding down some low-level jobs, her husband Hal gave her the opportunity to stay home and write. The resulting two stand-alones were published by Houghton Mifflin. After a child-producing sabbatical, Charlaine latched on to the trend of series, and soon had her own traditional mystery books about a Georgia librarian, Aurora Teagarden. Her first Teagarden, Real Murders, garnered an Agatha nomination.

Soon Charlaine was looking for another challenge, and the result was the much darker Lily Bard series. The books, set in Shakespeare, Arkansas, feature a heroine who has survived a terrible attack and is learning to live with its consequences.

When Charlaine began to realize that neither of those series was ever going to set the literary world on fire, she regrouped and decided to write the book she’d always wanted to write. Not a traditional mystery, nor yet pure science fiction or romance, Dead Until Dark broke genre boundaries to appeal to a wide audience of people who simply enjoy a good adventure. Each subsequent book about Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic Louisiana barmaid and friend to vampires, werewolves, and various other odd creatures, was very successful in many languages.

The Harper Connelly books were written concurrently with the Sookie novels.

Following the end of Sookie's recorded adventures, Charlaine wrote the "Midnight, Texas" books, which have become a television series, also. The Aurora Teagarden books have been adapted by Hallmark Movie & Mystery.

Charlaine is a member of many professional organizations, an Episcopalian, and currently the lucky houseparent to two rescue dogs. She lives on a cliff overlooking the Brazos River.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,197 reviews
Profile Image for Ang from OZ.
192 reviews12 followers
May 27, 2014
Interested to see what this is like. Think I'll wait and see what early reviews say first though.
I haven't forgiven Ms Harris for the last few books in the Sookie Stackhouse series yet......

Update- I reckon if I get 100 likes on this I'll buy the stupid book and review it.

Update- As stated once I hit 100 likes I agreed to read and review this book. So the book is on its way, Stay Tuned for Review...
In the mean time, check out the Interview with Charlaine Harris where she talks about her books and "Midnight Crossroad"

Interview with Charlaine Harris.


But what I did read was a struggle!

Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,261 reviews8,753 followers
February 7, 2018
2/7/18 - ON SALE for $2.99:


Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

3.5 stars

I love Charlaine Harris. Really, I do.

When I started reading her SOOKIE STACKHOUSE books, I was so desperate for more Harris reading material (in the between books time) that I did something I’d never done before—I read mysteries.

Why did I read mysteries?

B/c that’s what Harris writes. She wrote mysteries for years, only having middling success. I don’t know if Harris had a dream filled with vampires and werewolves and fairies (oh, my!) one night, or if a decision to jump on the Urban Fantasy bandwagon prompted the genre switch, but even while writing bestselling Urban Fantasies, she still managed to incorporate her beloved elements of mystery.

And she wasn’t lazy about it either.

Occasionally when reading Paranormal Romance, you’ll stumble across a series that is essentially contemporary romance + a vampire or two. Some author will decide to milk the PNR cash cow, but doesn’t want to do the research, so she’ll write a normal romance, turn the hero into a vampire or werewolf, substitute a peanut allergy with a garlic or silver allergy, and call it a day.

Lazy. Lazy AND infuriating.

Harris did the opposite of this with her SOOKIE STACKHOUSE and HARPER CONNELLY series, and she’s done it again in her new MIDNIGHT, TEXAS trilogy. But this time she’s managed to almost perfectly merge her bread (mystery) with her butter (UF).

Midnight, Texas is a peculiar little town. It has one stoplight, a few small, locally owned and run businesses, and a handful of residents, ALL of whom have a secret.

It also has one very important, but unspoken rule: don’t ask questions.

This book got off to a bit of a rocky start for me (the first couple of chapters were less than stellar), but lover-of-Charlaine-Harris that I am, I persevered, and in the end, there was only one thing that really bothered me . . .

Too many POVs.

Too many different people, with too many different background stories, and too many hints into their secret pasts, kept me from becoming emotionally invested in ANY of them.

But in hindsight, I can see that it was a kind of necessary evil. The plot wasn’t the only source mystery in MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD, you see—every important character was a mystery unto him or herself.

Our story opens with the knowledge that a newcomer has moved to town, and I took for granted that this new person was the MC . . . but a few POVs later, I was no longer certain. EVERY character seems to be given equal weight, and has an equally shadowy past. I didn’t even figure out the main plot until I was halfway into the book<——as frustrating as it was cool.

But frustrating and/or cool, this book definitely kept me on my toes. It was also hilariously clever in that deep South, small town way that Harris has mastered, and ultimately, as many POVs as there were, I still began to develop interest in the characters. I’m fairly certain that by the time I finish the next book (which I will definitely be reading), I will be well and fully invested in the lives of the residents of Midnight, Texas. Even observing as the outsider I felt like I was, it was impossible to not want to know more.

Will Fiji and Bobo (yes, those are unfortunately their real names) ever be more than friends? What is Manfred really hiding from? Is Olivia some kind of super, secret assassin? Is that why she keeps disappearing?

I just don’t know.

But I NEED to.

And that is why I highly recommend this book. MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD by Charlaine Harris is the promising first installment of her new MIDNIGHT, TEXAS trilogy. It combines the classic elements of mystery with the highly popular supernatural elements of Urban Fantasy, and weaves a story that will keep you guessing who (or what) dunit, from start to finish (and I can almost guarantee that your guess will be wrong). So please, come and meet the residents of Midnight, Texas—you won’t be able to rest until you uncover their secrets . . .

Jessica Signature

Reread thoughts:

MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD was even better the second time b/c I already had an idea about who all the myriad characters were and why they were important. This time I paid more attention to questions about this town's mysterious inhabitants that I want answered:


My other reviews for this series:

Day Shift (Midnight, Texas, #2) by Charlaine Harris
Profile Image for Darth J .
417 reviews1,265 followers
May 25, 2016
After reading that the premise of supernatural people living in a small town, I immediately thought of one of my perennial favorites: HalloweenTown.

