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Death of the Party (Death on Demand Series #16) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Britt Barlow is certain her media mogul brother-in-law Jeremiah Addison's fatal tumble a year ago was no accident -- especially since she herself discovered, and disposed of, the trip wire someone had strung across the stairs. Now she's bringing all who were in attendance that weekend back to Golden Silk -- Addison's luxurious secluded island estate -- and inviting two extra guests, Annie and Max Darling, to help uncover a killer.

Annie Darling wouldn't miss this party for the ...

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Death of the Party (Death on Demand Series #16)

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Overview

Britt Barlow is certain her media mogul brother-in-law Jeremiah Addison's fatal tumble a year ago was no accident -- especially since she herself discovered, and disposed of, the trip wire someone had strung across the stairs. Now she's bringing all who were in attendance that weekend back to Golden Silk -- Addison's luxurious secluded island estate -- and inviting two extra guests, Annie and Max Darling, to help uncover a killer.

Annie Darling wouldn't miss this party for the world! And there certainly is no lack of suspects among the guests, each of whom had a substantial motive for doing in the insufferable tycoon. But the party turns deadly when a houseman mysteriously vanishes, along with the boats which are the only escape off Addison's island -- leaving the Darlings stranded on a floating rock in the middle of nowhere, too close to a solution for comfort, and stalked by a crafty murderer.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
That comfy crime-solving couple, bookstore owner Annie Darling and her devoted husband, Max, investigate the murder of media magnate Jeremiah Addison in Hart's feel-good 16th Death on Demand mystery (after 2004's Murder Walks the Plank). Addison apparently fell by accident down the marble staircase inside his mansion on his private South Carolina island, Golden Silk, but his sister-in-law, Britt Barlow, knows better, because immediately afterward she removed the trip wire she found strung at the head of the stairs. Britt had her reasons for not informing the police, but now, some six months later, she wants Max, who runs Confidential Commissions, to attend a reunion of the people present on Golden Silk at the time of the murder in order to unmask the killer. Hart provides plenty of suspects including troubled sons and their wives, a sexy reporter, a pompous politician and her husband then plants intriguing clues, another murder and just enough red herrings to keep readers guessing until the denouement. Those looking for a change of pace from more street-smart crime fiction will enjoy this cozy whodunit in the Agatha Christie tradition. Agent, Deborah Schneider. 8-city author tour. (On sale Mar. 29) FYI: Hart has won multiple Agatha, Anthony and Macavity awards. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In Hart's latest Agatha Christie homage, Max and Annie Darling join a party on an isolated private island to help pick a killer from ten suspects. A year after Jeremiah Addison, her brother-in-law, fell to his death in Heron House on South Carolina's Gold Silk Island, Britt Barlow has inherited house and island when her sister Cissy followed Jeremiah to the grave. Now somebody claims to have seen Britt, reluctant to give ailing Cissy further grief, secretly remove the wire that tripped Jeremiah from across the top of the staircase. Britt tells Max she's afraid of being blackmailed or even murdered herself, and she wants the owner/operator of Confidential Commissions to attend a gathering of the ten people who were on the island at the time of Jeremiah's fatal tumble. Max and Annie (Engaged to Die, 2003, etc.) disguise themselves as oral historians collecting information for a life of Jeremiah, but they're swiftly unmasked-the one realistic stroke in this pipe dream of a retro whodunit-and have to work with the suspects, once their communications are cut off, to protect themselves from the killer. Setting, characters and motives have been sitting on the shelves perhaps a mite too long, and the Darlings' main detective strategies are to make endless lists quaintly reminiscent of Philo Vance and get their gun stolen. Nothing you couldn't give your gran. Others may find themselves checking their watches as the innocent cower in terror. Author tour
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061856129
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Series: Death on Demand Series , #16
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 107,332
  • File size: 330 KB

Meet the Author

Carolyn Hart

An accomplished master of mystery, Carolyn Hart is the author of twenty previous Death on Demand novels. Her books have won multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards. She is also the creator of the Henrie O series, featuring a retired reporter, and the Bailey Ruth series, starring an impetuous, redheaded ghost. One of the founders of Sisters in Crime, Hart lives in Oklahoma City.

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First Chapter

Death of the Party
A Death on Demand Mystery

Chapter One

The room wasn't moving. Britt Barlow held to that reality, no matter her dizziness. Yet the words in the letter blurred before her eyes.

