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Midnight Crossroad
Cover of Midnight Crossroad
Midnight Crossroad
Midnight, Texas Series, Book 1
Take a trip to the small Texas town where only outsiders fit in with the first novel in #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris' paranormal mystery series.
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 the Davy highway. It's a pretty standard dried-up western town.
There's a pawnshop with three residents. One is seen only at night. There's a diner, but people stopping there tend not to linger. There's a newcomer, Manfred Bernardo, who just wants to work hard and blend in. But Manfred has secrets of his own...
Take a trip to the small Texas town where only outsiders fit in with the first novel in #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris' paranormal mystery series.
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 the Davy highway. It's a pretty standard dried-up western town.
There's a pawnshop with three residents. One is seen only at night. There's a diner, but people stopping there tend not to linger. There's a newcomer, Manfred Bernardo, who just wants to work hard and blend in. But Manfred has secrets of his own...
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  • From the book ***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof.***

    Copyright © 2014 by Charlaine Harris, Inc.

    You might pass through the town of Midnight without noticing it, if there weren't a stoplight at the intersection of Witch Light Road and the Davy highway. Most of the town residents are very proud of the stoplight, because they know that without it the town would dry up and blow away. Because there's that pause, that moment to scan the storefronts, maybe three cars a day do stop. And those people, more enterprising or curious (or lower on gas) than most, might eat at the Home Cookin Restaurant, or get their nails done at the Antique Gallery and Nail Salon, or fill up their tanks and buy a soda at Gas N Go.

    The really inquisitive ones always go to Midnight Pawn.

    It's an old building, the oldest building in town. In fact, it was there before the town grew up around it, before there were two roads to intersect. The pawnshop, situated at the northeast corner of the intersection, is stone, like most buildings in Midnight. Rock is easier to come by than timber in West Texas. The colors—beige, brown, copper, tan, cream—lend a certain charm to any house, no matter how small or ill-proportioned. Fiji ("Feegee") Cavanaugh's cottage, on the south side of Witch Light Road, is a prime example. It was built in the nineteen thirties; Fiji ("I'm named for the country; my mom and dad liked to travel") doesn't know the exact year. Her great-aunt, Mildred Loeffler, left it to Fiji. It has a stone-flagged front porch big enough for two large urns full of flowers and a little bench. There's a low wall all around it, and rock columns hold up the porch roof. The large living room, across the whole front of the building, has a fireplace on the right side, which Fiji uses in the winter. The living room is now a shop/meeting place where Fiji holds her classes. Fiji is an avid gardener, like her great-aunt before her. Even at the beginning of fall—which is only a date on the calendar in Texas; it's still hot as hell—the small front yard is overflowing with flowers, in large tubs and in the ground. The effect is charming, especially when her marmalade cat, Mr. Snuggly, sits like a furry statue amongst the roses, the ice plants, and the petunias. People stop and look, and read the prim, small sign that says THE INQUIRING MIND on the top line, followed by Classes for the Curious, every Thursday evening at 7:00.

    The Inquiring Mind, most commonly known as Fiji's house, is on the east side of the Wedding Chapel and Pet Cemetery, run by the Reverend Emilio Sheehan. The Wedding Chapel is open (that is, unlocked) twenty-four/seven, but the sign at the gate of the fenced cemetery behind the chapel informs mourning pet owners that funerals are by appointment. Though his business is to the east of the Davy highway, the Rev's home lies to the west, to the right of the Home Cookin Restaurant, which is past the closed hotel and the closed hardware store. The Rev's house is similar to Fiji's, but it's older, smaller, and has only sparse grass in the little front yard. It is also in no way welcoming or charming, and he has no cat.