What I got, however, was a dull and meandering story of a one-horse town that is, in a word: lame.

While I wasn’t one of the angered fans of how Harris ended her Southern Vampire Mysteries/ Sookie Stackhouse books, I am disappointed in this one. This new series exists in the same universe and yet is so lacking in each and every way. Gone is the smoky-southern-gothic-yet-somehow-also-a-cozy-mystery tone that I appreciate from this author; instead it’s mostly just boring goings-about of the like 10 people who inhabit this town. While there are similarities to her other books, mainly of there being characters with terrible names like Bobo and Figi or cameos from minor characters, Harris kinda ruins the continuity of her pre-existing universe. There’s a vampire, but he feeds off psychic energy instead of blood—which made me roll my eyes because that is something some Hot Topic goth who has a love/hate relationship with Twilight would say—and there’s a new agey witch who is able to freeze people and cause illusions but is unable to do so to prevent her own kidnapping. Also, there’s a cat who can just talk which seemed more cartoony than anything and would NOT be kosher on screen if they go the True Blood route with the planned TV series.

The mystery here of a dead woman seems oddly placed far in the background of the minutia of the character’s everyday lives, which involves mostly eating at a diner. In fact, the story only brings up this plot to remind itself that there’s some actual thread it needs to follow and to get itself back on track.

Ultimately, I’m just giving up on this series. Even if the show is good, I just can’t go on with a writer who has lost their talent. It was a promising premise that just didn’t deliver.
Profile Image for Yolanda Sfetsos.
Author 70 books197 followers
August 8, 2016
I'm a big Charlaine Harris fan and I've read all of her other series, so when I found out she had a new trilogy coming out this year I was super excited. And then I received an ARC months before the book was due to be released, so I couldn't wait to get started.

Manfred Bernardo has just moved into the (very) small town of Midnight. He's a 'psychic' and has his own business, conducted online and on the phone, so this isolated place seemed like a good place to move. Most of his work includes the use of psychology and instinct, rather than psychic ability but he does sometimes get real psychic vibes. He's young, determined to get on with his own life, and actually finds the small population of Midnight very welcoming.

So he finds himself hanging out in the local diner run by a woman called Madonna, who has a baby and is married to the local handyman. He also meets the mysterious Rev, who only speaks when he has something important to say. Joe and Chuy are a couple and run an antiques store/nail salon. Then there's Fiji, the witch across the road with a very peculiar cat and a knack of constantly surprising Manfred. His next door neighbour and landlord happens to be Bobo Winthrop--now all grown up and no longer living in Shakespeare--who runs a pawn shop. Bobo has two other tenants that are guaranteed to fill you with wonder--one only comes out at night, and the other constantly disappears on secret missions. The Lovell family consists of Shawn and his two kids--Creek and Connor. They run the local gas station and keep mostly to themselves, but Manfred has his eye on Creek.

It's a small tight-knit community that accepts Manfred instantly.

The day they all get together to have a picnic near the river and find a dead body, things change because the police get involved and everyone's a suspect. No one more than Bobo, because the body is actually his girlfriend. The one he was positive had run out on him months earlier. As it turns out, she was killed and a lot of the evidence seems to point his way. Although he insists he's innocent, Bobo does have a few secrets of his own.

Actually, everyone in Midnight has some sort of secret. Why else would they live in such a desolate place? But one thing Manfred learns pretty early on is that Midnighters take care of each other. Even when faced with the most gruesome, unexpected revelation.

OMG. I had a blast reading this book! I loved every minute of it and didn't want it to end.

The main mystery is trying to figure out who killed Bobo's girlfriend, Aubrey, but there are so many other things going on in this book. The characters are interesting and full of personal secrets, but since we get intimately introduced to several of the characters via multiple POV, it adds an extra layer to the story and what's going on.

Some secrets are uncovered, others aren't. The one thing that will certainly happen is that you'll get caught up in the lives of these people and want to know more.

Midnight Crossroad is another compelling book by Charlaine Harris. I love her storytelling style and the wonderful characters she creates. One of my other favourite things about this book is the fact that we catch up with several characters from some of her other series. Manfred is from the Harper Connelly series. Bobo is from the Lily Bard Mystery series. There are creatures from her Sookie Stackhouse series, and even a surprise character from her Aurora Teagarden Mystery series. It's all so cool.

Plus, this might be a mystery at heart... but there's also a supernatural slant I really enjoyed!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,245 followers
April 9, 2017
Oh man, how can I trust Ms. Harris with my heart again after the travesty that was the ending of the Sookie Stackhouse series? And yet, here I go again. A sucker for pain.

Bring it on

This book has a slow pacing, so be aware. It is set in a small town in West Texas, and since I live in Houston, I have been through many of these types of places. The lifestyle is slower. The iced tea is so sweet you will get insta-cavities, which is fine because there always seems to be a lack of teeth going on anyway. And, everyone knows everyone else.

There is a murder mystery going on, but the main story is about the townspeople. They are not your typical small-town folks. There are vampires, shapeshifters, witches, psychics, and other "to be figured out later" species. It's like the smallest convention of supernatural beings ever.

This book is about getting to know all of the characters in this town. Each person seems to have something they are hiding. And, each person seems to have some sort of magical thing going on. Plus, the best part? There is a talking cat. And, he says the exact kind of things you would expect a cat to say.

When the cat is forced to help the townspeople rescue his devoted owner:

"Oh, all right," the cat said sullenly. "I must get my feeder back."

Uh huh. I knew it!

Profile Image for Meg Leader.
54 reviews2 followers
May 11, 2014
I was hugely disappointed in this new book. It is the first of the series, with Manfred, the psychic friend of Harper Connelly as the star carryover from previous books. (Though, to be fair, Lily Bard from the Shakespeare books gets a mention too.)

I so looked forward to this. I absolutely have loved every one of Charlaine Harris's books--I'm pretty sure I've read all her published novels, even the very early ones. And the Harper Connelly series (GRAVE SIGHT, etc.) is my absolute favorite. I liked Manfred in that series, the young man who worked with and looked after his grandmother. Both made a living as psychics, with Manfred having more actual talent than his grandmother, but both having actual flashes of psychic skills.

