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A Stroke of Midnight (Meredith Gentry, Book 4) Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, Unabridged

3.4 out of 5 stars 327 customer reviews
Book 4 of 9 in the Merry Gentry Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Solving a double homicide, avoiding assassins and coping with growing, sometimes uncontrollable, power keep faerie private detective Princess Meredith NicEssus (aka Meredith Gentry) busy in the fourth and strongest entry in Hamilton's adult fairy tale series (after 2004's Seduced by Moonlight). When someone murders a fey and a reporter during a press conference inside the Unseelie's headquarters, Merry calls in the cops to assist (and inadvertently involves the FBI as well). But once on magical turf, human police face challenges and dangers of which the princess was unaware. Meanwhile, Merry lives up to the five fertility deities in her lineage and lustily fulfills her royal duty of mating with sidhe males and making sex beyond mere human comprehension. As Merry matures, the meaning of all the sex and magic comes into more effective focus, as does Hamilton's underlying mythos of the restoration of the faerie race's true power. The absence of complicated politics results in a more palatable plot than in previous volumes. By the end, the Unseelie court seems to be tiring of Merry's super-sadistic Aunt Andais, the Queen of Air and Darkness (as are, most likely, many readers). The queen's son and Merry's rival for the throne, Prince Cel, looms as an even greater, more corrupt menace to her future. Faeries, fornication and forensics fuse for yet another darkly fantastic frolic for Hamilton fans.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Praise for Laurell K. Hamilton

A Kiss of Shadows
“I’ve never read a writer with a more fertile imagination.”

“Sizzling . . . Memorable characters and wicked wit make it all delicious, ribald fun.”
–Publishers Weekly

A Caress of Twilight
“Sensual, without a doubt . . . This book moves like a whirlwind.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“[A] sexy, tension-charged dark fantasy mystery.”

Seduced by Moonlight
“This [faerie] society is one of the most detailed,
imaginative, and lovingly drawn in all fantastic fiction,
and the Meredith Gentry series has become something special.”
San Jose Mercury News

“Hamilton’s books [are] must-reads.”
The Denver Post

From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (April 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593554249
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593554248
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.3 x 2.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (327 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,194,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of two series that mix mystery, fantasy, magic, horror and romance. Her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels from Berkley Books began with GUILTY PLEASURES (now a hugely successful graphic novel from Marvel - the first sexy paranormal comic ever!) and continues with the SKIN TRADE, number seventeen in the series, in which Anita's complex personal and professional relationships with a master vampire and an alpha werewolf continue to evolve. There are now more than 6 million copies of Anita in print worldwide, in 16 languages. Hamilton's Ballantine series features Fey princess and private investigator, Merry Gentry and there are now six novels exceeding one million copies in print. Divine Misdemeanors, the eighth in the series will debut Octobe 29, 2009. She lives in St. Louis County Missouri with her husband Jonathon Green, daughter, one pug dog and one boxer/pug dog.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The problem with A Stroke of Midnight, the fourth book in Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry series, is too much sex. Hard for me to believe I just typed that. "Too much" and "sex" are concepts that don't normally go together in my mind. But in this case it's true.

The book starts well. Merry and entourage are inside a fairy mound when a fey and a human reporter are found murdered. It's the human offed in Faerie who's the real problem. Police and news crews are waiting outside the mound to swoop in. Merry and her aunt Andais, the Queen of Air and Darkness and the mound's ruler, need to solve this crime themselves - fast - before they have the fairy/human equivalent of a major international incident.

Great set-up, huh? I was wiggling my toes inside my little fuzzy bunny slippers, settling in for a thoroughly enjoyable murder mystery, fairy style. Then the sex started. This is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. I like a good sex scene as well as the next person - maybe more. But the problem here is that after the sex started, it never stopped. The entirety of the rest of the book has Merry bonking one guy after another. Even I got a bit bored after awhile. Where was the murder mystery? Where was the investigation? What about the major international incident - y'know, the one it's vitally important Merry stave off?

I kept waiting for the sex to stop, for the book to remember it had a plot. And the number of remaining pages kept getting thinner and thinner. Finally, flipping ahead (which will give you some idea of how little what I was reading grabbed me), I saw there were only five chapters and about 50 pages left. I thought, "Okay, NOW we get to the murder mystery. Man, those last 50 pages must really rock." At which point we embark on a five chapter sex scene.
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Format: Hardcover
I must have really liked Hamilton to just keep on reading. I think I might actually be insane. Yet, here I am, still buying the books. I had a huge problem with the last one because it was all sex and no plot. Well, in Stroke of Midnight, she attempts to add somewhat of a plot: A double homicide. The reader practically becomes giddy with anticipation. You think to yourself: "Is the old Hamilton back? Could it be? Please, please let it be!" Then you read the other 300 pages and realize, no, just the same old-same old.

Some of the problems I had with this book included the endless stretch of a day and night. For two books now I have been waiting to find out what will happen at the Seelie Court and the gnomes. I'm beginning to feel I'll have to wait five more books to ever find out. How utterly depressing and an efficient way to loose readers.

I was also hoping that the solving of the crime (murders) would envolve Merry. Instead she delegates and moves off to have more sex.

Then there was the sex. Sure it was steamy, but there were sex scenes that would last through four to five long chapters. They would play then talk, kiss, then talk, fondle, then talk. AUGH! What made it worst was the talk was mostly self-pity, woe-is-me, I'm not worthy. Booooorrring. Most sex scenes were Merry with two to three guys and EVERY sex scene was with a host of other guards watching. Even the one with Adair, who is supposedly sooooooo shy. Merry, who is totted as being the prefect lover, basically tells him, either put out or she'll take another to bed.

The wrap up at the end was the worst of all. Your not even sure if the murder is solved. The queen believes it, but who wouldn't admit to murder after being led around by their intestines?

So, why am I giving it three stars? Because the men sound sooo sexy. God, I'm gullible! I'll probably even read the next one.
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Format: Hardcover
I was a fan of Laurell K. Hamilton since I first picked up Lunatic Cafe. I have bought every book of hers since then. However I feel she has begun an alarming trend of writing soft-core porn rather than fantasy fiction with great stories with the occasional hot, steamy sex scene. I find myself with great difficulty writing this review to tell you not to bother buying this book. It's such a waste, I feel like I was mugged. The last book ended with Merry at a press conference inside the Sithen, well get this, the entire 366 page book takes place that same night and ends before dawn! (Hence the title Stroke of Midnight, I'm sure.)

The "story" is that Merry has lots of sex, the goddess manifests, lots of magic happens, people get new powers, she cries, some of the guards cry, the Queen acts psycho...in other words exactly the same as the last book and the last and the... There is no movement in the plotline whatsoever.

With the exception of a show like 24 hours, this kind of writing that stretches a storyline's action over a one day time period just doesn't work. Especially not in a book! I don't believe this is anything more than an excuse to turn a storyline that should be limited to a trilogy into something that takes 13 or more lucrative books to "tell".

In all fairness, I must say the sex scenes are very well written and riveting. (Hence the 2 stars instead of the one I'm tempted to give this book.) I actually enjoyed reading them; however once I realized that's all that was there I was extremely pissed! This book is like a bad porno movie, all extremely unlikely sex scenes and no plot! Now the main character is even going to have sex with girl guards "to protect them from her evil cousin".
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A Stroke of Midnight (Meredith Gentry, Book 4)
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