Charlaine Harris drops by with an exclusive character piece – Arthur Smith – from DAY SHIFT (Midnight, Texas).

Wednesday, May 6th 2015

I’m delighted to be able to share with you an exclusive article by Charlaine Harris about her character Arthur Smith, from the Aurora Teagarden Mystery books. Charlaine re-visits the character in Midnight, Texas.

Charlaine Harris is the globally admired author of amongst others, the hugely successful TRUE BLOOD novels, made into the award-winning HBO show. She has sold more than four million books worldwide.

Her new writing venture, the MIDNIGHT, TEXAS series, was launched to great commercial success and critical acclaim in 2014.

From the author of four consecutive #1 Sunday Times bestsellers, Charlaine Harris, comes a chilling stand-alone murder mystery set in the town of Midnight, Texas.

Welcome to Midnight, Texas. With empty shops, boarded up windows and just a single traffic light, it’s a sleepy town that’s easy to miss, and the residents love it that way. The idyllic, unnerving lull comes crashing to an end when the town’s abandoned old hotel is bought by a new owner with grand plans to reinvigorate the entire town. It’s just what the town of Midnight needs, but not all the residents are happy with the news.

But little do the residents know that a storm of people is descending on Midnight. When the town’s newest resident becomes embroiled in a deadly investigation, an army of police, lawyers and journalists all arrive, and suddenly the hotel and its new owner are the least of the town’s worries.

DAY SHIFT is a powerful stand-alone story from Charlaine Harris set in the same town as MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD; the first critically acclaimed first Midnight, Texas book published in May 2014.

MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD is now available in paperback edition from April 2015. Mass Market Paperback £8.99/ eBook £4.99

Praise for MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD

“Harris offers a brilliant cocktail of domestic drama and supernatural adventure”
The Daily Mail

“Light, slick and eminently readable”
The Observer

“All of Harris’ trademarks are present – charm and wit, pacy storytelling and likeable characters” We Love This Book

“Midnight Crossroad…soon has you under its spell” The Sun

“Midnight Crossroad sparkles” SFX

9780575092884

DAY SHIFT (Gollancz, Hardback and ebook 7th May 2015) is the second, stand-alone MIDNIGHT, TEXAS murder mystery and you can order it HERE.

And, here’s that exclusive article;

ARTHUR SMITH — 418

 When I began the Midnight trilogy and was populating my town, I had a lot of fun rediscovering characters I’d used in previous work. I found a handful of fondly-remembered people I wanted to see again. I didn’t make a conscious decision to scavenge at least one character from each and every series — but when I needed a sheriff, I recalled a law enforcement officer I’d created a long time ago. 

Arthur Smith is probably the most obscure character I resurrected and put back to work in Midnight, Texas. Only my long-time readers will recall his name. To give you some background, Arthur was an admirer of librarian Aurora Teagarden in my first mystery series. Detective Smith appeared in all of the books featuring Aurora. He’s very attractive in a manly-man way, and has what you’d call that somethin’ somethin’, a whallop of sex appeal. 

When he meets Aurora in Real Murders, Arthur has already been married once . . . and he breaks up with our Roe to marry another detective, Lynn Liggett. Roe bravely attends the wedding, and sees when the bride passes by that the wedding has a certain urgency. Lynn is clearly pregnant.

Now, you may wonder why I chose to resurrect Arthur. I needed a sheriff for the county in which Midnight lies, and I thought – Wait, I know a law enforcement officer already! The more I thought about it, the more appropriate it felt. Arthur would need to move at some point or other because he’d get in trouble over another woman. He might feel being sheriff in a low-population county would be preferable to dodging former lovers in a more bustling place.

Sure enough, Arthur continues to have an eye for the ladies, though he’s definitely middle-aged. He visits Fiji Cavanaugh a few times when it’s not strictly necessary, simply to admire her curves. But when he meets Magdalena Orta Powell, Manfred’s tough lady lawyer, the sparks are ignited. Their relationship kindles quickly. 

I’m writing today’s Arthur as having the same proclivities as long-ago Arthur: but he’s a good man, as he’s always been. And he’s more mature about his relationships. As a boss, he runs a tight ship, and he will have obedience in the ranks. He has a philosophy of being there to serve all the people of the county equally, and I think that’s admirable. I’m glad I reached back and pulled Arthur into this decade, and I hope you’ll enjoy reconnecting with him, too.

Charlaine Harris

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