But...my disappointment level is huge with this opening book of the new Midnight Texas series. First, the writing is very flat. This is a little town in West Texas out in the middle of nowhere, with maybe a couple hundred total residents, most of whom live in outlying ranches. The people living in the town are a group of a dozen or so. Of this cadre of characters, all of them appear to have odd back stories. One is a vampire. The businesses these people run appear to have no likelihood of ever drawing a single customer--who would go there to buy anything???--yet they all scratch out an acceptable living. Harris does so many character POV switches that we never really get to know any of the characters very well. She doesn't head-hop--the POV switches are clearly done. But everything is very shallow and...well...flat.

Even worse. This is a mystery series, right? Well, in my Kindle edition, I was 80% of the way through the book before a dead body appeared! NOTHING HAPPENS in this story. There's no real conflict. There's no real story problem that drives the story from start to end.

WORST OF ALL: No one has any real, knowable motivation for anything except the most superficial kind (It's the end of the worst of the summer heat, so let's do a community picnic to celebrate). Okay, I can accept the vampire's motivation for staying there--he's been there 100+ years. Maybe he's attached to home ground. But everyone else--most especially the "lead" characters Fiji and Manfred (the ones whose POV we're in most often)--have ZERO apparent motivation for moving to or staying in this nowhere place of Midnight, Texas. We never do learn why Manfred (last seen in the Harper Connelly books somewhere in NC or Tennessee...someplace like that) has chosen Midnight as his new place to be. There's not even a hint of how he even found it on the map, much less why he moved there. I'll grant that the motivation of one of the characters for living there is key to solving the question of who did in the dead body, but still...

So...while the place has some level of intrigue (there is that vamp, and, apparently, other less-than-normal characters. And Fiji, of course, is a working witch), the characters themselves do not. Where is Sookie's quirky humor and desire to be normal? (No one in Midnight appears to have a sense of humor.) Where is Harper Connelly's drive to find her missing sister? No one has any push to accomplish anything. There is no story problem driving the story. There is virtually no conflict anywhere in the book, except a minimal amount at the end. The POV switches seem designed to prevent the reader from getting close to the characters and provide a lazy way to "tell" readers what's going on rather than "showing" them. This is flat, simplistic writing. I'm surprised the editors didn't call Harris on this and insist that it be done better. Or that her agent didn't tell her it wasn't ready for publication yet. SOMEONE should have said, this is a good start, now go back and make it your usual excellent writing.

A HUGE disappointment from a beloved author.
883 reviews39 followers
April 24, 2014
What happens when a witch, a vampire, and a psychic walk into the Home Cookin restaurant in Midnight, Texas? Answer: not much.

I have been tempted to read novels written by Charlaine Harris, but had never satisfied my curiosity. I figured the first book in a new trilogy would be a good place to start. This story is set in a tiny hamlet that is nothing more than a stoplight at a crossroads. The book reads as if every inhabitant of the town is included in the character list. The beginning of the novel is rather slow since so many characters have to be introduced and partially explained and it took quite a while to figure out even what type of novel it would be. So....let me tell you that one of the residents of the town left one day and has not been heard from since. When a badly decomposed body is found the investigation gets underway to verify who the person was and how they died. The list of characters includes a witch, a vampire, a psychic (or is he just a con man?) and others who might be simply humans or who might be revealed in future novels to be other than human. A lot of room was left for this story to evolve and that aspect left it feeling rather unpolished to me. There are things which go bump in the night, but they are glossed over with no explanation and no expansion so there is no fear and not much strangeness factor developed. All of the characters maintain "boundaries" of personal history which it is considered impolite to cross. Those boundaries were mentioned often and resulted in the story coming to a squealing halt and then trying to get back started. To me that was simply saying you need to buy the next novel to see if any more will be revealed. The community comes together most often at the restaurant where most of the main characters have their assigned seats. Even the vampire feels right at home.

I was not much impressed with my first Charlaine Harris novel. By bringing in the white supremacy aspect you would think there would be menace and tension established and yet it all just fizzled out with no resolution. Black leather clad ruffians? Yep. On motorcycles? Yep. Ho hum. More reason to buy the next novel in the series to see if Mama and Daddy took the leader to the woodshed? No, not for me. This novel didn't have the depth of character or plot I would have expected from a well established author. In fact, it was pretty much a bland reading experience. And don't forget to buy that next book, y'all hear?

I received an ARC of this novel through the Amazon Vine Voices program.
Profile Image for Shannon Godwin.
2,338 reviews23 followers
Want to read
June 3, 2015
I am just wondering if this series is going to be like the true blood series & let us all down at the end.... I don't think I know of one person who really enjoyed the last couple of those books.
Profile Image for Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*.
2,473 reviews1,084 followers
April 7, 2018
“If you live next door to an apex predator, you shouldn’t go around poking him with a stick."

I became a Charlaine Harris fan when introduced to her Sookie Stackhouse wonders (except the last few books, let’s just forget those shall we?) I followed up with other series, but none captured me like her paranormally twisted Louisiana town that boasted a rare psychic, werewolves, and a bizarre blend of vampire personalities. I was hopeful this new paranormal series was her returning to the roots that made her so successful in the first place, but I’m starting to wonder if the exhaustion she started clearly feeling with the Sookie novels meant her heart really isn’t in the place for another paranormal start.

This time all the characters are together in one town, an odd assortment of people who are brought together by a small pawn shop, a tiny country diner, a convenience store and….streets basically. The town just isn’t that exciting, but the church where the Reverend hosts his pet cemeteries and rare weddings brings in some spice of interest.

Most of her series stay focused on a main character, but here she hops around to several viewpoints with a third-person writing style. Mainly focusing on the POVs of Manfred ( a weak and inconsistent psychic, sort of), Fiji (a witch type), and sometimes a few other characters, it seems a little distant for Harris’s typical intimate writing style. Names are downright bizarre – Fiji reminds me a water, Bobo reminds me of clowns, Lemuel makes me think of pale colored beans, Creek (?), the strange names don’t stop.

