Death on Demand (Death on Demand #1) by Carolyn G. Hart
Thoughts Before Reading:
So I started this series with the book Deadly Valentine (Death on Demand #6) when I picked up an autographed copy at a library book sale. I love book sales.
I really enjoyed that book and decided to start the series from the beginning, and let me tell you I wasn’t disappointed with it. While at times it may be predictable the character and stories always leave me coming back for more.
So the book starts off strong with our murderer listing out the items they need to kill their intended victim:
1 Pair of Doctor’s Rubber Gloves
1 Spool of Black Extra-Strong Button-and-Carpet Thread
A Handful of Assorted Keys
Clear Fingernail Polish
And just one more, the most important of all…
We can’t reveal that just yet. The murderer needs a little more mystery.
So Annie Laurence inherited the mystery bookstore, Death on Demand on Broward’s Rock, when her uncle died a few months ago.
Annie loves the store, as she has always been a book lover and mystery aficionado.
She loves everything about the bookstore, except this upcoming Sunday. There are quite a few writers who reside on Broward’s Rock, south Carolina, giving Annie the idea to create a writer’s night in which they take turns lecturing or planing a program.
It had been going well until mean, nasty Elliot Morgan dropped a bomb that he was going to blow apart the next meeting with his new book, all about the famous writers living on the island. Why does he have to go and ruin everything?
To further her anxiety, her old boyfriend is on his way.
Annie met Max Darling after college when she was trying to strike it big on stage in New York. She was an actress, while Max was one of the producers. Max Darling is from an extremely wealthy family, so wealthy that he doesn’t need to work. Annie left him as she felt it wouldn’t work out as she was born in a lower economic scale and was only able to go to college on a scholarship.
Max however is not one to give up on something he believes in and has tracked her down to Boward’s Rock using his charm, wit, and acting abilities.
That day the store is closed, but Annie goes in for some inventory to settle her nerves as she contemplates what will happen tonight.
Tonight will be horrible!
Max decides to stay that night and assist Annie with her writer’s group. The writers all enter in at their own pace. Captain Mac is a retired cop who moved to Broward’s Rock and was a friend of Annie’s uncle. He’s also been a big help to Annie after her Uncle Amos’ death. He’s not a writer, but participates in giving insight into police procedure and criminal experience.
Emma Clyde is a mystery queen, and author of the famous Marigold Mystery Series.
Janis and Jeff Farley; Jeff the writer of children books while Janis is the illustrator.
Fritz Hemphill who does green beret shoot ’em up war books.
Kelly Rizzo who did psychological thrillers.
And Elliot bringing up the rear.
Just then Harriet Edelman comes in bursting with news that the vet Jill Kearney was murdered the night before.
She went in to look on an animal recovering from a procedure and interrupted a robbery. She was smacked in the head and because of her thin skull, died from it.
Suddenly Elliot announces his newest non-fiction book. Titles Criminal Minds, all about the horrible, scandalous things done by the authors who reside here on Broward’s Rock.
Just then the lights go out, a scream rings, and when the lights come on Elliot dead by a poison dart.
Chief Frank Saulter believes that Annie is the murderer, having first killed her uncle for her inheritance and then Elliot when he threatened to reveal it all in his book.
With Annie racing against the clock, it is up to her and Max to do some private detecting to figure out who the real killer is.
As they start looking into what dirt Elliot had on the bunch this is what they find out.
- Captain Mac admits that he was involved in a paternity suit.
- Annie tells Max how she helped a friend escape a bad marriage and save their child by having the friend be admitted to a hospital under her name and give the baby up for adoption.
- Kelly has had crimes of animal killing following her all over. She says her sister is the one that does it and she is just protecting her, but is that the truth?
- Hal Douglas’ wife disappeared. Many believe he killed her, but he insists that he is innocent.
- Harriet supposedly stole a story and printed it under her own name.
- Jeff beats Janis.
- Emma’s husband was cheating on her and then just happened to “fall overboard”.
Who is the killer? And will Annie figure it out before he strikes again? Or worse, she is put on trial for murder.
Thoughts after reading:
So I love this book and the way Carolygn G. Hart writes the characters. Annie and Max are just fantastic!
Annie is not only lovable but intelligent and able to out the pieces together quite nicely.
I also love how sweet Max is and how he stays in the end to open his “private detective agency that isn’t a private detective agency.”
I only have two issues with the book:
- If Max has so much money, why didn’t they just buy a laptop to read Elliot’s disk instead of sneaking into Elliot’s house and Annie getting injured. You think that would be much easier for them right?
- I figured the mystery out really early on. Her uncle died and was investigating two places, where guess what Captiain Mac was the only person involved with one of them. I mean, come on. A paternity suit, you know it had to more than that Annie. Also, how could a police officer retire and afford an expensive house like he does. It’s obvious he’s dirty.
But to tell the truth I really didn’t care about either one as I just loved the characters and decided to read the whole series.
And as I love this series you will be seeing a lot more reviews on them in the future!
For more books from library book sales, go to A is for Alibi
For more mystery reviews, go to A Pinch of Poison