Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
Series: Midnight, Texas #2
Pub Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Penguin USA

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

In Midnight Crossroad, Charlaine Harris “capture[d] the same magic as the world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, and [took] it to another level" (Houston Press). Now the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels returns to the one-traffic-light town you see only when you’re on the way to someplace else…

There is no such thing as bad publicity, except in Midnight, Texas, where the residents like to keep to themselves. Even in a town full of secretive people, Olivia Charity is an enigma. She lives with the vampire Lemuel, but no one knows what she does; they only know that she’s beautiful and dangerous.

Psychic Manfred Bernardo finds out just how dangerous when he goes on a working weekend to Dallas and sees Olivia there with a couple who are both found dead the next day. To make matters worse, one of Manfred’s regular—and very wealthy—clients dies during a reading.

Manfred returns from Dallas embroiled in scandal and hounded by the press. He turns to Olivia for help; somehow he knows that the mysterious Olivia can get things back to normal. As normal as things get in Midnight…

Another book outside of my normal genre and, again, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought this series got off to a slow start in the first installment, Midnight Crossroads. I actually referred to it as a paranormal Seinfeld episode, because it seemed to be a story about nothing. I was glad to see that the plot was more detailed and developed in this second installment of the Midnight, Texas series. There POVs were also were also pared down to less people, so I was able to connect to tne characters more.

Perhaps my favorite part of this book was the emergence of my favorite character from Sookie's series. Since s/he is not revealed until the end, I won't say who it is. I also really liked learning more about Olivia in this book. We get an insight to her past, tortured history, and how she is earning her living. Manfred is an okay character, but I find the women more interesting so far. I need to go read some of Harris' other series so I will have the background on some of these people.

This book had more of a cozy mystery feel. It played out well and was engaging enough to keep my interest. Now that I know a bit more about the characters in Midnight, I will continue on with this series to see what hijinks they get into next.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Author:

Charlaine Harris (born November 25, 1951 in Tunica, Mississippi) is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for over twenty years. She was raised in the Mississippi River Delta area. Though her early works consisted largely of poems about ghosts and, later, teenage angst, she wrote plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She began to write books a few years later.

After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris launched a lighthearted series "starring" Georgia librarian Aurora Teagarden, with Real Murders, a Best Novel nominee for the 1990 Agatha Awards. Harris wrote eight Aurora titles. In 1996, she released the first of the much darker Shakespeare mysteries, featuring the amateur sleuth Lily Bard, a karate student who makes her living cleaning houses. Shakespeare's Counselor, the fifth--and last-- was printed in fall 2001.

After Shakespeare, Harris created The Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasy series about a telepathic waitress who works in a bar in the fictional Northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps. The first of these, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. Each book follows Sookie as she tries to solve mysteries involving vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. The series, which now numbers nine titles, has been released worldwide.

Sookie Stackhouse proved to be so popular that Alan Ball, creator of Six Feet Under, announced he would undertake the production of a new show for HBO based upon the books. He wrote and directed the pilot episode for that series, True Blood, which premiered in September of 2008. It was an instant success and was quickly picked up for a second season.

In October 2005, Harris's new mystery series about a young woman named Harper Connelly debuted with the release of Grave Sight. Harper has the ability to determine the cause of death of any body. There are now three Harper titles (GRAVE SIGHT, GRAVE SURPRISE, AN ICE COLD GRAVE) with a 4th (GRAVE SECRET) to be released in 2009.

Harris has also co-edited three very popular anthologies with her friend Toni L.P. Kelner. The anthologies feature stories with an element of the supernatural, and the submissions come from a rare mixture of mystery and urban fantasy writers.
Professionally, Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League. She is a member of the board of Sisters in Crime, and alternates with Joan Hess as president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance. Personally, Harris is married and the mother of three. She lives in a small town in Southern Arkansas and when she is not writing her own books, she reads omnivorously!