Britt remembered a long-ago day in a small third-floor apartment in Mexico City, the rumble of wrenched walls, the swaying floor, the sweep of gut-sickening terror. She'd survived that earthquake, just as she'd survived divorce and loss and sadness and, once, a fury that had threatened to capsize her world.

Britt waited for that first shock to pass. She would survive. No matter what happened, she had always been a survivor. Earthquake, fire, flood, pestilence ... Damn the world. She would fight this new threat as she'd always fought, with steely determination, with craft and guile, with a devil-be-damned smile.

The words in the letter came back into focus. "... I saw you that morning ... understand the estate is settled ... perhaps we could have a little talk about financial matters... ."

Britt felt hot and sick. She glanced at the mirror above the fireplace. Other than the bright flush on her narrow cheeks, she looked much as she had when she finished dressing this morning, the vermilion sweater a vivid contrast to cream wool slacks. She stared at her image as if appraising a stranger: glossy black curls, clover green eyes, a restless look of expectancy. With a twisting pang of incipient loss, she remembered Loomis's words to her just before he left the island last week. "I love your face, Britt. You have" -- he'd paused, searched for his thought, brought it out with a triumphant grin -- "the face of adventure. That's the kind of woman I've always written about. I made you up long before I met you. I didn't think you existed. Now I know you do. It has to be us, Britt. The two of us together." He'd kissed her, a kiss that held a promise of indescribable joy. "I'll be back. Count on it." Loomis was the late love of a life that had known so much loss. She'd never again expected to thrill when a man walked into her room. She loved the way he looked, the way he walked, the way he talked, his brilliance, his wry humor, his innate kindness.

She crumpled the letter, shoved it into the pocket of her slacks, folded her arms, began to pace. All right. The truth was going to come out. Jeremiah Addison had been murdered. Until now she'd pushed away all memory of that moment when she'd stood at the top of the staircase and looked down at the crumpled body lying at the base of the white marble steps, blood slowly pooling beneath his battered head. The downstairs hallway light had illumined death in a pool of brightness. She'd stared for a long moment, poised to hurry down if there was any sign of life. But death was obvious in the rag doll limpness of his limbs, the awkward crook of his neck. Jeremiah Addison had not survived his plunge down the steep stone steps. It would have been a miracle had he survived that headfirst fall. He'd always considered himself a miracle man, but his luck had finally run out.

She'd pulled her gaze away, knowing that no one could help Jeremiah now. She'd looked instead at the taut shiny wire stretched ankle high from the wall to a baluster. Why hadn't he glimpsed the wire? The answer was easy and such a commentary on the man. Jeremiah expected the world and everything in it to give way before him. He always strode forward at top speed, his long legs moving fast. He was Jeremiah Addison and the world waited on him. He didn't look down. He always looked ahead, focused on the next encounter, the next objective, the next triumph. He'd plunged fast down the steps and the wire had snagged him, flung him headfirst to his death.

Britt felt the wad of the crumpled letter in her pocket. Jeremiah had been dead for a year and a half. Now she had to remember everything that had happened and accept the fact that she'd been observed that silent summer morning. She continued to pace, though her breath came quickly and her chest ached.

She could have made a different choice when she stood there at the top of the stairs. If she'd screamed, some of the staff downstairs would have come running. The truth would have been there to see, Jeremiah dead and the means of his death apparent.

Murder. The word was harsh but no harsher than the reality. An investigation would have been launched. Everyone on the island, the very private and isolated South Carolina sea island of Golden Silk, would have been caught up in a homicide investigation. Oh, there were plenty of suspects, each with a burning reason to do away with rich, powerful, arrogant Jeremiah Addison.

Including herself, of course. Everyone knew she hated Jeremiah. He'd barely tolerated her presence on the island even though she was a great help with Cissy.

She could have screamed when she found him dead. She had not. Instead, with scarcely a moment's pause, she'd drawn a deep, steadying breath and whirled to run down the hallway to a bathroom. She'd grabbed a washcloth, raced lightly back to the stairway, listening all the while for a door to open, footsteps, a cry of horror, but the hallway remained silent.

Silent as a grave.

She'd worked fast in the early morning stillness, pulling out the nail from the wall, unfastening the thin but formidable strand from the baluster, checking to see if the telltale hole was obvious, grateful when the speck in the wall was easily covered by a fleck of lint from the carpet. She'd mashed the wire into a lump, put the coil and the nail in the pocket of her robe, and fled down the hall to her room. She'd waited there until a maid's shout brought them all tumbling from their rooms.

Everyone said, "What a terrible accident."

Death of the Party
A Death on Demand Mystery
. Copyright © by Carolyn Hart. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2005

    Mystery Lover

    Great addition to the Death on Demand series. Although I missed the normal characters the different setting was a refreshing change, and I was very surprised by the ending.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Fireblaze

    THATS CAUSE SHE DID!!!!! O.O LOLZ!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Aj

    There

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Sophie

    She shakes her head, standing up.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Reenelle

    I can't see headlines ppl so...if you want to chat plz put ur name in the box....o.O..thx xP *turns on a song by austin mahone*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Dylan

    Ok

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Death of the Party

    The book Death of the Party is about the murder of Jeremiah Addison. What happens is a woman named Brit Barlows brother-in-law is killed and she is set to find out who killed him. So she hires a man named Max Darling to help her investigate. Eventually, a year later she invites all of the people who were on the island the day of Jeremiahs death. The island is isolated and secluded with no way off until Sunday when the boat comes. When Harry, a hired helper on the island, goes missing, everyone believes he is the murderer. Until..somebody gets killed. Max and Annie want to find out who the murderer is without being next on the killers list.<BR/><BR/>What I liked about the book is that it is very detailed and the details make the book interesting. In the book you could tell that Carolyn took her time picking out very good understandable words. The book made you want to read on and keep reading even after you are done with the book.The author made a good choice of characters and she made the characters like real people and not so fake that you don¿t believe their real. <BR/><BR/>The author made a good choice of characters and she made the characters like real people and not so fake that you dont believe their real.

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

    Posted February 23, 2007

    Deserted Island and murder

    Max Darling is hired by Britt Barlow to help her find a murderer. Her brother-in-law was murdered one year ago, and she¿s invited everyone back to the island that was there the weekend he was killed. She knows he was killed because she took the wire off the stairs that was strung for him to trip over. Everyone thought it was an accident. Her sister was so sick when he died, she didn¿t want any scandal. Her sister has since died. Now she¿s ready to unmask the killer. She wants Max¿s help. He finally agrees to help and brings Annie along. The island is secluded with no way off until Sunday night. There¿s no cell phone reception either. When Harry, a hired hand on the island, goes missing, everyone believes he is the murderer. That is until another body turns up. Can Max and Annie find the killer without becoming the next victims? I really enjoyed this book. I think it was the secluded island that cinched it for me. I already liked Max and Annie from previous books. The South Carolina location is wonderful. Having them stranded on an island for a weekend with a killer increased the intensity. I kept trying to figure out who it was. The author did a great job of creating characters that were believable. She gave enough twists and turns to hide the killer to the end. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    exciting mystery

    Britt Barlow lives on Golden Silk Island, a private place belonging to billionaire Jeremiah Addison, taking care of her sister who is dying of cancer. In the early morning hours, she hears a thump and sees Jeremiah at the bottom of the stairs, dead after falling over a trip wire. Someone on the island murdered him but with her sister dying she covers up the crime making it look like an accident so her sibling wouldn¿t be disturbed by the police or the media.--- A year later, Jeremiah¿s will has gone through probate and through her sister Britt inherits the island and a lot of money. She receives a letter in which someone claims they saw her cover up the murder. Rather than give in to blackmail, Britt invites everyone who was on the island a year ago to return so the murder can finally be resolved. She hires Max Darling of Confidential Commissions to help her. He and his wife Annie go to the island not realizing that before the perpetrator is revealed one person will leave taking the only transportation and communication with the mainland with him, a guest will be murdered, and Annie will be held hostage.--- Max Darling might like living a life of leisure but when he works, he lets nobody get in his way, even his beloved wife Annie. Carolyn Hart has written another exciting mystery with a cast of characters that are memorable because they each had a motive to murder Jeremiah. Readers will never guess who the real killer is and that is why Ms. Hart is such a popular mystery writer. Fans will be pleased with the latest DEATH ON DEMAND mystery.--- Harriet Klausner

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

    Posted October 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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