Harris made her name with mystery novels, but here the mystery is a bit slight. Bobo’s ex is found dead eventually, and they try to figure out who did the dastardly deed, but it takes awhile to get going. The main focus is on this paranoid and demented group that are after Bobo for a truly strange reason that still doesn’t make a whole bunch of sense to me. At the end the murder is solved almost as an afterthought when lightning strikes for everyone’s imagination. I will say the solution for dealing with that was nifty enough since it blends cold-blooded characters with the small-town us-against-them mentality.

Overall Midnight, Texas is a sedate and dry seeming town that tries to appear more interesting than it ends up being. I’m curious on the show though and how some more life injected into these characters may solve some of the issues that weighed down the book.
Profile Image for Shannon.
3,096 reviews2,383 followers
January 1, 2015
I've read at least one book (in some cases all) of every single series Charlaine Harris has written. Her earlier cozy mysteries are at worst, mind numbingly boring (especially Aurora Teagarden), and at best, mildly interesting. Midnight Crossroad unfortunately falls into the cozy mystery genre, though I was hoping for more of a Harper Connelly-type story, especially given the (sort of) main character hails from that series, but this ends up closer to Lily Bard's series instead.

Stay away from this if you don't like mysteries solved by people who shouldn't be solving mysteries (one of Harris's protagonists in another series is a cleaning lady, and yet the worst one is a librarian. No, these people should not, and would not, solve mysteries in real life!) Cozy mysteries as a whole just don't make much sense to me, though I realize lots of people like them.

Also skip this if multiple POVs make your head spin. On one occasion the POV switched mid-page. I was ok with this most of the time, but it took me a second to go with the flow.

Another thing, if you're a fan of whodunit mysteries and like to try to figure out the killer, good luck with this one. I don't think I'm oblivious to signs and clues but I had no idea who the killer was up until they were revealed. I honestly don't see how anyone could guess what had happened or why until it's spelled out in the end.

I'd like to say that this is a case of "first book syndrome" where things are just getting setup and the author can be forgiven for a shaky start: but COME ON. How many books has Harris written now? Plus, this is just a trilogy! She only has two more times to make this series seem worth reading.

Some of the characters are really interesting and I want to learn more about them, so that's why I'll continue reading this series. Plus, like I said this is just a trilogy. I don't have to invest much and I don't regret reading this book, even with its faults. I did borrow it from the library, which I suggest most should do, or wait for the paperback. Sadly, Harris is no longer on my insta-buy list for authors I'll blindly buy hardcovers of. I really wish she'd write another paranormal series because I know from experience that her cozy mysteries just aren't that exciting for me.
Profile Image for Maria Clara.
1,016 reviews538 followers
June 22, 2020
Este libro lo compré el 14 de febrero 2018!⠀

Y como podéis imaginar, lo compré segura de que lo leería. ¿El cuándo? No tenía ni idea, pero ¿si lo había comprado, era porque quería leerlo, no? Así que lo dejé en el Kindle y, mientras esperaba a ser leído, otros muchos ocuparon su lugar.⠀

No os voy a decir que habría tenido que leerlo antes, sencillamente porque todo viene cuando tiene que llegar; pero sí que este es el momento ideal para descubrirlo; ¿o sería mejor decir para redescubrirlo? ⠀

Mignight es un pueblo único, con unos habitantes un tanto peculiares, de los que te encariñas al momento. Bueno, de Lemur seguramente no; pero es por su... (si lo has leído, sabrás a qué me refiero) La trama es muy original, así cómo la manera de narrar de la autora, pues, aunque unos personajes tengan más protagonismo que otros, es el conjunto quien marca la diferencia.⠀
Profile Image for Anna.
152 reviews
May 7, 2014
If I could give this book six stars I would. Every page was a delight, from the beginning where I got to meet beloved old characters from my favorite past Charlaine Harris series to the end, where I was left satisfied and enlightened and yet still curious about what is to come in the secretive town of Midnight, Texas. This is little more than a crossroads with a traffic light and a small handful of residents all of whom have their reasons for living there, and town custom is to not enquire about each other's reasons. They all have their secrets, and they all want to keep their secrets. Of course events are set in motion that lead to the spilling of a lot of them....

The book begins as my favorite character from the Grave series, the intermittently psychic and always charming Manfred Bernardo, moves into town to rent a house from Bobo Winthrop, who has grown from the golden boy of Shakespeare, Arkansas into a troubled thirty something pawn shop proprietor, landlord to a vampire, and target of roving gangs of white supremacists. Bobo is having a hard time living down his family's legacy of racism and hatred, and now his girlfriend has disappeared and he is heartbroken. We get to know the town as Manfred does: the awkwardly well meaning witch Fiji and her familiar Mr Snuggly (who is now one of my Favorite Fictional Felines), the mysterious vampiric couple in the basement, the hard working proprietors of the Home Cookin restaurant, the sweetly mysterious couple at the nail salon/antique store, the anxiously closed down family who run the Gas & Go. Soon they all have to band together to solve a murder and cope with attacks on the community from gangs of white supremacists. Harris obviously had a great time writing this book and added in references to all her previous series, making it an absolute treat for those of us who've read her entire output. I don't think you need to have read any of her books to enjoy this one, however, but it will spoil Shakespeare's Champion for you if you haven't read it, as the events in that book are the reason why those gangs just won't leave Bobo Winthop alone.

