DEATH AT THE DOOR
By Carolyn Hart
Berkley Prime Crime, May 2014 ($25.95)
Reviewed by Joan Leotta
Fans of this series will be happy to know that Carolyn Hart does not disappoint. I was surprised to realize that this is the 25th in the series because the characters are fresh and the action as super and plotting as meticulous as that of an author just introducing readers to her realm.
For those who do not know, Annie Darling is the owner of the mystery bookstore, Death on Demand. Husband Max is a detective and Annie's cast of friends including the cat, Macavity, often play a role in solving the many mysteries that seem to come Annie's way. Annie and Max do not seek out murders; they are a lovely and loving couple living a lovely life on a mythical sea island in the low country. But in one tragic week, two acts of violence invade the peace of their community of Broward's Rock. First, a beloved doctor is found dead, seeming to have shot himself in a sad suicide. A few days later, a local sculptor is accused of killing his wife with his sculpting mallet. The only sure thing about these deaths is that the victims are truly dead. The incidents are brought to the bookstore door in one case by the Doctor's sister and in the other, by the very fact of Annie and Max feeling the need to investigate further than the "obvious" solution of "the husband did it." In the course of the investigation, Annie and Max must confront the fact that the murders might be related.
Hart never lets her readers down in the character elements of the mystery. No matter how hot the hunt or mind bending the mystery, she finds time to work in the beloved features of the series, Max and Annie's strong loving relationship, little bits and pieces about Macavity the cat, the five paintings that must be named to win copies of the books they depict and Henny, Annie's stalwart customer and friend.
If you like the series, you will love this book. If you have never read the series, but like a real thriller and a mystery where plot and character are equally empowered to entertain the reader, then you might want to start with this one.
Please click here to read an interview with Carolyn Hart.
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