    But back to Midnight Pawn, the largest occupied building in Midnight. The pawnshop has a basement, sort of, which is unusual in Texas. Digging through the rock is a job for the stout of heart, and the original owner of the pawnshop was a formidable individual. That basement is only partly under the ground level; the windows of the two apartments peek out above the hard-baked dirt like suspicious prairie dogs. Most of the time, the prairie dogs' eyes are shut, since the windows are heavily curtained. The main floor, up a set...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 24, 2014
    Bestseller Harris (the Southern Vampire Mysteries, which spawned the HBO series True Blood) introduces the small town of Midnight, Tex., where the locals can all take a day off for a picnic by the river—and discover a corpse. Residents of Midnight include a practicing witch, a telephone “psychic” who has true visions, a minister who tends a pet cemetery, and a vampire who works the night shift at the pawn shop. Even the witch’s house cat has his secrets. With polished ease, Harris brings her cast on stage, pairs them off to reveal character through conversation, and ambles the mystery along, as the residents of Midnight tend to their chores and run errands to the big towns of Marthasville and Davy. While not ignoring the downsides of smalltown life, with too-knowing neighbors and teens desperate to get out, Harris also works in its joys and comforts. This is a solid entry in Harris’s catalogue and will do very well with her fans.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2014
    An online psychic settles in Midnight, Texas, an unusual small town where all the residents have shadowy pasts and a lingering mystery brings unwanted attention. There are just a few houses and a few businesses at the crossroads in Midnight, and everyone seems to socialize at the Gas N Go, Home Cookin or Midnight Pawn. Psychic Manfred Bernardo has moved here for a variety of reasons, and isolation is just one of them. An outsider himself, he is completely surprised when he winds up in a community full of outsiders, which kind of makes him one of the crowd. Not at all what he was expecting, but somehow comforting and welcome: "In fact, it's just like he belongs here." Trouble soon appears, though, when it becomes clear that town resident Aubrey, who everyone thought had run away, was actually murdered. Bobo, owner of the pawnshop and Aubrey's ex, has been mourning since she disappeared, but now that she's dead, her history with a violent religious sect puts Midnight's close-knit community in danger. Luckily, the town's residents are uniquely talented at survival, and they'll do everything they can to keep their little band of misfits safe--a band which turns out to consist of a vampire, a witch, a mysterious Black Ops character and an assortment of enigmatic humans. Harris, of the spectacularly successful Sookie Stackhouse books, begins a new series that is not as overtly supernatural, revolving more around human foibles than vampire ones. Yet she maintains her ability to build intriguing worlds and create fascinating, textured characters, combining them with dark, complex tangles of plot and motive. A little magic, a little mystery and a lot of imagination make for a story that is both fun and edgy, and some unresolved details will keep readers coming back for more.

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from April 15, 2014
    From the author of the Sookie Stackhouse 2001-13 fantasy/mystery series ("Dead Until Dark; Dead Ever After") comes the launch of a new trilogy about a small Texas town at the intersection of Witch Light Road and Davy Highway, where everybody has a past and a freaky side. The townsfolk also respect secrets, so as the story unfolds complexities abound. Life centers on a 24-hour pawn shop, the Antique Gallery and Nail Salon, the Gas N Go, and the Home Cookin Restaurant. These spots are populated by a witch, a vampire, a reverend, a new psychic in town, and their closer-to-normal friends. When the disappearance of a citizen turns out to be a murder, the characters delve into their backstories to solve the crime. VERDICT As intimate and deep as the Stackhouse novels, but with a lighter load of gore and death, Harris's latest displays her skills at interweaving the lives of her characters. Recommended for those who prefer a mystery that perhaps calls for accepting the unbelievable and fantastical.--Susan Carr, Edwardsville P.L., IL

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    April 15, 2014
    Harris comes off the ending of her wildly popular Sookie Stackouse series with a new mystery-romance-paranormal mash-up, slated as the first in a planned trilogy. The inhabitants of Midnight, Texas, have all chosen the derelict little town for its size and its quietnessit's a great place to hide. But what are they hiding from? Bobo Winthrop, proprietor of the local pawn shop, seems to know a little bit about everyone in town, and they all have secrets. The new tenant in the basement of the pawn shop only comes out after dark, while New Age instructor Fiji Cavanaugh openly claims to be a witch and can talk to her cat, Mr. Snuggly. When Bobo's girlfriend, Aubrey, disappears, people start to ask too many questions, and everyone begins to fear that their pasts will be exposed, along with Aubrey's. Although it's much lighter on the paranormal elements than Harris' usual fare, this should still make the lists of readers who miss Sookie and company. HIGH DEMAND BACKSTORY: Between her books and the HBO spin-off True Blood, Harris has a large fan base. Now that both the print and the television series have ended, they're looking for something new to read.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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Midnight Crossroad
Midnight, Texas Series, Book 1
Charlaine Harris
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