It is interesting to see how Harris has blended the worlds of all four of her previous series, especially given the fact that in one of them, the Sookie Stackhouse books, the paranormal are generally acknowledged to exist, but not in the other three. It does work, just, because the Aurora Teagarden and Lily Bard books happened before the invention of True Blood and the subsequent outing of the vampires, so it is easy to believe that events in those books could have happened in a world crawling with paranormal creatures, it's just that the characters of that world lived in blissful ignorance of that fact. In the Grave series ghosts and psychics are real, which makes it easier to for one world to step into the next (as actually happened in the short story "the Blue Hereafter" where Manfred visited Bon Temps). The human authorities don't seem to be as aware of the paranormal in Midnight as they are in Bon Temps, but again, this could just be due to not wanting to think about it, instead of not knowing about it. No one seems very surprised by the existence of Midnight's vampire, they are just terrified of him. But unlike Bon Temps where the local bigots are all about human rights, the bigots near Midnight are focused on white supremacy, succession from the federal government and other political movements that are actually going on in our own Texas. It takes the urban fantasy a step back from the candy colored wackiness of the Stackhouse novels and grounds things more into the realism of the Grave novels, and I like that. It's a more stable balance and I think in finding that balance Harris has found her voice as an author again, the last few Stackhouse novels were basically unreadable, but this new book is something to treasure and not only read but re-read. She's an author who has a lot she wants to say about the American South and this new balance gives her the opportunity for social commentary while still having fun with the fantastical elements.
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,925 reviews386 followers
September 9, 2021
Halloween Bingo 2021

My second time reading this novel and I enjoyed it more this time out. Proving once again that my enjoyment of a book often has more to do with my mood than the book. I still didn't love it, but I did stay up too late to finish it.

Part of my attitude change may have been due to filling in my Harris reading. Now that I've read her Lily Bard and Aurora Teagarden series, I know more about some of the characters who show up in Midnight. It's like meeting old friends.

I hadn't meant to read this for Bingo, but I requested this book from the library as insurance, to have options. (I'd read an excerpt in another Harris book a while ago and had a yen to give it another go.) Once it was sitting on my coffee table, it was irresistible. I was pulled to it almost against my will. (No, read the mad scientist book, no!)

Once again, Harris writes small town life extremely well, although Midnight, Texas, is unlike any other small town. It has an extremely small population that includes a vampire, a psychic, and a witch, among other oddities. Everyone has a secret and the unspoken agreement of the community is “no personal questions.” Well, we all do have our secrets, just maybe not as weird as those of the denizens of Midnight.

I've got other fish to fry and books to read right now, but I hope to revisit book two and read the third one for the first time before too long.

Profile Image for Crystal.
129 reviews28 followers
February 16, 2018
Cute, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had physically read it
Profile Image for Dianne.
1,600 reviews120 followers
July 8, 2023
Welcome to Midnight Crossroad, where everyone has a secret. Some are deadly, some are funny, and some just downright odd. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure, EVERYONE has one!

A word of warning, it might seem to those who have a passing fancy for the Sookie Stackhouse series that this book may be set in Sookie's world –it is NOT - although there are vague elements that could suggest (in the smallest of ways) that it is. This is a very different world and one that I am happy to have been able to enjoy.

I loved this book; however, it took me at least 30 percent of it before I came to the conclusion that I would even like it, let alone love it. Ms. Harris spends a goodly amount of time describing Midnight TX - where houses and buildings are situated and what they look like, and then she spends a good amount of time giving us a general idea of the personalities of her characters.

Overall, quite typical of a set-up first novel in a trilogy.

What I adored about this book is that so many of the characters come from all of her other series. The Sheriff comes from the Aurora Teagarden series, Bobo from the Lily Bard series, Manfred from the Harper Connelly series – I don’t remember if there are any characters from the Sookie series (yes, eventually, one from the Sookie series shows up but not in this book and is not a constant character)– if there were some they would have not been important enough for me to have remembered them.

This is not Sookie's world, although it is a preternatural one. And not everyone is out of the closet (so to speak) yet. At least not, obviously.

I will pass on the re-cap/synopsis since I may spoil things for you, and a couple of reviews/re-caps I have read have already done that for me.

The writing is meticulous, as usual. The humor is there and is a sly, dry wit that we have found in Ms. Harris's other series. The mystery is complicated enough without the usage of numerous red herrings that can easily get on one's last nerve.

I cannot wait to see who is next to come out of the paranormal closet in this town!
Profile Image for Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*.
999 reviews167 followers
May 20, 2014
I'm a little disheartened to say that one of the most highly anticipated books for me this year ended up being the biggest disappointment thus far. :/

I used to really look forward to each Sookie Stackhouse book that came out, even if the storyline sort of fizzled out by the end of the series. So I was really excited to discover that she had a new series coming out and that it featured a small town in Texas that was surrounded by mysterious circumstances.

Suffice to say I was sad to find out that the story didn't grab a hold of my attention like her previous books did. In fact, the first eighty or so pages were so damn boring I almost nodded off to sleep a few times! After that the story picked up, and I was more interested in what was going on, but I never really felt very excited to be reading it.

The other problem I had with this book is that I really didn't connect with any of the characters, especially the main protagonist. I was invested more in the lives of the various supporting characters rather than him which is never a good sign, in my opinion! *laughs*

So this was basically just an 'okay' read for me. I liked reading it once I got past the first quarter or so, but to be completely honest I don't know if I will be completing the series as it continues.
Profile Image for Yodamom.
2,003 reviews196 followers
July 16, 2014
3.5- it was slow, it was not exciting, and yet it was a pleasurable experience. I enjoyed the relaxed small town feel of the story. The pacing was easy, how life happens in a one gas station country town. A place where everybody knows your business and keeps to theirs for the most part. This is the kind of community that reveals their steal bonds in times of trouble. It is also a place where many beings have come to hide away from the outside world. Not much happens no, but the characters introduced were just the way I like them, quirky, magical, nerdy and extremely different, not a "normal" in the bunch.
I enjoyed the previous paranormal mysteries from Ms. Harris and I loved that she brought a few of her old characters into this story and gave us some more, finally, on Manfred. I like her writing it brings me happiness. I will continue the series.
Profile Image for Choko.
1,221 reviews2,595 followers
October 10, 2022
*** 3.75 ***

"...“You have a vampire living in your basement, and you're stunned by a talking cat?”..."

