Friday, November 7, 2014

Drinks with Reads: Charlaine Harris & Texas Tea

Diane Schmidt takes us to Midnight, Texas with the new series from Charlaine Harris. And she's matched it with the perfect drink... 

Midnight Crossroad is the opening novel in a new trilogy from Charlaine Harris.  As a fan of Sookie Stackhouse and Bon Temps, Louisiana, I was a bit reluctant to move with Charlaine to a new town.  But after finishing the first installment in the story, I’m glad to have visited Midnight, Texas.  
Situated at the junction of Witch Light Road and Davy Highway, Midnight suffers from the blight of many small towns – boarded up storefronts with only a handful of local residents. Visitors are few and most tend to drive straight through town without stopping. Yet, Midnight is the exactly the kind of place that 22-year-old online psychic Manfred Bernardo is looking for – quiet and offering the promise of being forgotten by the outside world.  
As he moves in he begins to meet his new neighbors, strange characters who appear to want the same thing.  Bobo Winthrop, a “big golden man” with a sad expression, is Manfred’s landlord and the proprietor of Midnight Pawn. He lives above his shop and rents the basement apartments to leggy beauty Olivia and her oddly chilly boyfriend Lemuel Bridger.  Lemuel works the nightshift at the pawnshop and never makes an appearance until after nightfall.
A reputed witch, Fiji Cavanaugh, lives across the road from Manfred with her cat, Mr. Snuggly, who, like most cats, is only interested in his naps and his next meal. Fiji is a talented gardener who sells new age merchandise from her living room store, The Inquiring Mind, and offers “Classes for the Curious” every Thursday evening.
The town gathering-place is Madonna Reed’s Home Cookin Restaurant, which serves folksy food along with a glass of sweet tea every night for supper. The other residents include the silent Reverend Emilio Sheehan, who owns the local Wedding Chapel and Pet Cemetery, a gay couple who own the Antique Gallery and Nail Salon, and the Lovells, who run the only busy establishment in town, the Gas N Go. 
Yes, Midnight is quiet and unassuming. Yet, curious events begin to happen almost immediately after Manfred’s unpacked.  Strange visitors. Secretive behavior. A sense that it’s better to not ask too many questions. And, there is the puzzle of Bobo’s girlfriend Aubrey’s unexplained and sudden disappearance.  
Then, during a town picnic at the river, Aubrey’s body is found with a hole in her sternum. Who could be responsible for her death and under what circumstances? Suddenly, this dusty, quiet town is run over by cops and white supremacists, while the list of potential murderers grows long. Banding together, the townsfolk work to solve with the murder on their own, while doing their best to keep the outsiders away.
I encourage you to dive right in. Forget the sweet tea and, instead, mix up a pitcher of Texas Tea. See if you can solve with the mystery before your last glass and before the residents of Midnight unravel the circumstances of Aubrey’s tragic end.  
Given Charlaine Harris’ past publishing schedule, I expect to see the next installment chronicling the strange doings in Midnight, Texas, during the first half of 2015.  I’ll be sure to buy the book. Although I have to admit, I still love Sookie best.

Texas Tea
The recipe is for a single mixed drink, but you can also make a pitcher for a very potent party punch.
  • ½ ounce tequila
  • ½ ounce rum
  • ½ ounce vodka
  • ½ ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce sweet and sour mix
  • Cola
  • Lemon wedge for garnish
1. Pour the spirits and sweet and sour mix into a Collins glass with ice.
2. Stir well.
3. Top off the glass with cola.
4. Garnish with the lemon wedge.

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds excellent. And since Charlaine Harris is the author, I know it's well written. The synopsis you gave really drew me in and the first sepia photo really looks good. I am going to read this trilogy.