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Design for Murder

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An alternate edition (page count) for this isbn can be found here. Annie is asked to stage a murder for the annual spring house tour sponsored by the Historical Society of Chastain, South Carolina. Her only problem is deciding which fictional murder to stage--until a corpse turns up in the town pond. The second Annie Laurance/Max Darling novel. An alternate edition (page count) for this isbn can be found here. Annie is asked to stage a murder for the annual spring house tour sponsored by the Historical Society of Chastain, South Carolina. Her only problem is deciding which fictional murder to stage--until a corpse turns up in the town pond. The second Annie Laurance/Max Darling novel.


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An alternate edition (page count) for this isbn can be found here. Annie is asked to stage a murder for the annual spring house tour sponsored by the Historical Society of Chastain, South Carolina. Her only problem is deciding which fictional murder to stage--until a corpse turns up in the town pond. The second Annie Laurance/Max Darling novel. An alternate edition (page count) for this isbn can be found here. Annie is asked to stage a murder for the annual spring house tour sponsored by the Historical Society of Chastain, South Carolina. Her only problem is deciding which fictional murder to stage--until a corpse turns up in the town pond. The second Annie Laurance/Max Darling novel.

30 review for Design for Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Bookstore owner Annie Lawrence is thrilled when she is asked to plan a murder mystery for a neighboring town’s event. However, Annie soon finds herself embroiled in a bunch of local politics, hurt, and anger. When that boils over into a real murder, Annie is once again cast as a suspect. With her fiancé, Max, along for the ride, she sets about clearing her name. Can she figure out what happened? Unfortunately, this was a disappointment after the fun series debut. We spend too long with Annie plan Bookstore owner Annie Lawrence is thrilled when she is asked to plan a murder mystery for a neighboring town’s event. However, Annie soon finds herself embroiled in a bunch of local politics, hurt, and anger. When that boils over into a real murder, Annie is once again cast as a suspect. With her fiancé, Max, along for the ride, she sets about clearing her name. Can she figure out what happened? Unfortunately, this was a disappointment after the fun series debut. We spend too long with Annie planning the fictional mystery with multiple ideas discarded before she settles on one. The book and author name dropping is especially tedious here, too. We are meeting suspects and learning motives, so when the body does finally drop, the book picks up. It was still a bit of a struggle to keep the suspects and the parts they played in the fictional murder straight. Even so, the suspects are strong, and both mysteries are wrapped up well. Annie and Max are wonderful main characters, and I definitely enjoyed spending time with them. I’m looking forward to more of their adventures even if this wasn’t quite as good as the first one. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Davie

    Second in the Death on Demand mystery series revolving around the owner of a bookstore by the same name that specializes in mysteries. My Take A righteous murder of a nasty old bitch who terrorized everyone around her…and anyone else she could hurt. It's great fun reading Hart's stories if only for the list of mystery authors, series, and titles she sprinkles throughout the text. I keep stopping to add 'em to my list! The Story That bitch Sylvia enticing Tim into her bed and away from hers! Well, we Second in the Death on Demand mystery series revolving around the owner of a bookstore by the same name that specializes in mysteries. My Take A righteous murder of a nasty old bitch who terrorized everyone around her…and anyone else she could hurt. It's great fun reading Hart's stories if only for the list of mystery authors, series, and titles she sprinkles throughout the text. I keep stopping to add 'em to my list! The Story That bitch Sylvia enticing Tim into her bed and away from hers! Well, we'll see about that! The Prichard Museum simply won't allow Tim's paintings to travel as he has requested. Then the board wants a mystery nights! Well...at least she will have control over who is hired! Then that niece of hers! About to make the biggest mistake of her life. Annie almost refused to create the mystery nights for Corinne Prichard Webster — the woman was so incredibly obnoxious. She's just lucky that the challenge was enough to overcome her attitude as Annie bubbles into plans trying to winnow down the possibilities. It certainly is a challenge creating a Mystery Nights that plays up the house-and-garden tour for Chastain, and Annie has created one plot already when the fax comes through, changing everything only for Annie to discover the sabotage. The Characters Annie Laurence is the owner of Death on Demand, a bookstore specializing in mysteries, on Broward's Rock in South Carolina. Ingrid is Annie's assistant in the shop. Max Darling is a wealthy lawyer who has been after Annie to marry him. He's followed her here and is determinedly setting siege. Barbie is his secretary. Corinne Prichard Webster sees herself as the queen of Chastain society, believing that she is the only arbiter of how any one may live their lives. And as the leader of the Board, she has the power. Gail Prichard is her niece and "about to throw her life away" just like her father. Other Board members include… …Lucy, a woman whom Corinne manipulated into not marrying her brother Cameron; Roscoe Merrill, a lawyer, and his wife Jessica; Dr. John Sanford; Miss Dora, an ancient upright bitch; and, the very flamboyant Sybil. Mrs. Brawley is a mystery reading fanatic willing to do anything to win. Idell Gordon is the innkeeper who saw and wanted too much. Bobby Frazier is the very careful reporter attempting to throw dust in everyone's eyes to hide his attraction. The Cover and Title The cover is murder with Poe's raven, a skull weeping on the side of a glass, and a red dagger lying on the wicker table as Agatha the cat looks on from a background of shelves and shelves of books. The title, Design for Murder, refers to the Mystery Nights designed by Annie.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    I really think this one was the weakest of her books that I have read. Nothing happened until halfway through the book. She got too caught up in little descriptions about the gardens and people's clothing and it it took awhile to get into it. I am really glad that I have already read others by her so I know that they are not always so slow. If this had been the first by her that I had picked up I likely would not have read anymore of hers which would have been sad since I have enjoyed most of he I really think this one was the weakest of her books that I have read. Nothing happened until halfway through the book. She got too caught up in little descriptions about the gardens and people's clothing and it it took awhile to get into it. I am really glad that I have already read others by her so I know that they are not always so slow. If this had been the first by her that I had picked up I likely would not have read anymore of hers which would have been sad since I have enjoyed most of her books.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    Digital audiobook read by Kate Reading. Book # 2 in the Death on Demand series, featuring mystery bookstore owner Annie Laurance. Annie’s been invited to stage a Mystery Night for the annual antebellum house tour of the Historical Preservation Society in Chastain, South Carolina. But there is some personal drama going on among the board members and Annie is used to embarrass the grande dame of the group. Annie and her fiancé Max have just about cleared her name in that kerfuffle when she finds a Digital audiobook read by Kate Reading. Book # 2 in the Death on Demand series, featuring mystery bookstore owner Annie Laurance. Annie’s been invited to stage a Mystery Night for the annual antebellum house tour of the Historical Preservation Society in Chastain, South Carolina. But there is some personal drama going on among the board members and Annie is used to embarrass the grande dame of the group. Annie and her fiancé Max have just about cleared her name in that kerfuffle when she finds a body on the grounds of the estate. The weapon is one of the props Annie brought along for the game and suddenly she’s the number one suspect. Hart writes a fast-paced cozy mystery with a great central cast of characters and a wonderful premise. I love the mystery bookstore, though I did get a little irritated by how often an author / book was mentioned. I very much liked the Mystery Night puzzle going on at the same time that a real murder was being investigated, though I sometimes got confused about which “clues” referred to the game vs the actual crime. I didn’t have a copy of the text handy when I was listening; I’m sure I’d have had a easier time keeping it straight in text rather than audio. Kate Reading does a marvelous job reading the audiobook. She’s a talented voice artist and was able to differentiate the many characters. For a short while I was listening at double speed and her diction was still clear and understandable.

  5. 5 out of 5

    C.

