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DEATH OF THE PARTY:


A Death on Demand Series Mystery
By Carolyn Hart

Avon, 2005
Paperback ($6.99)
ISBN:13: 978-0-06-000477-4
ISBN:10: 0-06-000477-0

Reviewed by Shirley H. Wetzel

Britt Barlow knew her brother-in-law had been murdered when she found the wire stretched across the top of the marble staircase, but for reasons of her own she covered up the crime.More than a year later a potential blackmailer crawls out of the woodwork, and she knows she must fess up and find out who the murderer was rather than submit to his demands.She enlists Max Darling to use his investigative skills to do so, and he and wife Annie soon find themselves on the secluded sea island of Golden Silk, more or less marooned for the weekend with a cast of characters that includes a killer.

After Jeremiah Addison died, Britt's sister Cissy inherited the family estate.Cissy, who was terminally ill, died soon after, leaving the island, with a stately plantation house and several cottages, to Britt.She has turned the property into an elegant bed and breakfast where the rich and camera-shy can hide out and relax with no interruptions from the outside world.This weekend the guests are all linked by a common thread:they were all related to Jeremiah, by blood or other ties, and his death benefited them in some way.Their stay on the island is anything but relaxing, as petty pilfering escalates to violence, and nobody knows who to trust.

In the tradition of an Agatha Christie country house mystery, each person present has some reason for wanting Jeremiah Addison dead, and everyone has a secret. The house party is completely cut off from the outside world, and the innocent have to rely on their own resources to stay alive until help comes. I did kind of figure out who the killer was early on, but there were enough twists and turns that I wasn't sure.Fans of the Death on Demand series will enjoy the latest adventures of Max and Annie Darling.

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