At Annie Laurance’s Death on Demand bookstore on Broward’s Rock Island, South Carolina, murder most foul suddenly isn’t confined to the well-stocked shelves. Author Elliot Morgan’s abrupt demise during a weekly gathering of famous mystery writers called the Sunday Night Regulars is proof positive that a bloody sword is sometimes mightier than a brilliant pen.
With Annie in the unenviable position of primary police suspect, the pretty young mystery maven and her wealthy paramour, Max Darling, embark on an investigation into a classic locked-room mystery with high stakes. For failing to unmask a brutal and ingenious killer could mean prison for Ms. Laurance. While success would mean her death.
This was the first book that I ever had read by Carolyn Hart. I discovered her books through a friend and although she has two different series I decided to go with the one centered around a mystery book store called Death on Demand, which is also the title of the very first book in the series and the name of the series itself as well.
Although I liked the story, the characters, and the mystery, there was just one teeny, tiny little thing about this; and I’m guessing every book in the series, that irritated me to no end. Since it is a mystery only book store it does make sense though. On almost every single page at least one mystery author and/or their books were mentioned. I’ve only started reading straight mysteries (I’ve read them in mixed genre before) in the past couple of years so a large majority of the people mentioned I have no clue who they are!
I did appreciate the author suppling sketches of the island and the floor plan of the bookstore to help the reader with the mystery but although I did enjoy having more than a vague picture it’s not what ultimately gave away the murderer. I’m not going to say how I figured it out but I will say it wasn’t the same reason that either of our fine "detectives" gave!
Death On Demand Series
1. Death on Demand (1987)
2. Design for Murder (1987)
3. Something Wicked (1988)
4. Honeymoon With Murder (1988)
5. A Little Class on Murder (1989)
6. Deadly Valentine (1990)
7. The Christie Caper (1991)
8. Southern Ghost (1992)
9. Mint Julep Murder (1995)
10. Yankee Doodle Dead (1998)
11. White Elephant Dead (1999)
12. Sugarplum Dead (2000)
13. April Fool Dead (2002)
14. Engaged to Die (2003)
15. Murder Walks the Plank (2004)
16. Death of the Party (2005)
17. Dead Days of Summer (2006)
18. Death Walked in (2008)
19. Dare to Die (2009)
20. Laughed 'til He Died (2010)
21. Dead by Midnight (2011)