    After collecting oodles of Carolyn G. Hart novels, I have tried two. An island setting and whimsically thematic bookshop are intriguing but Annie needs to stop ogling it. "Design For Murder" was tedious for 43 pages. Max protested Annie's brainstorming of famous titles for a mystery project. I dislike arguments and even banter. It was a refreshing surprise and relief to leave the shop altogether. I enjoy detail where it belongs: describing trees, flowers, homes. It was a neat premise to create a After collecting oodles of Carolyn G. Hart novels, I have tried two. An island setting and whimsically thematic bookshop are intriguing but Annie needs to stop ogling it. "Design For Murder" was tedious for 43 pages. Max protested Annie's brainstorming of famous titles for a mystery project. I dislike arguments and even banter. It was a refreshing surprise and relief to leave the shop altogether. I enjoy detail where it belongs: describing trees, flowers, homes. It was a neat premise to create a public mystery as a fundraiser but a cliché that after a board member died, police stupidly blamed Annie. She had never seen those people nor their island. Great suspect-profiling, moron. The lamest topic was actually hanging drama over Annie's resistance to Max's parents providing a lavish wedding! I don't care! I frankly found this couple's nitpicking interaction such a turnoff that I wished they would cut it out or break up. More and more, I lose taste for the superficiality of the "cozy" type of novel. Attempting comedy, mentioning physical gestures and attributes instead of emotions is grating, because mysteries need to move along their plots. I don't need to know that Annie stretched. Just spit out what you would like characters to say! It is no compliment that I was grateful to reach one-hundred pages and at last saw progress of interest. I enjoyed the combination of Annie going to impressive lengths setting-up her fundraiser, which was excellent and investigating a real case after hours. Both mysteries lent clandestine night-time atmospheres that became enthralling. A little earlier, Annie's eruptive introduction to the historical society gifted me with amusement because her "Will you get a load of them?" reaction struck me as uproariously funny. I continue to suspect I will begin liking this series beyond three stars.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jazz

    Perhaps it was the edition I had (the type was very small), but I struggled to finish this. Too many characters, too many red herrings, too much distraction with descriptions and the interweaving of the "murder game" at the house tour. You know early on who the victim will be, you just keep waiting for it to happen. On the plus side, I loved the humor and some of the characters. And the many references to classic mystery novels is so much fun. It reminds me of how well-read Carolyn Hart is in th Perhaps it was the edition I had (the type was very small), but I struggled to finish this. Too many characters, too many red herrings, too much distraction with descriptions and the interweaving of the "murder game" at the house tour. You know early on who the victim will be, you just keep waiting for it to happen. On the plus side, I loved the humor and some of the characters. And the many references to classic mystery novels is so much fun. It reminds me of how well-read Carolyn Hart is in the mystery genre and how much I need to keep reading Golden Age Mysteries. I'll bet she would write a better book if she could do it over now. I look forward to some of the other books in this series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    So disappointing. I didn't enjoy this book at all, and only pushed through to finish it because I've already given up on one book this week. First of all, the name dropping in this book was annoying and distracting. It felt as if Hart was more interested in making sure her readers knew just how many mystery books she was aware of than actually writing her own novel. Secondly, it was halfway through the book before the actual murder took place. It wasn't all that exciting. Thirdly, this may sound So disappointing. I didn't enjoy this book at all, and only pushed through to finish it because I've already given up on one book this week. First of all, the name dropping in this book was annoying and distracting. It felt as if Hart was more interested in making sure her readers knew just how many mystery books she was aware of than actually writing her own novel. Secondly, it was halfway through the book before the actual murder took place. It wasn't all that exciting. Thirdly, this may sound odd, but all of the characters felt like they were caricatures of personalities rather than actual characters. I felt as if I was reading the mechanics of writing rather than a story itself.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    "It was finished, as neat a design for murder as could be envisioned. Murder with malice." Audio book. It wasn't a bad cozy mystery - I enjoyed the humor and personality of Annie. She's a very fiery owner of a book store called Death On Demand. She is asked to host a big murder mystery for nearby small town. The town is full of small town gossip and rumors and drama, something Annie walks into but doesn't full know about - because she's an outsider, which is something a lot of the locals like to "It was finished, as neat a design for murder as could be envisioned. Murder with malice." Audio book. It wasn't a bad cozy mystery - I enjoyed the humor and personality of Annie. She's a very fiery owner of a book store called Death On Demand. She is asked to host a big murder mystery for nearby small town. The town is full of small town gossip and rumors and drama, something Annie walks into but doesn't full know about - because she's an outsider, which is something a lot of the locals like to remind her. When setting up for her murder mystery by placing the weapon and fake body, an actual dead body is found. It's the local busy body - horrible, pushy, nasty woman. And many of the locals have reason to want her dead. But the local bumbling detective doesn't want to look beyond the 2 out-of-town visitors - Annie and another gentleman. So Annie must figure out who the killer is just to clear her own name. It was an silly mystery but I loved the prep of the actual murder mystery party. I also enjoyed the banter with Max and how silly Annie could be. it was cute, light and fun.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    1/28/18 $1.99 for Kindle.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jill Tool

