Saturday, October 29, 2016

Review: Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

Manfred Bernardo, Midnight resident psychic, has gone to Dallas for a few days to do personal readings. He has a suite in a pricey hotel. One of his favorite clients, Rachel, a wealthy woman who comes to Manfred to connect with her recently dead husband, Morton, dies just as Morton comes through and touches his wife's fingertips. Manfred sees Rachel let go of her earthly form gladly follow. Could the day get any worse?

Not unless you consider the murder and suicide of the couple Manfred saw in the dining room the night before with Olivia. Three deaths in the same hotel in the same day will not look good to the police -- and it doesn't.

Reporters lay siege to Manfred's house, disturbing the usually quiet Midnight. Now that the old hotel has been renovated and 4 senior citizens are living their full time, supposedly waiting for a spot to open up in a nearby senior community.  The Rev takes in a young boy of about 8 whose appearance changes daily.  His rapid maturation has not gone unnoticed as one of the new residents from the Midnight Hotel stops by Fiji's to let her know he and the ladies noticed. Joe Strong tells Fiji someone needs to get rid of the extra attention before the next full moon.

After Barry the Bellhop arrives in town, he brings the solution, but not without the promise of more trouble.  His grandfather, Shorty, was moved from his Las Vegas to the hotel with the other three senior citizens. As always, nothing remains quiet for long in Midnight and Fiji, Olivia, and Manfred will have to sort it out.

The Midnight series has three books in the series so far. Day Shift is the second in Charlaine Harris's latest supernatural series. It seldom takes long before Charlaine drops a series and moves on to the next supernatural venue, I don't hold out much hope anything will change, not even with the new NBC series, Midnight, Texas debuting in 2017. At least, Barry the Bellhop and Quinn, characters from the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, add a bit of spice to the life in Midnight with a promise of more trouble to follow.

Once again, I have been drawn in Charlaine's storytelling and her ability to show how easy it is to slip over the line into the supernatural with her. Although the NBC series will be bloodier and scarier, there is no end to the mysteries found in Midnight. The only denizen of this haven not present is resident vampire, Lemuel Bridger, who is tracking down someone to help him translate some of the books Bobo Winthrop stored away. No doubt Lemuel will be back in time for the Night Shift.  

Charlaine Harris's cozy mysteries spins a nepotistic web between all of her supernatural southern stories. The storytelling shares the seductive quality of many southern tales, treating the strange and supernatural as nothing out of the ordinary. The veil between the mundane and the special is thinnest the South. Manfred mentions Sookie Stackhouse when Olivia discovers Barry is reading her mind. Midnight, Texas it seems is not so far removed from Bon Temps, Louisiana after all. In the end, Midnight's denizens welcomes a new resident who adds a special touch to the neighborhood. Definitely 4/5 stars for Day Shift because I know I won't get to visit Midnight for long. At least I have another piece to the puzzle that is Olivia.

No comments: