Death on Demand (Death on Demand Series #1)

Death on Demand (Death on Demand Series #1)

by Carolyn G. Hart

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553263510
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/1987
Series: Death on Demand Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 261,830
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.87(h) x 0.63(d)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

Alone, each item was insignificant. Some were easily found. A few were stolen from friends or acquaintances, but their value was so slight that the losses occasioned mild puzzlement and nothing more.
A pair of doctor’s rubber gloves.
A spool of black extra-strong button-and-carpet thread.
A handful of assorted keys.
Clear fingernail polish.
Polish remover.
One dart.
There was just one more item, the most important one of all.
The big collie barked first, then the cockers chimed in shrilly, shifting nervously in their pens. The deep-throated woof of the German shepherd boomed against the plastered walls.
In the hallway, the figure bending near the keyhole of the third door stiffened.
Goddam those goddam dogs.
Sweat slid between skin and the tight sheath of the rubber gloves, making it hard to work the keys.
All the dogs barked now, even the sleepy, ancient dachshund.
The fourth key worked. The lock clicked and the door swung open. Once inside, the figure shut the door, then switched on the flashlight. The bright beam danced over the immaculate linoleum floor, bounced up to the worktable, then to the rows of wooden cabinets. These, too, were locked.
It took patience. The dogs continued to bark, and the frantic yelps rebounded from the walls and tore at the senses. When the fifth cabinet door was open, a gloved hand reached up to pull out the third drawer. There were two small plastic vials in that drawer. The labels read Succostrin.
Jill Kearney always drove too fast, with the windows down. She loved the feel of the cool October night air against her face. She’d always liked nighttime. Nothing looked quite the same after dark, not even this road, a road she knew so well she could drive it automatically. She hummed softly. What a wonderful job she had, even if everyone thought she was crazy to love it. Usually, she didn’t have to go back to the hospital after her ten o’clock check, but that big Doberman had to be turned every three hours after his surgery to prevent pneumonia.
The road dipped just before her turnoff. The lights from the Honda skimmed across an automobile parked deep in the shadow of a live oak. Odd place to park. Must have had car trouble. The Honda picked up speed, and she leaned into the curve. Because the road curved so sharply, the Honda’s lights flashed up into the sky, and the moving beam of light in the third window on the east side of the clinic was sharply distinct.
As the Honda squealed to a stop, Jill flicked off the motor and the headlights, staring at the now dark row of windows.
Something had disturbed the dogs. Even out here in the parking lot, the sound of their frantic barking rose and fell.
A light had moved behind one of the windows. She was sure of it.
She looked around the graveled parking lot. It was empty, of course. No one had any business at the Island Hills Veterinary Clinic at one o’clock in the morning. No one but she.
Perhaps she had imagined the light, but she wasn’t imagining the barking. She’d better check the rooms on the east side. Just to be sure. She picked up her ring of keys and slipped out of the car.
Opening the back door, she flipped on the hall lights. Except for the almost deafening rumble of barks, accented by the high-pitched yapping of the cockers, everything seemed just as usual: the hall floors glistened from their final swab of the day, the air smelled of disinfectant and dogs.
Jill hesitated, then pivoted and walked up the hallway, unlocking doors as she went.
She unlocked the third door, the door that led into the dispensary, pushed it open, and reached out to turn on the light.
Her hand never touched the switch. The side of her head exploded in an agony of pain.

What People are Saying About This

Nancy Pickard

Irresistable! Hart drops big names from the mystery world like murderers drop clues and Annie and Max are the most endearing new pair of sleuths since Tommy and Tuppence!

Customer Reviews

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Death on Demand (Death on Demand Series #1) 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
readersam More than 1 year ago
Hart wastes too much space referring to other fictional sleuths. I purchased 2 of her books hoping to find a new author to read....will not purchase any more Hart books
AnaLeigh63 More than 1 year ago
My mom likes this series. Not quite as much as the 'culinary cozies', but she enjoyed it.
WDWFan6 More than 1 year ago
I've read all of Valerie Wolzien & Mary Daheim's books and never thought I would find another series I would enjoy as much, but I have. Great story & characters.
Drewano More than 1 year ago
I didn’t really like book very much. First I didn’t like the main character, Annie. She goes off does her own investigation and does everything wrong. At the end she says “How could I be so dumb” and I couldn’t agree more. Second is the writing style. I think the author was trying to make it sound a bit more southern with several people being a “louse” and a reference to someone being as “slick as the hide of a greased pig” which is fine except that the two main characters are from New York City and haven’t been in South Carolina long. Last was the plot. It runs around making you look at everyone while it’s plain as day who the killers is, mostly because the evidence never points to them. Overall I found it pretty disappointing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story has great plot and character development. Unfortunately, despite having a large vocabulary and excellent writing skills, the author diminished the quality of her work by using profanity throughout the book. Too bad, I probably would have bought every book in this series and looked at her other works, too. If you are like me and want a quality book without profanity - this book is not for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an ok read but very typical. I knew from the beginning who the murderer was. I will read book 2 and hope I don't guess who-dun-it until the end........
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nancydrew123 More than 1 year ago
A bookstore set on a South Carolina island was very inviting. I loved Annie and Max-- especially liked Max's mother. The story offered a classic whodunit setting. The plot was clever with a few interesting twists and turns. I didn't like the references to the mystery authors. It was tedious and a little annoying at times. I found myself reading past them so I could continue on with the story. I didn't guess who the killer was until the end. I have enjoyed all of the books I've read in this series.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a nice series, I have read two of them and plan on reading more.
DyAnne07 More than 1 year ago
Very fun and cute read. I just discovered this series while looking for a different mystery writer to start reading (this series started in the late 80s and did have me giggling about the "new" tech such as computers and cell phones). Story centers around Annie, an owner of a bookstore (which is named Death on Demand), and a group of mystery writers. Mystery fans will enjoy the contest Annie holds in which customers try to guess the scenes from mystery classics depicted in paintings (the answers are given at the end of the books and this "contest" is repeated in each book in the series). Mystery-fan Annie also often refers to other fictional detectives, which I personally enjoyed. Overall an enjoyable read with interesting characters and I look forward reading more in the series.
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Im calm