    The Death on Demand Series of books are just fun to read. Most of the time it's pretty easy to figure out whodunit, but it's so nice to go back and visit Annie and Max at Annie's little book store, Death on Demand. Annie keeps telling herself that she won't get involved in help solving the murder of one of the Historical Society of Chastain, South Carolina. However, the first half of the book, is just a typical week in the life of Annie, the murder didn't happen until about half way, and then af The Death on Demand Series of books are just fun to read. Most of the time it's pretty easy to figure out whodunit, but it's so nice to go back and visit Annie and Max at Annie's little book store, Death on Demand. Annie keeps telling herself that she won't get involved in help solving the murder of one of the Historical Society of Chastain, South Carolina. However, the first half of the book, is just a typical week in the life of Annie, the murder didn't happen until about half way, and then after that there didn't seem to be a lot of investigating like Annie usually does in the series. However, it is a nice read that you can just sit back and enjoy without it weighing on your mind.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Miss Trixie

    It seems like 75% of this is a bibliography of mystery novels, which, in moderation, may be a fun and reasonable filler for a series centered around a mystery bookstore owner but the author goes overboard. Are all the entries in this series so heavy on lists of authors and titles? The victim is obvious from page one although the murder does not occur til halfway through the story. The muderer isn't much of a surprise either. Didn't make me want to read any more of this series. It seems like 75% of this is a bibliography of mystery novels, which, in moderation, may be a fun and reasonable filler for a series centered around a mystery bookstore owner but the author goes overboard. Are all the entries in this series so heavy on lists of authors and titles? The victim is obvious from page one although the murder does not occur til halfway through the story. The muderer isn't much of a surprise either. Didn't make me want to read any more of this series.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Interesting series, well narrated, clean and recommended!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chanel Sharp

    It was a great read. Good to see the same characters again;and meet some new ones. Mom had never really understood what a mystery night was, so it was very cool getting to figure that out, and get to watch one in action. It was also cool watching three, yes 3, mysteries take place at once. The first being the paintings, which had appeared in the other book, the second the Mystery Night mystery, and third the actual mystery. It truly was a very fun ride and mom was very happy out the end when Ann It was a great read. Good to see the same characters again;and meet some new ones. Mom had never really understood what a mystery night was, so it was very cool getting to figure that out, and get to watch one in action. It was also cool watching three, yes 3, mysteries take place at once. The first being the paintings, which had appeared in the other book, the second the Mystery Night mystery, and third the actual mystery. It truly was a very fun ride and mom was very happy out the end when Annie figured it out. Can’t wait to read the next one.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carolynn

