Thursday 12 December 2019

#CBR11 Book 86: "Midnight Crossroad" by Charlaine Harris

Page count: 320 pages
Audio book length: 9 hrs 26 mins

Official book description:
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...

I really have read a LOT of Charlaine Harris' books. For my sins, I managed to force myself through the entirety of her Sookie Stackhouse series, just to see how it would end, long after I derived any enjoyment from them anymore. I've read her Lily Bard books, where apparently the character Bobo Whinthrop originates (I don't remember him, or much of the plot of the books at all). I have also read all of her Harper Connolly books, where Manfred Bernardo first appears (I vaguely remember him, but nothing of consequence). Generally, I find Harris' books perfectly entertaining while I'm reading them (except some of the later Sookie books, that pretty much just annoyed me), but shortly after reading them, I remember little to nothing of the plots.

Midnight Crossroad, which was adapted into the TV series Midnight, Texas on NBC (cancelled after two seasons) features a bunch of peculiar individuals living in the little town of Midnight in, you guessed it, Texas. Manfred Bernardo, a genuine psychic who makes his living telling fortunes over the phone and internet, moves there after the death of his grandmother. His new landlord is Bobo Winthrop, owner of the local pawnshop. One of Bobo's other tenants is a vampire, who lives with a gorgeous, but apparently very dangerous woman who travels a lot. There's Fiji Kavanaugh, who is a very powerful witch, but hides her actual powers by running a magic shop full of nick knacks. She has a talking cat. There's a nice gay couple, the rather strange reverend who gives non-denominational services at the local chapel (and conducts a lot of pet funerals), and Manfred falls pretty hard for Creek Lovell, the beautiful young woman whose overprotective father runs the gas station.

Harris' books always have a mystery element to them, as well. In this book, there's a group of neo nazis trying to harass Bobo, because they believe he knows the location of his crazy grandfather's legendary weapons arsenal. There's also a dead body found about a third of the way through the story, which turns out to belong to Bobo's ex-girlfriend, who he believed got sick of him and just up and left him one day. No one really believes that Bobo is guilty of murdering her, but it still takes quite a lot of time to figure out the guilty party.

As well as having been on my TBR list for years and years, this book fit into my Monthly Keyword Challenge in October. I listened to it on audiobook and it was perfectly fine, but really nothing more than that. Now, a month and a half later, I am hard pressed to remember any particular details - although I really did like Fiji's cat a lot - and the lisping way the narrator voiced him. My records show that over the years, I've acquired the entire series in various e-book sales, so I will most likely read the second two books eventually, as well, but I'm in no particular hurry to do so.

Judging a book by its cover: As with a lot of books, this one comes with several different versions of cover art. I think I like this one, with it's weird, crooked bird's eye view (which gives me a headache if I look at it for too long) of parts of the little town is my least favourite. Still, I own it in e-book, so it's not like I'll actually look at the cover a lot. I suspect Harris could sell books no matter what the cover art actually looks like.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read

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