REVIEW SUMMARY: Less True Blood, more a darker cozy mystery set in a town filled with secrets and hiding a killer. For fans of Harris’ many series it is a chance to revisit some supporting characters. An easy read, but filled with red herrings and a problematic conclusion.
PROS: Interesting, fairly diverse cast of characters; for fans of Harris’ other series, they will revisit familiar side characters; easy to get into, didn’t bog down much; sets the stage for what could be a fun to read trilogy.
CONS: Red herrings galore; we have characters with powers but they don’t get much action; there were so many characters, 3 POVs and not enough time to really get to know all the players; have to wonder if newcomers to Harris’ books will be as drawn to the characters and world without the anchor of the other established series; the final reveal of the killer was wrapped up too quickly; left this reader feeling underwhelmed.
BOTTOM LINE: While not without flaws, this was an easy read and I enjoyed revisiting some characters. I will read the next one, but not at the hardcover price.
The problem with reviewing an author’s work when you are already familiar with their other series is that you tend to focus on what the book is not, versus what it is. However, the truth is that one of the first thoughts I had upon finishing Midnight Crossroad was that it was not True Blood. If you are hoping for a steamy romance or a blond viking vampire, you won’t find it here. While there is the broad hint at some romantic feelings among some of the townspeople, there is no romance in this book.
Over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog today, I have a post about the three-volume set of graphic novels based on Charlaine Harris’ Grave Sight.
Charlaine Harris is probably best known for her Sookie Stackhouse books, which serve as the foundation for HBO’s popular True Blood television show. But another fan favorite is the Harper Connelly series (four books) that follow title character Harper Connelly and her stepbrother, Tolliver Lang. Harper has the power to find the dead and see their last moments, revealing how they died. She uses that power to eek out a living by sharing the information with the living.
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Worldbuilders, a non-profit organization founded by Patrick Rothfuss, is raising money for their cause by offering a 2013 Fantasy Pin-Up Calendar. All proceeds from the sale of the calendar will go to Worldbuilders in support of Heifer International.
Each month the calendar will feature a pin-up based on a different author’s works and/or characters illustrated by Lee Moyer. Participating authors include:
Charlaine Harris is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for thirty years. Born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area, her early works consisted largely of poems about ghosts and teenage angst. She dabbled with plays at Rhodes College in Memphis, then switched to novels a few years later, and achieved publication in 1981 with Sweet and Deadly. She’s the author of four successful novel series so far: Aurora Teagarden, a lighthearted mystery series about a Georgia Librarian; the much darker Shakespeare Mysteries, featuring the amateur sleuth Lily Bard, a karate student who makes her living cleaning houses; The Southern Vampire urban fantasy series about a telepathic waitress named Sookie Stackhouse who works in a bar in the fictional Northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps and served as the basis for HBO’s True Blood TV series; and dark fantasy detective Harper Connelly. Harris has also co-edited four very popular anthologies with her friend Toni L.P. Kelner with another in the works. A member of SFWA, Mystery Writers of America, the American Crime Writers League, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers Of America, Horror Writers Association, and the International Crime Writers Association, Harris is the married mother of three and lives in small town Arkansas with a house full of rescue dogs. She can be found online at CharlaineHarris.com
SFFWRTCHT: Hi Charlaine! Let’s start with the basics: who were some authors/books which influenced you growing up and in the course of life?
Charlaine Harris: Edgar Allen Poe, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Peters, EX Ferrars, Carolyn Keene, Shirley Jackson.