    I really like this series. It's got the old-time feel to it: a husband-wife team (in feel, if not in actuality, at least not yet), a relatively sanitized murder (or murders), and the old time feel to it--a gentleness that isn't present in a lot of current fiction. And, I got well over a page of authors' names and series written down to revisit when I have the time (sigh). That may not be such a blessing, as I already have hundreds on that list! Still, it's a good series, with lots of description I really like this series. It's got the old-time feel to it: a husband-wife team (in feel, if not in actuality, at least not yet), a relatively sanitized murder (or murders), and the old time feel to it--a gentleness that isn't present in a lot of current fiction. And, I got well over a page of authors' names and series written down to revisit when I have the time (sigh). That may not be such a blessing, as I already have hundreds on that list! Still, it's a good series, with lots of description of place and character delineation, so you can just see the people before you, like watching a movie. In this story, Max has been asked to devise and run a murder weekend at a spring festival in a near-by town, and she's ecstatic. But her joy is soon tempered by the narrow, controlling hand of one of the board members, and things go quickly downhill. Then murder is committed, and Max is marked as a prime suspect. Since the police don't seem to want to bother to find the real culprit, Max feels she'd better do it herself, or else. And she begins to discover there are many, many other candidates for the position of "first murderer." The victim was not well liked, no not at all. In fact, most everyone breathed a sigh of relief to learn she was gone. So now Max needs to eliminate possibilities as quickly as can be. Before more murders occur? I certainly recommend this book, especially to those who like a good, old-fashioned style mystery, and not too many clues to "whodunnit" before the major disclosure. I feel this book delivers in fine style. Thank you, Ms. Hart!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Book two in the Death on Demand series was lots of fun. I am still enjoying the series. The second book wasn't quite as good as the first one, because Annie and Max were off their island to deal with a bunch of snooty rich folks who also happened to be murderous. I really love the interplay between Annie and Max, and I love that Annie is smart and confident and doesn't take anyone's nonsense. In this book, she came across as a bit obnoxious and shrill, but to be fair, the rich people she was creat Book two in the Death on Demand series was lots of fun. I am still enjoying the series. The second book wasn't quite as good as the first one, because Annie and Max were off their island to deal with a bunch of snooty rich folks who also happened to be murderous. I really love the interplay between Annie and Max, and I love that Annie is smart and confident and doesn't take anyone's nonsense. In this book, she came across as a bit obnoxious and shrill, but to be fair, the rich people she was creating a murder mystery evening for were pretty obnoxious so I suppose it would have been difficult for anyone to be serene, but she still seemed closer to the snippy side of the line than the cleverly witty side. I decided to forgive her for it, given the provocation. Overall, the clever writing, snappy repartee, and well conceived murder story held my attention all the way through, and I will read future books in this series, with the hope that Annie can chill out a little when she gets back to her island and her bookstore, even if there's more murder in her future.

  16. 5 out of 5

    L.K. Scott

    I love Death on Demand. Annie and Max are realistic characters and Hart's prose is simple, witty, and brimming with beautiful imagery. This particular novel was my least favorite so far, and although I enjoyed it, I had higher expectations. I probably spoiled it for myself by reading some of her other Death on Demand books first. Personally, it'll be tough to top my favorites in the series like the Christie Capers, Dare to Die, and Death of a Party. Or maybe it's simply my taste in genres has ch I love Death on Demand. Annie and Max are realistic characters and Hart's prose is simple, witty, and brimming with beautiful imagery. This particular novel was my least favorite so far, and although I enjoyed it, I had higher expectations. I probably spoiled it for myself by reading some of her other Death on Demand books first. Personally, it'll be tough to top my favorites in the series like the Christie Capers, Dare to Die, and Death of a Party. Or maybe it's simply my taste in genres has changed. I've been more into gritty novels like horror lately. In any case, I'm still looking forward to reading the next book in the series when I'm ready to curl up with a nice cozy mystery.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Babette

