Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Death Comes Silently (Death on Demand Series #22)

Death Comes Silently (Death on Demand Series #22)

4.4 13
by Carolyn G. Hart

See All Formats & Editions

Bookstore owner Annie Darling must solve a murder at the center of a small town scandal in this mystery in the New York Times bestselling Death on Demand series.

Business is slow for Annie Darling’s mystery bookstore, Death on Demand, as winter rolls into Broward’s Rock, South Carolina. To boost her sales, Annie decides to host a book


Bookstore owner Annie Darling must solve a murder at the center of a small town scandal in this mystery in the New York Times bestselling Death on Demand series.

Business is slow for Annie Darling’s mystery bookstore, Death on Demand, as winter rolls into Broward’s Rock, South Carolina. To boost her sales, Annie decides to host a book signing for the island’s resident writer. During the signing, Gretchen Burkholt, a fellow volunteer at the local charity shop, Better Tomorrow, leaves Annie multiple voice mails about scandalous news she’s dying to share. So, when the event wraps up, Annie heads over to hear the latest scoop...only to find Gretchen dead on the floor, an ax by her side.

Annie, with the help of her husband, Max, uncovers a mysterious plot involving an overturned kayak, a stolen motorboat, a troubled love affair, and a reckless teenager. Annie will have to keep her eyes peeled and use every trick in the book to track down a cold-blooded killer in the dead of winter…

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Sparkling...A bucolic setting, colorful characters, and frequent knowledgeable recommendations of mystery authors and books old and new help make this another winning entry in a cozy series that shows no sign of age.”—Publishers Weekly

“A particularly satisfying entry in an always-satisfying cozy series.”—Booklist

“Annie Darling is a great character...a one-of-a-kind heroine in cozy fiction.”—Cozy Library

“[Hart] serves up a beautifully constructed puzzle mystery.”—The Connecticut Post 

“These books are charming, fun, funny, clever and kind of like comfort food without the calories, but instead with a great mystery!”—Kings River Life Magazine

“Any book by Hart is guaranteed to include a top-notch mystery delivering an enjoyable reading experience.”—RT Book Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Agatha Award–winner Hart’s sparkling 22nd Death on Demand mystery (after 2011’s Dead by Midnight), Annie Darling enlists Gretchen Burkholt, a fellow volunteer at Better Tomorrow, to sub for her at the charity shop so she can host an author signing at her Broward’s Rock, S.C., bookstore, Death on Demand. To Annie’s horror, someone kills Gretchen with an axe during the charity shop’s afternoon shift. Police chief Billy Cameron is sure ex-con handyman Jeremiah Young, who fled the crime scene, is guilty, but Annie’s longtime customer and mystery connoisseur, Henny Brawley, is equally convinced of Jeremiah’s innocence. When Annie and Henny find a link between Gretchen’s murder and the “accidental” drowning of fussy and pretentious Everett Hathaway two weeks earlier, the suspect field opens considerably. A bucolic setting, colorful characters, and frequent knowledgeable recommendations of mystery authors and books old and new help make this another winning entry in a cozy series that shows no sign of age. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman-Schneider Agency. (Apr.)
Library Journal
In her 22nd adventure set in Broward's Rock, SC, Annie Darling, owner of the Death on Demand bookstore, and her husband, Max, become involved in the murder investigation of a local charity shop worker. The victim tried to call Annie right before she was killed, so Annie feels compelled to find her killer. When a second murder occurs, Annie and Max begin to think that another recent death, which was ruled accidental, may be connected. In addition, Annie's longtime customer Henny Brawley is trying her best to keep an innocent man from being tried for the murders. VERDICT Fans of this popular cozy series will not be disappointed with Hart's latest entry (after Dead by Midnight). It is always a pleasure to read about the current obsession of Annie's well-meaning mother-in-law Laurel Darling Roethke and the competition between Henny and resident mystery writer Emma Clyde over the bookstore's monthly mystery contest. Recommended for all cozy mystery fans, especially for those who like to read Joan Hess, Leslie Meier, and Jill Churchill.—Jean King, West Hempstead P.L., NY
Kirkus Reviews
Did you hear the one about the mystery-bookstore owner menaced by an ax murderer? Annie Darling, proprietor of Broward's Rock's detective bookshop Death on Demand, is due to volunteer at the island's charity store, Better Tomorrow. But a book-signing by local author Emma Clyde forces her to swap times with Gretchen Burkholt, who rings up several times to gossip about a scandalous message she's found in a jacket donated by the family of Everett Hathaway, who accidentally slipped out of a kayak and drowned on a midnight sail in frigid January. By the time Annie arrives at Better Tomorrow, Gretchen is long dead, the murder weapon, an ax, left beside her. Most everyone considers the handyman, Jeremiah, the culprit, but Henny, the volunteer coordinator, believes him innocent and helps him hide. Annie and her husband Max decide to help vindicate Jeremiah, but their investigation is stymied when the mayor relieves the police chief of his job. With persistence, the amateur sleuths discover that Gretchen may have been murdered because she could recast Everett's death as not an accident but murder. There's no shortage of suspects within Everett's family and business circles, and two murders become three when the Hathaway housekeeper is shot. Henny will be waylaid and Annie accosted in a dense fog before mystery writer Clyde helps deduce whodunit, leading to Jeremiah's freedom and the police chief's reinstatement. The series hallmarks are all here--the Christie-like clues, the multiple motives, the never-ending gossip, the mystery fiction allusions, the cats Agatha and Dorothy L--but where's the verve, the wicked surprise? Barely mid-level in this venerable series (Dead by Midnight, 2001, etc.).