A cute cozy mystery perfect for an October read:)
Profile Image for Rachael ferguson.
53 reviews10 followers
September 26, 2019
*I decided to start to read this after the series got cancelled*

This was my first Charlaine Harris so I didn't know what to expect. However I did watch the series. I know that she wrote the books that true blood was based on. Which i only know because my mum and dad used to watch( I remember I came down stairs one night when I was younger and walked in on them watching it, and from what I saw I was very disturbed by it)

The not so good.
This was definitely more character based than it was plot. Then main conflict of the story even seem to be an after thought by the end. It kinda felt like she was showing and not telling as it was basically felt like we were given all the information at the end of the story. The dialogue wasn't the best as well it didn't seem very natural almost like it need to go through a couple of more drafts. however, even know of all these thing...

I still loved it!

I don't know if it's because I'm a bit biased but, I just loved it! If you don't know this is about a very small town in Texas where most of the people who live their, live in the ranches around and their only like 10 people who like in the town. All of the 10 people who actually live in the down all have secrets some of the supernatural kind (some we find out and some we don't) its just very, don't ask don't tell. I love the idea of the town and loved all the world building in it. I did like the plot as little as it may be. I also like the idea as it being kinda mundane. Well I know that a murder isn't the most mundane thing but, compared to the characters and the way this town is written and the things that go on in it, it's pretty mundane. The characters are the best thing in the book. seriously though, who the hell would name their child Bobo! Again probably biased because of the show. I find everyone in the town so interesting and this book has me wanting to know more about them.(The character personalities are mostly the same but, they changed some of the character backgrounds) We're told the story through three characters point of view. One of who is Manfred( yes again another very strange name) the newcomer to the town who is also a psychic. The other two are; Fiji who lives in the house opposite of Manfred and Bobo who owns the local pawn shop and is also Manfred landlord. I definitely want to know more about lem's and Olivia's background as they seem to be the most changed from the show. I hope that we get to read from their point of view in the next two books. The character we're given the most background on is bobo. Who by the end I just wanted to give a hug to, because I felt so, sorry for him. Even know I love all the characters if I had to pick one it would be Fiji (and I don't care what any one may say that is an amazing name!) would be my favourite. I just love everything about her.

Can't wait to start the next one!
Profile Image for Kirsti.
2,456 reviews84 followers
May 19, 2014
Possibly the most boring book I've read this year. Dry writing, boring characters, boring murder mystery. If the whole point of this novel is solving the murder of a character, I would have liked to know more about her, enough to actually care she was dead. Instead Manfred moves to town long after she's disappeared, and that's when the story begins.

Why do Charlaine Harris characters end up with such cracked names? Maybe it's just me, but most people I meet have names like, Matt, Brad, etc, but we get Fiji, who has a crush on Bobo. Manfred likes Creek, there's a suspect called Price. I still get giggly when I say 'Sookie Stackhouse' after all.

My main complaint about this book is the mundane activities surrounding the slow reveal. I don't care what characters eat, if they want to stretch their legs. Someone is missing, revealed to be murdered, but we're still eating dinner. I didn't like a single character, and I know they are from some of Charlaine's other books, but that didn't appeal to me. I've read the Harper Connely books, but they didn't hold the same magic Sookie did (I still get mad when I think of those books, talk about destroyed expectations) so this series is more like them than Sookie. Less romance, less action, less history. Just less.

I went out and bought this as soon as I saw it advertised, but I was too fast in my judgment. Ultimate proof that a favorite author can write something completely disappointing while still having awesome books as well. I definitely won't read a sequel, it will probably only be Fiji's Corn Soup recipe anyway.
Profile Image for Kaora.
585 reviews282 followers
June 9, 2014
What did I just read?

This is my first Charlaine Harris book, so I went in not knowing what to expect.

A book about a town consisting of a vampire, a witch and a psychic and a host of other strange creatures and people. Should have been an interesting read.


I was bored. Bored bored BORED. That is when I wasn't scratching my head saying WTF?

The book and the people are just so illogical. Maybe I am expecting too much. It is a book with snake-people, witches and vampires, so I suppose expecting some sort of normal logic to apply to their actions would be irrational.

The main character is a psychic. Not a con-man but a genuine psychic. He moves into a small town, goes to meet his neighbor who is a witch running a magic shop. His thoughts when he sees it?

He tried not to stare too obviously at the shelves in the shop, which were laden with things he considered absolute junk: books about the supernatural, ghost stories and guides of tarot readings and dream interpretation.

So you are a psychic but dream interpretation is bullshit? He then meets a vampire.

His skin was... "White as snow." he whispered.

WHO SAYS THAT? OUT LOUD. To people you don't know? And they don't even find that creepy. But I digress.

He goes on to scoff at the witch and her spells. Really? A witch is too far fetched. But a vampire isn't? O-kay...

The book took far too long to get into the "interesting parts". And I put that in double quotes because I really didn't find it that interesting. I couldn't connect with any of the characters so I didn't care what happened to them.

Not recommended.
Profile Image for Cyndi.
2,340 reviews101 followers
November 16, 2018
First of all take the Sookie of it all out of your brain. Although this is about a small town in the south it’s much different. Well, except for the supernatural stuff and the killings. Okay, it’s kinda different. Mostly because we have more POV’s. I got so tired of Sookie.
Anyway...a physic moves into Midnight, TX shortly after a woman disappears. As the story progresses we have that mystery to solve along with getting to know the characters in this cool town.
919 reviews255 followers
May 11, 2016
Midnight Crossroad‘s blurb urges readers to “stay a while, and learn the truth”, so it's rather frustrating to discover that the whole “truth” about the town of Midnight and its residents will have to wait until book two. The truth about this first book, however, is plain: despite an interesting premise, great characters and a lot of potential, it never goes anywhere.

After the prologue has quirkily – if a little clumsily – set the scene, fantasy elements are introduced quickly, with hints of more to come later on. Psychic newcomer Manfred has an awkward encounter with a vampire before attempting to befriend Fiji, a gentle witch. Fiji is in love with the oddly named Bobo, a handsome man who owns the pawn shop in Midnight – one of only five or so shops in the boarded up town. Some of the items in the pawn shop are possibly more magical than they look. We are told this. Bobo’s girlfriend has left him, but in Midnight things are never as they seem, and the whole town is quickly drawn together to stop the darkness that threatens them all. We are told this, too.

So far, so good. It all seems promising, and the first half of the book lives up to that promise. Lives are threatened, murderous plots are uncovered and secrets are slowly revealed. And then… nothing else happens. Or rather, events that have been foreshadowed since the beginning are suddenly over for no particular reason, replaced by other plot points that make very little sense and are resolved far too quickly (with some rather shady ethics involved, I might add) and then it’s back to descriptions of the mundane details of many not so mundane lives in a big lead up to… the next book.

It’s not all bad, just disappointing, as aside from these faults, Midnight Crossroad is charming and fun. Despite the death and heartbreak that occurs throughout it’s also a strangely innocent read. It’s a shame that the entire book feels like a prologue for a much longer story that hasn’t been released yet.

Full review here.

Recieved from the publisher through NZ Booklovers
Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,652 reviews216 followers
February 13, 2016

Welcome to Crazytown, Texas. Everyone here is hiding something; be it one's past or nature, they all have that in common. There are more POVs but they are all about the same things: the main mystery and what they think of each other. Midnight Crossroad is more of an introduction to the series and setting the stage for future mysteries and problems these characters might be facing than anything else. Also, I love the book summary.

I can't be sure if I would feel the same about Manfred if I didn't read Harper Connelly series (which I liked). I liked him both here and in Harper Connelly, but if I put that aside, I don't think you get enough about him in this book to form any kind of attachment or strong opinion. I liked him here because I read about him in Harper Connelly. There aren't any spoilers about that series here though.
However, there are huge spoilers for Lily Bard series. One of the problems some of the characters are facing and the main mystery itself is based on something that started in Lily Bard. At least one of the books from Lily Bard is completely retold here. Again, I liked the character in question because I read about him before.
There are many references to other series and characters that I can't exactly be sure why I like Midnight Crossroad. In any case, I had fun.

This book is best described as a paranormal cozy mystery. It takes place in a very small town but it does have a bit more violence than your usual cozy mystery. Not too much though. The paranormal part comes from its characters and their abilities: shapeshifters appear, there is a vampire around, one of the characters is a witch and Manfred is a psychic. There is probably more, but I'm guessing it is left for other books.

Many things are left unexplained and I am definitely interested in these characters. As I said, this reads more as an introduction to this place and world than anything else, so I won't hold its possible flaws against it.
Profile Image for ALPHAreader.
1,153 reviews
May 29, 2014
*** I try not to give ‘Harper Connelly’ or ‘Lily Bard’ spoilers away – but I do have to mention how it is that two characters from those series are able to migrate into this new Charlaine Harris universe, so if you intend to read those books and don’t want to be in the least bit spoiled – STOP READING! ***

Manfred Bernardo – 22-year-old phone and online psychic – has just packed up and moved his entire life to Midnight, Texas. One stoplight town with a pawnshop, resident witch and more secrets than Manfred ever bargained for.

Bobo Winthrop runs the pawnshop, which he bought from the now basement resident, Lemuel (who only comes out at night) a couple of years ago. Originally from Shakespeare, Arkansas Bobo left his home behind after his family’s dirty laundry kept catching up with him … but even in the sleepy town of Midnight, Bobo has trouble hot on his heels. His girlfriend, Aubrey, up and left him one night and he hasn’t heard boo from her since. Strange men keep looking for him and he has taken more than one beating since moving to this little town where he keeps being found by the wrong people.

Across the road from Bobo is Fiji (“Feegee”) Cavanaugh and her cat, Mr Snuggly. In her thirties and curvalicious, Fiji is a proud witch and hopelessly in love with her good friend, Bobo. She has no love lost for the missing Aubrey, but it just about kills her to see Bobo still so depressed over her leaving even after all these months.

Other residents in Midnight include loved-up couples Teacher and Madonna, Joe and Chuy, reclusive gas n’ go owners the Lovell family (consisting of father Shawn, brother Connor and 18-year-old Creek, who instantly catches Manfred’s eye) then there’s the Rev who runs the non-denominational chapel and pet cemetery (you don’t want to see him when he’s angry) sickly pale Lemuel and constant traveller, the beautiful Olivia.

The second Manfred enters into this close-knit community, secrets start unearthing and he finds himself caught up in the town’s secrets – the biggest one being murder.

‘Midnight Crossroad’ is the first book in a new cozy mystery series by Charlaine Harris, called ‘Midnight, Texas’.

This is the be all and end all new series for Charlaine Harris fans (and by “fans” I do mean people who are familiar with more than just her ‘Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire’ HBO-adapted series). The pivoting points of Harris’s new ‘Midnight, Texas’ series are two characters from her old (long finished) series ‘Lily Bard’ and ‘Harper Connelly’.

I’ve read this being touted as the Manfred spin-off, but in my eyes he’s only one-half of the double-act of this new (long-awaited!) series. Manfred Bernardo is, for those who don’t know, the lovable pierced psychic who appeared as a secondary character in Harris’s ‘Harper Connelly’ cozy mystery-paranormal series. The other secondary character who has been upgraded to protagonist is Bobo Winthrop, golden boy of Shakespeare – the town of Harris’s ‘Lily Bard’ series. What these two characters have in common is that they were fan-favourites, and nice guys who finished last. Both Manfred and Bobo were in the unique positions of being ideal romantic candidates for the heroines in their respective series, but lucked out in the love department due to events and better happily-ever-afters that were out of their control.

Manfred and Harper were equally matched in psychic ability and definitely shared some chemistry – but he lucked out when Harris decided to give Harper a far more controversial (and, let’s face it – interesting!) romance.

The first website he visited was the one dedicated to “Bernardo, Psychic and Seer.” His publicity picture was half of the home page. He was wearing all black, naturally, and he was standing in the middle of a field with lightning coming out of his fingers. (Every time he admired the Photoshopped bolts, he thought of his lightning-struck friend, Harper.)