    I started this book last evening, looking for a quick and entertaining read. I just finished it (I am off from work in honor of President's Day). This is not a series with spectacular writing or unusually clever plots, but the main characters are very appealing and I especially enjoy all the mystery name-dropping that goes on in each book. I have 54 names of authors, titles and characters to look up. Those are the ones mentioned in this book that I don't already know about. I have found a series I started this book last evening, looking for a quick and entertaining read. I just finished it (I am off from work in honor of President's Day). This is not a series with spectacular writing or unusually clever plots, but the main characters are very appealing and I especially enjoy all the mystery name-dropping that goes on in each book. I have 54 names of authors, titles and characters to look up. Those are the ones mentioned in this book that I don't already know about. I have found a series I probably will read in its entirety.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This second book in the series really rates 2.5 stars for me. Annie Laurence is hired to put on a Mystery Night for the Chastain HIstorical Society and a real murder occurs that places "outsider" Annie square in the sights of the detective investigating the murder of a Society board member who seemed to universally disliked by all. I found the part of the storyline that dwelt on solving the mystery night murder very distracting and confusing, and that I could not care less who the Sticky Wicket This second book in the series really rates 2.5 stars for me. Annie Laurence is hired to put on a Mystery Night for the Chastain HIstorical Society and a real murder occurs that places "outsider" Annie square in the sights of the detective investigating the murder of a Society board member who seemed to universally disliked by all. I found the part of the storyline that dwelt on solving the mystery night murder very distracting and confusing, and that I could not care less who the Sticky Wicket murderer was. The first book in the series was a better one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    SpoonieReads

    I always enjoy the relationship between Annie and Max, and the interesting cast of characters that Carolyn Hart creates. The murderer wasn't hard to guess in this book. I found a couple of the characters seemed more like caricatures too. Maybe not the best book in the series, but a nice way to pass a rainy evening or two. I always enjoy the relationship between Annie and Max, and the interesting cast of characters that Carolyn Hart creates. The murderer wasn't hard to guess in this book. I found a couple of the characters seemed more like caricatures too. Maybe not the best book in the series, but a nice way to pass a rainy evening or two.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    I really liked the first book so was very eager for the second. Once the action got going it was really good as well but it took FOREVER to get the action going. You knew who going to get murdered within three chapters but it just kept going on and on and nothing. Still moving onto book 3 though :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Erth

    now i am hooked. This was such a great, easy and creative book. i was hooked after the first page. The characters were easy to fall in love with and follow, along with the story. the author made the mental visions so easy and vivid of the surroundings and the characters actions felt so real. i would highly recommend this author and this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    Not sure why, but this one dragged a lot more than the first one in the series. Maybe because it was almost half-way through before the body actually turned up.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    This is the second book in the series. Annie has decided to marry Max, but they are arguing about where and how the wedding should take place. Annie is called to put on a mystery week in a small town. The women who hires her is not happy, but hired her because the board of Historical Society of Chastain wants to use the mystery to make money. Chastain is a small city that is run by a small group of snobby, elite. Annie has threaten to kill the organizer in jest, but when she if found dead, Annie This is the second book in the series. Annie has decided to marry Max, but they are arguing about where and how the wedding should take place. Annie is called to put on a mystery week in a small town. The women who hires her is not happy, but hired her because the board of Historical Society of Chastain wants to use the mystery to make money. Chastain is a small city that is run by a small group of snobby, elite. Annie has threaten to kill the organizer in jest, but when she if found dead, Annie is who the police chief thinks is guilty. Many people disliked the organizer. I like these books because the main character runs a mystery book store and points out similarities to many mystery books.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cooper

    From reading other reviews, it seems I picked up the weakest of the series. Which I'm glad to know. This mystery took forever to get going. It felt like the author just vomited up every single mystery novel and author she could think of...if it was to impress the reader, all it did for this reader was make me roll my eyes...hard. There's nothing I love more than a mystery that revolves around a mystery weekend. Unfortunately, Design took forever to get going, the murder was incredibly predictable From reading other reviews, it seems I picked up the weakest of the series. Which I'm glad to know. This mystery took forever to get going. It felt like the author just vomited up every single mystery novel and author she could think of...if it was to impress the reader, all it did for this reader was make me roll my eyes...hard. There's nothing I love more than a mystery that revolves around a mystery weekend. Unfortunately, Design took forever to get going, the murder was incredibly predictable, and the ending was just ho-hum. About half way through I just skipped to the last 50 pages to see how it wrapped up. The plot was interesting, but the characters were flat and interchangeable. I may give another one in the series a try.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Z