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Death on Demand Series , #22
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Sparkling...another winning entry in a cozy series that shows no sign of age."—Publishers Weekly

"A particularly satisfying entry in an always-satisfying cozy series."—Booklist

"Annie Darling is a great character...a one-of-a-kind heroine in cozy fiction."—Cozy Library

"Fans of this popular cozy series will not be disappointed...Recommended for all cozy mystery fans, especially those who like to read Joan Hess, Leslie Meier, and Jill Churchill."—Library Journal

Meet the Author

An accomplished master of mystery, Carolyn Hart is the New York Times bestselling author of more than fifty-five novels of mystery and suspense including the Bailey Ruth Ghost Novels and the Death on Demand Mysteries. Her books have won multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She has also been honored with the Amelia Award for significant contributions to the traditional mystery from Malice Domestic and was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. One of the founders of Sisters in Crime, Hart lives in Oklahoma City, where she enjoys mysteries, walking in the park, and cats. She and her husband, Phil, serve as staff—cat owners will understand—to brother and sister brown tabbies.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Death Comes Silently 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
mary_kennedy More than 1 year ago
In the 22nd release in her famous DEATH ON DEMAND series, Carolyn Hart offers a thoughtful, tantalizing mystery based in Broward's Rock, SC. Once more, readers are invited to join Annie and Max Darling as they hunt a killer on the loose in this bucolic setting. When mystery bookstore owner Annie Darling asks Gretchen Burkholt to fill in for her at the charity shop, she has no idea Gretchen will end up dead. Annie immediately goes into "sleuthing mode" and wonders if Gretchen's death could be connected to a suspicious drowning that occurred two weeks earlier. As always, Ms. Hart offers a delightful puzzle for her fans to solve. Intricate plotting, well-developed characters and enough red herrings to keep readers on their toes make this mystery a treasure to read. This is a series that should never end.
Books_And_Chocolate More than 1 year ago
Annie Darling, owner of mystery bookstore Death on Demand, is dealing with slow business so when she has the chance to host a book signing for a local writer, she asks Gretchen Burkholt, a fellow volunteer at a local charity resale shop, to take her scheduled shift. During the book signing Gretchen calls Annie when she discovers information on an index card found in the pocket of a jacket belonging to the late Everett Hathaway among clothes donated by his family after his supposed accidental drowning that could mean he was murdered instead. Annie goes to the shop to discover Gretchen has been murdered and the paper with the information is missing. Suspicion falls on an ex-convict handyman but as Annie digs deeper into the connection between Gretchen's and Everett's deaths even more suspects emerge and it soon becomes apparent that one of them wants her out of the way. This series is one of my favorites in the cozy mystery genre and this newest story lived up to my expectations. I always like reading about the relationship between Annie and her husband Max as they embark on sleuthing adventures together. All the regular characters are likeable which makes the series fun to read. Hart always does a good job of creating enough suspects to keep the reader guessing right up to the end and that was the case in this storyline as well. Fans of this series won't be disappointed and newcomers will enjoy it even if they haven't read the previous titles as there is enough background given on the various characters to explain the relationships. I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicted, nor was a positive review required.
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
This marks the twenty-first novel in the Death on Demand series featuring the mystery bookstore owner, Annie Darling, and her husband, Max, who runs Confidential Commissions, through which he offers “counsel to people in trouble.” There is, of course, a death early on, a seemingly accidental drowning of Everett Hathaway, who was, strangely [it being early January], kayaking before somehow tipping out into the water and suffering hypothermia before drowning. Very soon thereafter there is another death, one that shakes Annie to the core: The victim was Gretchen Burkholt, who had taken Annie’s place at the charity shop at which they both volunteered so that Annie could attend a booksigning at Death on Demand. When Annie returns to the shop after a series of calls from Gretchen, she discovers her body on the floor, a blood-covered ax nearby. Annie is guilt-ridden at the fact that Annie herself should have been there, not Gretchen, and is determined to find the killer. When it becomes known that Gretchen had discovered something in the clothing that the dead man was wearing the night he died, with shocking implications, Annie is not persuaded that his death was an accident, and believes that that discovery might have led to Gretchen’s death. Annie is