Don’t Go Home By Carolyn Hart: Review/Behind the Book Interview

May 16, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

This week we have a review of Don’t Go Home, the latest Death on Demand book by Carolyn Hart. We also have a fun behind the book interview with Carolyn. Details on how to win a copy of the book at the end of this post along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy.

Don’t Go Home By Carolyn Hart
Review by Sandra Murphy

Annie Darling is pretty much on her own for a while. Max is on a fishing trip, mulling over the possible closure of his quasi-business, Confidential Commissions. Laurel, Henny and Emma are gone too, although still texting Annie. Ingrid is stuck behind the register at Death on Demand as customers are lined up to buy books, a very good thing.

Annie’s busy with an unexpected but welcome special event. Former Broward Rock resident, Alex Griffith is in town to promote his book and drop a bombshell or two. The first book was a runaway best seller but sales have dwindled and book two is still in the early stages–and dull. Now he’s got an idea for another blockbuster–he’ll reveal who the original characters were based on, real residents of the island. You just know that’s not going to go well. No one wants their secrets told, especially for someone else’s gain. After so many years of feeling safe, just knowing Alex is back is enough to send more than one “character” into panic mode. book

Rae, Alex’s wife, comes to Annie for help with a last minute gala book signing and announcement. Annie’s thrilled to have such a writer connected to her store–until Ingrid tells what she suspects is the real reason. Annie can’t stomach being part of someone’s pain and pulls her support from the project. Since it’s so last minute she stops by the hotel to explain to Alex and ask him not to go on with the tell-all.

Rae is with her as they go to his room to find out why he’s late for the big announcement. It seems he won’t tell any secrets ever again. He’s dead and in the nick of time as far as many are concerned. The next question is, did he start the book and have notes or a partial manuscript that must be found?

Annie promised Max that she would stop investigating crime. After her close call in a previous adventure, it was too nerve wracking for Max to think about. Really, she can’t get involved in this one. On the other hand, her book store was the host for the event, at least until the last minute.

There are a number of suspects so it shouldn’t hurt to just ask a few questions. Billy’s focused on the widow as the culprit, but Annie’s sure he’s wrong. In Alex’s book, there was a car accident that caused a death, a woman scorned, and a devoted father who doesn’t know the child is not really his, a suicide, an affair and more. Where to start and who to fear?

This was advertised as the last book in the series. Fortunately, it seems that has changed. Fans of Annie and Max should see more of their love, life and adventures in future books. I missed Max, Laurel, Henny and Emma. Max is an ideal husband, Laurel an interesting, never dull, mother-in-law, Henny the best customer and friend Annie could ask for and Emma, well, she’s unique! An author herself, she’s more than a little intimidating. Annie’s great on her own but I’ll be glad to see the rest of the gang again. As always, Annie has the water color paintings for a contest for her customers and they’re one mystery I never solve.

Don’t Go Home is another well-written tale in the series with suspense, clues and motives throughout. Be sure to read them all because it’s surprising how much trouble a book seller can get into!

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her new one Bananas Foster. Sandy’s latest short story “The Tater Tot Caper” is one of eleven stories in The Killer Wore Cranberry: Fourths of Mayhem. The annual Thanksgiving anthology has eleven stories and this year, includes recipes. And it’s on sale! Available in all e-versions and in print.

Behind the Book Interview with Carolyn Hart

KRL: I understand this was originally the final Death on Demand book. What changed your mind?

Carolyn: I just couldn’t say goodbye to Annie and Max and the island and all the wonderful people who live there. They have been a part of my life since 1985 when I wrote Death on Demand (pub in 1987). That’s a long time.

KRL: How many have there been?

Carolyn:Don’t Go Home is the 25th in the series.

KRL: Did you have an idea in your head when you started the series how long you wanted it to go, or any specific things you wanted to see happen to the characters?


Carolyn Hart

Carolyn: None at all. I didn’t even know it would be a series. The editor, Kate Miciak, asked, “This is the first in a series, isn’t it?” I said, “Of course.”

KRL: How did you first come up with the idea for this series?

Carolyn: In 1985 after visiting Murder by the Book in Houston, Texas.

KRL: How do you feel the characters have grown over the years?

Carolyn: Annie has mellowed and Max is a bit more serious. But not too serious.

KRL: How did you come up with the plot for this one?

Carolyn: I thought about how authors draw on the lives of people they’ve known for books and how this could cause heartbreak in some instances.

KRL: Do you know what the plot will be next for Death on Demand?

Carolyn: No.

KRL: And will that one be the last one then?

Carolyn: I hope not.

KRL: What is next for you writing wise?

Carolyn: I’m writing Ghost Times Two. Bailey Ruth returns to persuade a lovelorn ghost to climb the golden stairs to heaven but he won’t leave until the woman he loves is safe.

KRL: Anything else you would like to add?

Carolyn: My thanks to each and every reader. You make it possible for me to be a writer and that is a very great gift.

Learn more about Carolyn and her books on her website.

To enter to win a copy of Don’t Go Home simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Home,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 23, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Use this link to purchase a copy of the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore:


  1. I’ve been reading the work of the amazing Carolyn Hart for decades—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of her latest offering!

  2. I’m very happy to see this won’t be the end of the series. I always enjoy my reading visits to Broward Rock.

  3. WOW! Carolyn’s newest book – YES!!!!!

  4. I’ve read a few of the books in this series. would love to get back into it with this book.
    thanks for the chance

  5. Such a lovely review! I’m thrilled that Carolyn is continuing this delightful series!

  6. I love this series. I never figure the riddle of the paintings, either.

  7. I’ve always enjoyed Carolyn’s books!

  8. Love Carolyn Hart and love that series! So glad it’s not over.

  9. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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