Born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area, best-selling author Charlaine Harris has been writing for more than 30 years. She published her first book, Sweet and Deadly, in 1981. After releasing traditional mysteries featuring Aurora Teagarden (a Georgia librarian) and Lily Bard (karate student and house cleaner), Harris crossed over into the paranormal genre with Sookie Stackhouse (telepathic barmaid) and Harper Connelly (death seer). Last year saw the arrival of Midnight Crossroad, the first volume in a new trilogy about an isolated Texas town whose odd and secretive residents include a vampire, a witch, and newly arrived psychic Manfred Bernardo; Harris fans will recognize Manfred as a character from her Harper Connelly series. In the second title, Day Shift (Ace: Berkley, May), a working weekend in Dallas spells big trouble for our protagonist when his client dies during a reading.
As LJ’s 2015 materials survey of U.S. public libraries (LJ 2/15/15) confirms, crime fiction remains one of the biggest draws for readers, with the genre continuing to dominate fiction circulation in print and ebook formats. Besides the armchair pleasures of following favorite sleuths as they solve a complex puzzle, mystery readers also enjoy exploring new territories and perspectives outside the borders of their own lives.