aided in this by the usual cast of characters: husband Max, and his mother, Laurel; local crime writer Emma Clyde, whose booksigning took place on the night Gretchen was murdered, and Annie’s long-time friend Henny Brawley. The reader is introduced to a whole cast of characters, any one of whom had a motive to kill The action takes place in Broward’s Rock, a barrier island 40 minutes from the South Carolina mainland described by the author as “undoubtedly the most glorious place in the universe to live.” Fans of this delightful series will smile in recognition, as I did, at Agatha, the store’s resident feline [the one who shares Annie and Max’ home is named Dorothy L]. The story shifts from one to the other of these amateur sleuths, as they pursue different aspects of the investigation while the police continue to believe that Hathaway’s death was an accidental drowning. There are of course references to many much-loved mystery authors scattered along the way, along with the observation that “that was the comfort of mysteries. Bad things happened, but good people tried to mke things better.” A sentiment with which readers of this wonderful series can agree. A charming read, and recommended.
DAinNY1 More than 1 year ago
Charming Mystery What a great read. After repeated phone calls from a volunteer about being afraid, Annie goes over to the charity shop and discovers the volunteer's body...murdered. An axe points to a suspect who declares his innocence. With Henny, Annie and Max on the case, there is no escape for this killer. The action started immediately in this well-scripted mystery that I could not put this book down. The mystery kept me guessing and on my toes as I navigated the clues and was caught unawares when the killer was identified. I love the comfortable tone, the small town atmosphere and the lovable yet eccentric cast of characters that are a delight with my annual visit to Broward Rock. I look forward to the next exciting adventures that awaits the Darlings and their friends in this charming and terrific series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Carolyn's Death on Demand books. Wonderful addition to a wonderful series.
McDr More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Martha-A-Cheves More than 1 year ago
Death Comes Silently - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish Annie was struck by the weariness evident in his broad face. He was Billy, big, brawny, and muscular, but Billy without his customary equanimity. Tight lines marked the corners of his eyes, bracketed his generous mouth. Instead of a jacket and slacks or a suit, his usual dress for work, he wore a navy pullover and jeans. His blue eyes had a lost look. "I know you support me, but that isn't what matters at this point. There's a dangerous killer out there who will remove anyone seen as a threat. Right now Henny is safe. Jeremiah's arrest will reassure the killer that she doesn't know enough to be a danger. As for the rest of you" - he looked at Annie, Emma, and Laurel in turn - "don't even think of trying to investigate." Annie felt a deep twist of disappointment. "Jeremiah's innocent!" Annie Darling is owner of Death on Demand, a mystery bookstore. She is also a volunteer for Better Tomorrow, a charity shop that offers groceries, clothing and other needs for those in financial binds. Due to a scheduled booksigning for author Emma Clyde, she switched days with Gretchen Burkholt. This switch turned out to be fatal for Gretchen when she found a note in the pocket of a jacket that had belonged to Everett Hathaway. Everett's body had been found two weeks earlier floating not far from his overturned kayak. An autopsy listed drowning due to unconsciousness as a result of hypothermia as the cause of death. According to the voice mail messages from Gretchen to Annie's cell phone, the note she found leads her to believe his death wasn't an accident but murder. There are three people who would benefit from Everett's death. His much younger wife, his nephew who wants to manage the family advertising business and his 16 going on 21 year old niece who wants to run her own life, with her own money. So which hated him enough to want him dead? Could Annie be wrong and Jeremiah is the guilty party? Or was Everett's death actually an accident and has nothing to do with Gretchen? I can't get enough of Author Carolyn Hart's books. She has entertained me with all of her Death on Demand stories and I simply love her Bailey Ruth ghost stories, which I hope she writes more of soon. With all of her books Hart combines love, humor and a 'whole lot of mystery' making each page flip by quickly to see what clue the next holds. You can't help but love this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michelle1948 More than 1 year ago
I thought this story moved rather well. Lots of suspects and a good plot idea. But I felt things were dropped to the wayside and never explained. I do enjoy this series but I felt the ending could have been explained better. You don't give your reader the "the police got their confession from the murderer" but don't write it out for your reader. What happened? What was their reasoning? Explain the evidence that was found. Why were people killed? I felt that was all skipped over to get to the happy ending....