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Dare to Die (Death on Demand) Mass Market Paperback – March 30, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Agatha-winner Hart's winning 19th Death on Demand mystery set in Broward's Rock, S.C. (after 2008's Death Walked In), Annie Darling and her PI husband, Max, invite Iris Tilford, a troubled young woman who used to live in the island community and has recently returned, to a party they're giving at the Broward's Rock pavilion. The party ends in tragedy with Annie and Max's discovery of Iris's strangled body on a path in the surrounding pine woods. Annie promises police chief Billy Cameron she won't meddle in the investigation, but when the killer targets her and Max, she breaks her vow. The plot neatly builds to an exciting climax in the Agatha Christie tradition, with all the suspects gathered near the scene of the crime, each with a strong motive for murder. Hart assembles her usual distinctive supporting cast, including wacky celebrity mystery writer Emma Clyde. Readers will enjoy the many allusions to actual mystery authors and their books, from the classic to the contemporary. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Intrepid duo Annie and Max Darling return for their nineteenth adventure in the Death on Demand series. Annie owns a mystery bookstore in Broward’s Rock, one of the idyllic South Carolina Sea Islands. This time Annie leaves her bookstore in the meddling hands of her mother-in-law and steps in to help her friends Ingrid and Duane Webb by taking care of their motel. One of the motel’s new residents is a lonely and troubled young woman named Iris, who had disappeared from Broward’s Rock more than 10 years earlier, following the tragic deaths of two of her high-school friends. Annie invites Iris to a party that happens to include some other old friends. By the time the evening is over, Iris is brutally murdered, and the best suspects are some of those very same old classmates. The Darlings vow not to get involved, but soon their own lives are in danger, and the body count escalates. As usual, the intricate interrelationships among the characters hold the solution to the mystery. Another strong entry in this popular series. --Judy Coon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Death on Demand (Book 19)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061453056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061453052
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

If you love Topper and Blithe Spirit, celebrate Christmas with It's a Wonderful Life, and live to laugh, please join the Late Bailey Ruth Raeburn, Heaven's irrepressible sleuth, on the Rescue Express October 1 In GHOST GONE WILD. Bailey Ruth returns to earth to help a scruffy but lovable 20-something-video-game inventor who has lots of money and just as many enemies. Bailey Ruth foils a shooting, but discovers her Heavenly supervisor has no idea she's on earth and this time she may never make it back to Heaven!

DEAD, WHITE AND BLUE is the 23rd in the Death on Demand series. Annie Darling insists a woman can't disappear without a trace but a sultry siren walks into the pines on the Fourth of July and no one has seen her since.

For more about Carolyn's books and comments, please visit her website at www.CarolynHart.com

Carolyn writes the Death on Demand series set in a mystery bookstore on a South Carolina sea island and the Bailey Ruth Raeburn series featuring a lively redheaded ghost.

Carolyn is also the author of several WWII novels, including ESCAPE FROM PARIS which is mewly available this month from Seventh Street Books. Escape from Paris is the story of two sisters who defy the Gestapo to help British fliers avoid capture.

In Ghost at Work, Bailey Ruth returns to earth to help someone in trouble. She moves a body, investigates a murder, saves a marriage, prevents a suicide, and--in a fiery finale--rescues a child who knows too much. In Merry, Merry Ghost, Bailey Ruth protects a little boy from danger. In Ghost in Trouble, Bailey Ruth tries to corral a wilful woman determined to play hunt-the-killer. Ghost Gone Wild puts Bailey Ruth at risk of never returning to Heaven.

Letter from Home, a WWII novel set on the home front, received the Agatha Award for Best Mystery of 2003. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers. Thirteen-year-old Gretchen Gilman is working for the small-town newspaper during the hot summer of 1944. Murder occurs on the street where she lives, forever changing her life and the lives of those involved.

Hart was one of 10 mystery authors featured at the National Book Festival on the Mall in Washington, DC, in 2003 for Letter from Home and again in 2007 for Set Sail for Murder, 7th in the Henrie O series. In Set Sail for Murder (new in paperback March 2008), Henrie O joins a troubled family on a Baltic cruise and death is an unwelcome passenger.

Hart has been nominated 9 times for the Agatha Award for Best Novel and has won 3 times. In 2007 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Malice Domestic. She will be the International Guest of Honor at Bloody Words in Toronto on June 6-8, 2008.

