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Dead by Midnight: A Death on Demand Mystery Hardcover – March 29, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: Death on Demand Mystery
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061914975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061914973
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,258,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Hart's engaging 21st Death on Demand mystery (after 2010's Laughed 'Til He Died), Annie Darling, proprietor of the Death on Demand mystery bookstore in South Carolina's Lowcountry, believes that the official conclusion of suicide of one of her employees, Pat Merridew, doesn't add up. Recently fired from her longtime position as receptionist for the law firm of Jamison, Jamison, & Brewster, Pat was taking odd, late-night excursions, and had planned an expensive cruise to Alaska that her economic situation wouldn't support. With the help of her husband, Max, Annie begins to nose around among lawyer Glen Jamison's family and associates. When Glen is shot dead, the evidence points to his sister, Elaine, but Annie and Max think that Elaine is protecting someone else and that the two deaths are connected. Expert pacing and a tense climax distinguish this intriguing variation on the locked room mystery. (Apr.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

When Pat Merridew, the newest employee at the Death on Demand Bookstore in Broward�s Rock, South Carolina, supposedly commits suicide, Annie Darling, the store�s owner, finds it very difficult to believe. Although Annie provides evidence that contradicts the suicide verdict, Merridew�s murder is pushed aside when prominent lawyer Glen Jamison is found shot in his study. There is a wealth of suspects in Jamison�s murder: his young wife, his soon-to-be-laid-off employee, his cousin, his children, and his sister Elaine, whom Annie saw disposing of something in the swamp by the Jamison mansion at the time of the murder. Annie believes the Merridew and Jamison murders are connected, but as the police chief doesn�t agree, Annie and her husband, Max, investigate, leading to Annie�s bold plan to trap a killer on her own. Annie�s mother-in-law, Laurel, adds humor along the way, and, as usual, mystery fans will enjoy the bookstore ambience and the numerous writers, characters, and titles that are woven into the story. --Sue O'Brien

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

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

So you enjoy the book and then have a few others you want to look up and read.
S. Al-Amri
I've read a few of the books from Carolyn Hart's Bailey Ruth series, but this is the first book I've read in the Death on Demand series.
K. Carroll
Good plot and many references to mystery novelists and their books add to the interest.
Harvee L.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By E. Griffin VINE VOICE on March 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Dead by Midnight is the twenty-first book in the series featuring Annie Darling, bookstore owner and amateur sleuth. The series is still remarkably strong, with fresh stories, high-quality writing, and character development loyal readers can trace back to the beginning.

The setting for Dead by Midnight is the idyllic Broward Island off the coast of South Carolina, where Annie lives with her independently wealthy husband Max. Max dabbles in private investigations while Annie runs the Death on Demand bookstore. The bookstore is a focal point for most of the books, providing a setting where Annie interacts with the community, authors, and her staff. Death on Demand also runs a monthly contest where entrants must name mystery books based on clues in the form of pictures. This allows Annie to discuss a variety of mystery books and authors, which is an added touch of enjoyment for mystery fans.

When a new employee of Death on Demand suddenly commits suicide, Annie is not convinced the woman would take her own life. Working, and at a times interfering, with the local police department, Annie uncovers clues that begin to support her theory. A second murder draws a wealthy, local family into the story, introducing new characters and complicated family dynamics.

In parallel with the murder mystery plot line, Annie continues to live her everyday life, running her store, having romantic dinners with her husband, and dealing with her charming but eccentric mother-in-law. This part of the storyline adds more interest to the books, and creates an interesting comparison to the troubled individuals Annie and Max encounter in their amateur crime solving activities.

If you are a fan of Carolyn Hart and the Death on Demand series, Dead by Midnight will not disappoint you. If you are new to the series--I envy you, and you should immediately start with the first book and work your way to Dead by Midnight.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Wignall VINE VOICE on September 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had an interesting experience with this book. When it first arrived (via the Vine program) I tried to read it almost immediately, but just couldn't get into it. Then I tried again a week or so later, still, after 10 pages, back in the pile. And a third time I tried, but was still put off by the construction of it a bit. I knew that I was reading a particular genre with a certain kind of "Murder She Wrote" style, but in the first five or so pages the author introduced what seemed like *dozens* of characters. I'm a writer and I knew this was a device, I knew that once I accepted the style she was using I'd enjoy it, but I just didn't have the energy to remember all of those names.

Then one night we got a hurricane in Connecticut: Hurricane Irene. And the power went out. No TV, no computer, I didn't even have a battery-powered radio. So I took out a headlamp (buy one of those LED headlamps if you live in an area where power goes out, they're cheap and fantastic!) and went looking for a book to read while waiting for Irene to destroy my house (she didn't). And the first book I came to was Carolyn Hart's "Dead by Midnight." For some reason, with winds and rain bashing away at the windows and roof, the book just clicked. I wasn't distracted by the TV, or thinking about work I had to do at the computer, so with Irene for company and a headlamp for light, I read the book in one sitting (a long sitting).

And I'm happy to say that I loved the book! The setting (her seaside village, the bookstore) and the characters she's created were fun company in a hurricane and perhaps because it takes place near the sea, I felt right at home in her imagination.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. A. ROBBINS VINE VOICE on August 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I did not finish this book. I got about 1/4 into it and put it down. Every time I picked it up to finish, I put it back down. It seems to be well written and the characters are well done but not very interesting to me. And the story is just too tame for me, I prefer more action and more interesting characters. I was trying to think of a similar type of mystery and can only think of Nancy Drew or Murder She Wrote. While very good they are somewhat light. If you want light then certainly try this book. Dead by Midnight is more about a small town than about a serious or intense mystery. If you like small town mysteries or stories and like very detailed characters then certainly try this book. If you are looking for a fast paced, adventure mystery then probably not this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Kalman VINE VOICE on March 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Annie Darling, the owner of Death on Demand - a mystery bookstore - once again finds herself attempting to solve a series of mysterious events. First there is an apparent suicide that she feels is a homicide. Then there are two true homicides. She wants to know "who done it and why". She pursues all avenues of inquiry and questions all of the characters involved, whether she should be or not. Interwoven in this plot is her unusual mother-in-law, her dilettante husband, her weird food cravings and as usual, cats.This is a fast read with many twists and turns. You think you have an idea and then Annie dispels it. You are kept involved until the very end where Annie does it again.This is one in a series of Death on Demand mysteries that are thoroughly enjoyable.
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