by Lorie Lewis Ham
This week we have a review of Carolyn Hart’s latest Death On Demand mystery novel Death Comes Silently, a behind the book interview with her, and at the end of this post are details on how to enter to win a copy of this book.
Death Comes Silently by Carolyn Hart
I have been a fan of Carolyn Hart’s Death On Demand mystery series ever since the first book and was excited when I received the latest one, Death Comes Silently.
Annie Lawrence Darling owns a mystery bookstore called Death On Demand and this setting is one of the things I love about this series. When I read one of these books I can imagine myself in this wonderful bookstore surrounded by great mystery books, the coffee nook where I can get a cup of coffee while I’m there, Agatha the big black bookstore cat, and I can take a moment and try to win the monthly contest where Annie puts up book covers on the wall and the patrons have to figure out what books they go with. I also enjoy recognizing author names as she mentions books in her store.
Through the years, I’ve gotten to know the characters in these books and reading one is like returning home. There’s the eccentric mystery author Emma Clyde, there’s Annie’s friend Henny who makes me think a lot of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Annie’s flighty mother in law Laurel who can be hard for Annie to deal with, but at other times can be great help. The best characters though are Annie and her husband Max. Max has a consulting firm where he helps people with their problems, but insists that he is not a P.I. Annie and Max make me think a lot of Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man movies—they are charming, funny and very much in love.
In Death Comes Silently Annie asks a fellow volunteer, Gretchen Burkholt, to cover for her at a local charity because she needs to be at the store for Emma’s latest book signing. Annie gets a frantic call from Gretchen saying she’s afraid of the handyman, but also informing Annie of a scandal over the death of a local wealthy citizen. The volunteer is known for over reacting so Annie ignores it and goes on with the event, but is shocked to find the volunteer has been murdered. Feeling guilty and being her normal curious self, Annie sets out to find the real killer, as Henny is determined it was not the handyman.
Annie attempts to uncover the family scandal that she feels is at the real root of the murder, only to find there’s more skeletons in their closet than she ever bargained for and to end up being a target of the murderer herself.
If you have never read one of Carolyn Hart’s Death On Demand books head on out and find them now. You can start at any point in the series, but it’s fun to start at the beginning and watch Annie and Max’s relationship blossom and grow. These books are charming, fun, funny, clever and kind of like comfort food without the calories, but instead with a great mystery!
Behind The Book Interview With Carolyn Hart:
Lorie: How did you come up with the idea for this book?
Carolyn: I was intrigued by what might happen if a volunteer at a charity found a suggestive note in the pocket of clothes donated by a family after a recent death. I am always a what if…writer. What if the note was written by a man who presumably drowned in an accident? Why would a non-athletic man take a kayak out on choppy water on a late winter evening? What shocking discovery did he make on the last day of his life?
Lorie: What kind of research did you do?
Carolyn: I needed to know about personal flotation devices, hypothermia and water temperatures in January.
Lorie: What’s up next for the Darlings?
Carolyn: I am two-thirds through Dance With Death. A reckless young woman burns her bridges at a Fourth of July dance. She is last seen walking on an oyster shell path as fireworks burst overhead. Where did she go? And who saw what happened?
Lorie: Anything else new for you coming up?
Carolyn: Some of my long ago books are being reprinted. Escaped From Paris is available for the first time it its original form instead of a short version printed in 1982. Also out now is Rendezvous In Veracruz and coming soon is another WWII novel, Brave Hearts.
Absolutely new this fall will be a suspense novel, What The Cat Saw. After the death of her fiancé in Afghanistan, Nela Farley has an uncanny ability to understand what cats think. She dismisses this aberration until she sees a clear warning in the eyes of a cat and knows that danger lies ahead.
Lorie: What is one thing your readers would be surprised to learn about you?
Carolyn: I love baseball. The Rangers are my favorite team. My favorite all-time player is Michael Young, a great athlete and a generous, mature, and wholly admirable man.
Check out KRL’s review of the previous Death On Demand book Dead By Midnight.
To enter to win a copy of Death Comes Silenty, simply email KRL at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Silently”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 28, 2012. U.S. residents only.