Bobo was the sweet, affable teen-Titan of his hometown and hopelessly in love with his cleaning lady/sparring partner, Lily Bard. They shared plenty of sexual chemistry, but he was just too young (a teenager for most of the ‘Lily Bard’ series) and Lily’s personal experiences meant he was no match for the man she ended up settling with, who likewise shared a dark past and hopes for a better future with her. That being said; both Manfred and Bobo amassed a huge fan-following amongst Harris’s readers – fifth and final book in the ‘Lily Bard’ series was released in 2001, and right up until ‘Midnight, Texas’ was announced she was still fielding questions on her fan-forum about the possibility of Bobo making a guest-appearance in the ‘Sookie’ series, or getting his own spin-off. And now we have one – made even better because it’s a glorious mash-up of ‘Harper Connelly’, ‘Lily Bard’ and with a bit of the Sookie-verse thrown in (hint: vampires are kinda out of the coffin in this universe too).

“I’ll tell you something weird. Football and karate saved me. Football, because we were all one team and we were all colors.”
“Karate?” Fiji said. “Really?”
Bobo actually laughed. “It was great. My sensei was this amazing Asian guy who could kick major butt before breakfast, and one of my favourite class buddies was a black guy named Raphael Roundtree. And a white woman named Lily Bard. She could knock me down with her little finger. My grandfather revered women – as long as they were dependent and decorative.”

I was reading ‘Midnight Crossroad’ as someone who has long listed ‘Lily Bard’ as my all-time favourite Charlaine Harris series, followed closely by ‘Aurora Teagarden’, ‘Harper Connelly’ and then the one that made her a literary sensation, ‘Southern Vampire’. I got perverse enjoyment out of reading these characters I fell in love with in two different universes, coming together for a fresh start. I don’t know how readers who are only familiar with Harris’s Sookie-verse will go with ‘Midnight, Texas’ – she writes enough backstory and a tight enough whodunit that anyone will get enjoyment from the story itself – but I do hope people who aren’t familiar with Harris’s backlist will be moved to read her original (and best) cozy mystery series’ because they are well worth it.

‘Midnight Crossroad’ is quite a departure for Harris too, regardless that these characters are familiar. She’s writing her first multiple-POV series (third-person narration, but following the characters of Manfred, Bobo and Fiji in alternating chapters) and with two male protagonists when she’s previously only written female heroines. And even though this is, in my mind at least, the Manfred and Bobo show, the storyline of ‘Midnight Crossroad’ is leaning more heavily Bobo’s way. The plot-arc relates to events that happened to him in ‘Shakespeare’s Champion’, second book in the ‘Lily Bard’ series. And the better-established romance in this first book is the one-sided crush Fiji has on Bobo, whereas Manfred’s appreciation of beautiful teen resident, Creek, is just surface-scratching at this point.

Fiji was my favourite character in this book (shocking, since I’m someone who has been pining for more Bobo since 2001!) maybe it’s the curse of Harris’s lovelorn characters, but I like her underdogs and Fiji is charming in her loyalty, witchiness and one-sided crushing.

Midnight is definitely a town with enough secrets and intriguing residents to fill a (long-awaited!) new series from Charlaine Harris. Reading this as someone who is a bigger fan of her backlist than HBO-adapted Sookie, ‘Midnight, Texas’ feels like a hark back to the cozy mysteries she excelled at writing early on – the cherries on top are Manfred and Bobo, fan-favourites who are being given a chance to shine all on their own. A favourite book of 2014, for sure.
Profile Image for SUSAN   *Nevertheless,she persisted*.
521 reviews98 followers
June 8, 2015
3.5 stars.

I read Ms. Harris's "True Blood" series and though I enjoyed it,the series fizzled out at the end.
I was hesitant to start another series,but I liked this book. I was not crazy about the storyline. I thought the "whodunit" storyline line was a little lame. It seemed a little forced.

I loved the characters in this book and want to know about them,so Ms Harris effectively hooked me.
I just hope that the storyline strengthens,good characters can only take you so far and then interest starts to wane.

Profile Image for Elaine.
225 reviews23 followers
June 3, 2014
Marked ad to read! So excited Manfred is getting his own trilogy! I wonder if Harper and Tolliver will make any appearances ??Can't wait!
Profile Image for Beverly.
162 reviews52 followers
December 19, 2017
A great start to a new series!

Welcome to Midnight, Texas...a small town where everything seems pretty much normal if you just drive through and don't look any anything too closely. (It sort of reminded me of the Haven TV series in that regard.)

Harris has written a great cast of characters (despite their odd names, which did kind of grow on me), including Manfred, the Internet psychic, who had arrived in Midnight for reasons unknown and has a drive to work until he just about drops; Fiji, (and her cat Mr. Snuggly, which I thought was hilarious) the resident witch who runs a small shop and holds classes for those interested in the craft; Bobo, owner of Midnight Pawn, who has some family secrets that people would kill to uncover; Olivia, whose identity and profession are a complete mystery; Madonna Reed and her husband Teacher, who run the local diner; the Lovell family that runs the local Gas N Go; Joe and Chuy, the gay couple that owns the nail salon and antique shop; the Rev, your not-so-average clergyman who tends the pet cemetery; and Lemuel, the vampire that can suck energy as well as blood, who lives below Midnight Pawn.
The book focuses on the town rather than on one particular character, and for about 8% of the book or so, I was unsure how I felt about the writing style. By 20% it felt c ompletely natural, and I was completely im mersed in the story.
Also present are some characters from Harris' Lily Bard and Harper Connelly series, and I enjoyed the way that ties her books together.
Regardless of how you felt about the Sookie series (I haven't read the last couple, so don't tell me!) I highly recommend picking up this book. It's a completely different feel, and I definitely can't wait to read the next one!! :)
Profile Image for Jacqueline's Reads.
2,840 reviews1,483 followers
Shelved as 'considering'
April 19, 2015
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