• The Good: A small town slice-of-life mystery that fights against overt racism
  • The Bad: Mystery that ends with more questions than answers; fantasy elements limited
  • The Literary: Characters from and references to Harris’ other series

Manfred Bernando, an internet psychic, moves to the small town of Midnight, Texas with the hopes of finding a perfect place to work in private. With only a single traffic light at the corner of Witch Light and Davie Road, there are only a handful of full-time residents. Sure, the diner sees a lot of people just passing through, but they leave just as quickly, often forgoing the antique store, nail salon, and pawn shop.

The author of the Sookie Stackhouse vampire series leaves the humid southern-gothic swamp of Louisiana for dry west Texas teeming with white supremacists. It’s billed as a mix of paranormal urban fantasy and mystery. Nearly every protagonist is some sort of magical or supernatural creature, and every one of them harbors secrets. So it’s not just the plot that must be unraveled, but the characters themselves. Harris has a way of capturing small town people and small town drama that feels authentic.

Unfortunately, I’m not fully invested in the characters. I enjoy the witch and her talking cat the best, and there’s a creepy, powerful vampire, but even by the end of the first book, I still don’t know much about anyone else, even the lead protagonist, Manfred. Together with the mysterious death of a young woman in town, there is little to grasp onto and figure out yourself. Instead, I recommend letting the story unravel as Harris intends. And if you want to know more, it’s clear she’s holding out more character reveals for future books in the series.

Highly recommended for fans of cozy mysteries with a hint of the supernatural!