Death Comes Silently (Death on Demand Series #22)

( 14 )

Overview

THE NEW DEATH ON DEMAND MYSTERY!

Bookstore owner Annie Darling doesn’t just sell murder mysteries, she solves them.
 
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 ...

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Death Comes Silently (Death on Demand Series #22)

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Overview

THE NEW DEATH ON DEMAND MYSTERY!

Bookstore owner Annie Darling doesn’t just sell murder mysteries, she solves them.
 
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 voicemails 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 axe 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…

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Editorial 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.).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425252093
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Series: Death on Demand Series , #22
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 177,835
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Hart

An accomplished master of mystery, Carolyn Hart is the author of twenty-one previous Death on Demand novels, as well as the Bailey Ruth "Ghost" novels. Her books have won multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards. Her recent novels include What the Cat Saw. One of the founders of Sisters in Crime, Hart lives in Oklahoma.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 11, 2012

    In the 22nd release in her famous DEATH ON DEMAND series, Caroly

    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.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2012

    Annie Darling, owner of mystery bookstore Death on Demand, is de

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Death Comes Silently

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    Death Comes Silently - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Sti

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    Charming Mystery What a great read. After repeated phone calls

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    I love Carolyn's Death on Demand books. Wonderful addition to a

    I love Carolyn's Death on Demand books. Wonderful addition to a wonderful series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2014

    Another great book!

    I ALWAYS ENJOY READING BOOKS BY Carolyn G. Hart.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    Redfire

    Padded in and went to the stream jumping in and loking for reeds

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 27, 2012

    I was dissappointed in the ending

    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....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 27, 2012

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    Posted April 11, 2012

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    Posted April 10, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

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    Posted May 23, 2012

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