A Stroke of Midnight

By Laurell K. Hamilton

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Ballantine Books, c2005

Genre(s): Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, dark fantasy, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, horror, mystery, occult fiction, erotic fiction

Series: Meredith Gentry series; 4

Intended audience (Age range): Adult

Number of pages: 366

Setting: The Unseelie court at Cahokia, IL

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Merry begins one of the longest nights of her life by participating in a press conference held inside the sithen.  While press conferences in general can be less than pleasant, this is particularly true when one is trying to hide information from the press.  Princess Meredith has been ordered by the Queen of Air and Darkness not to reveal certain truths about the recent assassination attempts.  Finally, the conference ends, only to be replaced by a very long night when two bodies – one human reporter and one Unseelie demi fey – are found murdered inside the sithen.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: The fast pace returns!  The story is non-stop action from cover to cover (including the sex scenes).

Characterization: Told in first person through Merry’s eyes.  Some of the major series characters are finally starting to reveal some growth.

Frame: While the sithen may be starting to reawaken (to) wondrous magic, the long, cold, dark Illinois winter night sets the frame.

Story line: An entertaining – Faerie meets CSI – story with both humorous and horrifying situations.  The story continues into the next book – Mistral’s Kiss: a novel.

Subject headings:

From PCPL:

Women private investigators — Fiction.

Fantasy fiction.

Supernatural — Fiction.

Fairies — Fiction.

Occult fiction.

Gentry, Meredith (Fictitious character) – Fiction

ISBN: 0345443578

Similar authors: (From NoveList) Charlane Harris, Alan F. Troop, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jim Butcher

Personal notes: I liked this book much better than the previous one.  I think the major element was the pacing (but character growth was also an element).

[Annotated 4/6/09]

Other (themes, diversity): Diversity – female leaders.

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