    A fun read This was a nice second in the series. I enjoyed the mystery, and thought the writing was good. The only thing that really bugs me is the ongoing reference to other novels. Sometimes it is great, as in, “bland as Lord Peter Wimsey’s” but more than occasionally, the author will just list books as comparison.. “so and so’s, famous title here..” While this does have the benefit of giving me some fond memories as well as recommendations for new books, I found it terribly disruptive... some A fun read This was a nice second in the series. I enjoyed the mystery, and thought the writing was good. The only thing that really bugs me is the ongoing reference to other novels. Sometimes it is great, as in, “bland as Lord Peter Wimsey’s” but more than occasionally, the author will just list books as comparison.. “so and so’s, famous title here..” While this does have the benefit of giving me some fond memories as well as recommendations for new books, I found it terribly disruptive... some of those lists were long!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    I adored the idea of the murder mystery weekend, and the clashing characters were amusing. There's ample humor, as much as the first, maybe more. The main character's temper is as strong and fiery, but she doesn't get on my nerves in this one, which is good. Some of the switches to Max's point of view weren't needed, but he's a suitable love interest/boyfriend. The culprit ending was well done. I have no idea why it took so long to read this one, something about it - while I can't find flaws by I adored the idea of the murder mystery weekend, and the clashing characters were amusing. There's ample humor, as much as the first, maybe more. The main character's temper is as strong and fiery, but she doesn't get on my nerves in this one, which is good. Some of the switches to Max's point of view weren't needed, but he's a suitable love interest/boyfriend. The culprit ending was well done. I have no idea why it took so long to read this one, something about it - while I can't find flaws by itself - just wasn't grabbing my attention for long periods.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Fischman

    The Death on Demand series is a specialized taste. You have to enjoy mysteries as a genre, and if you do, you'll find Annie Laurance's name-dropping, her relationship with millionaire Max Darling, and the way the plot of this book refers back to the plots of other, classic cozy mysteries a delight. This particular book doubles down, because the investigation of a "real-life mystery" takes place in the context of a staged mystery weekend. If that's your cup of tea (or sherry), you'll savor it. If The Death on Demand series is a specialized taste. You have to enjoy mysteries as a genre, and if you do, you'll find Annie Laurance's name-dropping, her relationship with millionaire Max Darling, and the way the plot of this book refers back to the plots of other, classic cozy mysteries a delight. This particular book doubles down, because the investigation of a "real-life mystery" takes place in the context of a staged mystery weekend. If that's your cup of tea (or sherry), you'll savor it. If not, you may find it a bore.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Libraryassistant

    There are a lot of things fun about this, especially planning and play out of the mystery night. Oh, and all the fun references to other famous mysteries, including a few I haven’t read but now put on my list. My biggest quibble is that Annie is kinda hard to like in this one— painfully stubborn and so often ready to explode...not really certain why the smooth, gorgeous Max puts up with it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    I really felt the sub-story of a murder mystery event bogged the overall plot down. With it being written about in detail, even though it had nothing to do with the real murders, it complicated everything by making most of the people have two identities. Sometimes they were referred to by their real names and sometimes by their character's name. I really felt the sub-story of a murder mystery event bogged the overall plot down. With it being written about in detail, even though it had nothing to do with the real murders, it complicated everything by making most of the people have two identities. Sometimes they were referred to by their real names and sometimes by their character's name.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marti

    Reasonably well-written cozy. Quite a few cliches, however. Basic premise is that a mystery bookstore owner has been asked by a Charleston area small town to come up with a murder mystery to be solved by teams during a spring town festival.

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