Hart is a native of Oklahoma City, a journalism graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and a former president of Sisters in Crime. She is also a member of Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers, and American Crime Writers League.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Karen Potts on April 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Annie Darling, the proprietor of the mystery bookstore, Death on Demand, lives with her husband Max on Broward's Rock, an island off the coast of South Carolina. Iris, a young woman who grew up on the island, returns to probe a mystery concerning her friend Jocelyn, whose death was ruled a suicide many years ago. Iris feels that the death was actually a murder perpetrated by one of their mutual friends. Annie and her husand Max begin to investigate the death of Jocelyn and to interrogate the friends who might have been responsible for Jocelyn's death. Many motives are uncovered until at last the murderer is revealed. Carolyn Hart turns out her usual well-written mystery in this long-running series.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In Broward's Rock, South Carolina Max and Annie Darling are staying at the Nightingale Courts while their antebellum mansion is being renovated. The couple plans to host a picnic with their island neighbors celebrating the renovation. At the motel, they meet former islander Iris Tilford, a recovering drug and alcohol addict tied to a local overdose death and a suicide when she was a teen. Annie invites Iris to the party.

However the Darling gala abruptly ends when Iris' corpse is found; someone strangled her to death. Police Chief Billy Cameron demands a promise from Annie that she will stay out of the investigation that he (and his team) is conducting; she agrees. However, eccentric islander mystery writer Emma Clyde sees a novel coming from the Tilford homicide so investigates until she is knocked out of the game. When the unknown culprit appears to target the Darling duet, Death on Demand bookstore owner Annie and private investigator Max break their pledge to Cameron and begin snooping.

As always with the wonderful Death on Demand series (see DEATH WALKED IN), fans receive an engaging whodunit with many interwoven references to other mystery authors and their titles. The story line has an Agatha Christie feel to it in which almost any moment Inspector Poirot (instead of Annie and Max) will gather the suspects together and challenge each of their alibis in a group interrogation that brings out the past and present. Fans will enjoy the latest cozy as the Darlings try to prevent further killings especially their own.

Harriet Klausner
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on June 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
With DARE TO DIE, Carolyn Hart's Death on Demand Mystery series continues the misadventures of Annie and Max Darling, the couple who lands in the dead center of yet another murder. Nearing the end of an intense restoration of the Franklin house, their antebellum project and soon-to-be new home, Max plans a welcoming party. Broward's Rock, his South Carolina Low Country island home, will host a full evening of food, music and drink for neighbors and friends. Undaunted by water damage to the Franklin house remodel, Max rents the Harbor pavilion.

Anticipation of the gala at the Harbor elicits mixed reactions among the guests who have been invited, close friends of the Darlings. A well-to-do product of Broward's Rock, Max has gathered long-time "tennis club" associates into his and Annie's social circle. But a mysterious young woman arrives this day. "She comes in the rain, alone, on a bicycle."

Iris is a former island resident, long removed in time and place from her past life as a teenager here. She has dealt with personal demons --- drugs, alcohol and homelessness --- but returns to cleanse the memory of a night when her dear friend, Jocelyn, dies. She must discover the truth.

Meanwhile, Annie tends to business at her bookstore, Death on Demand. She welcomes local mystery writer Emma Clyde, who has developed a case of writer's block. While sympathizing with Emma's dilemma, Annie's plans change when her manager, Ingrid, is called out of town for a family medical emergency. Ingrid and Duane own Nightingale Courts, the local motel. Annie offers that the Darlings stay at the Courts and tidy up cabins for Ingrid's guests. Besides, she and Max need a temporary home until their new one is livable. Iris is the lone resident this weekend at Nightingale Courts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tooncesmom TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 7, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Carolyn Hart's Death on Demand Mystery series continues with Dare To Die, her twenty-second book in the series. The story opens with a number of POV entries, that of Annie and her husband, Max Darling, and several of their friends. At first I was confused by trying to decide why I as a reader needed to know the inner thinking of so many characters, however, as the tale progressed, it became obvious.

Annie owns the Death on Demand, a mystery bookshop on Froward's Rock, off the So. Carolina coast. She and her husband Max are nearing the end of a home restoration project and have planned a party. Plans, however, go awry when additional damage delays the completion, so the two plan to hold their party at the Harbor Pavilion. Meanwhile, Annie and Max are temporarily residing at a cottage at Nightingale Courts, the local motel owned by friends Ingrid and Duane. When Ingrid's sister is hospitalized, Annie agrees to help out at Nightingale Courts and leaves the bookshop to be run by her somewhat ditzy mother-in-law.

Annie and max have invited members of their social circle to the party, and each has accepted but each has reservations about the event where several of them were present when Jocelyn, one of their schoolmates mysteriously drowned ten years earlier. Now, another member of that group, Iris, has returned to the island. She's booked a cottage at Nightingale Courts, and since she's alone, Annie invites her to come to the party.

Later that night, Iris is found murdered, and Annie can't help but wonder what's behind the mystery. Soon, an arson attempt is made on Annie and Max, and the need to discover long-buried secrets becomes foremost in Annie's life. But at what cost to her and Max?

Many characters appear in Dare to Die.
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