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Something Wicked (Death on Demand Mysteries, No. 3) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1988

3.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Hart's 1988 novel concerns the sudden mishaps and eventual murder on the set of a production of Arsenic and Old Lace. When her fiance is accused of the killing, protagonist Annie uses the methods of her favorite fictional sleuths to solve the crime. This is the only hardcover of this title available.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Everyone--including mystery bookstore owner Annie Laurance--loves Arsenic and Old Lace. But something wicked is poisoned a local summer stock production as cast members stab each other in the back and props are sabotaged. Worst of all, the star, aging Hollywood beach-blanket hunk Shane Petree, butchers his lines--while getting top billing in bed with wives and teenage daughters around town. No wonder somebody wants to draw his final curtain. With a little help from Miss Marple, Poirot, and Agatha the Bookstore Cat, a pompous prosecutor tries to pin a murder on Max, Annie's own leading man. Unless Annie can prove her darling's innocence, their wedding date's off! Invoking the tried-and-true methods of her favorite literary sleuths, Annie snoops around the greasepaint and glitter of the show-stopper scene if she doesn't watch it, because theatrical murderers never play fair.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (June 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553272225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553272222
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #985,692 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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third book in the Death on Demand series. The later books in the series are stronger but I read this one to find out about the development of the continuing characters - Max, Annie, and Henny. I've now read all of Carolyn Hart's Death on Demand series except for the Mint Julep Murder. I love the setting, an island off the coast of Georgia, and the characters and the constant literary allusions to famous mysteries. I never figure out the mysteries the paintings are based on. Like the Miss Marple books, I wonder what the murder rate is on Broward's Island? Awfully high
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This third offering in Hart's DEATH ON DEMAND series has fully received the advantage of repeated features building upon themselves and establishing immediate reader intimacy. I was anticipating (and not disappointed) the repetition of key elements, one of which was the first couple chapters (prior to the entrance of Annie and Agatha) being crisp, brief, chilling dips to the murderous "footprints" in the novel. I don't know if it was because I've come to expect this type of sly entry into Hart's Annie & Max series, or if it's because the author's style has leap-frogged itself, solidifying into better and better types of seasoning... but, the initiating chapters seemed to have zapped up a few levels in mood and intrigue, as chilling stage setters for Annie's warm and perky entrance, which seemed even warmer and perkier than the prior 2 books which were already at what seemed to be peaks of performance.

The anticipated Annie and Max personality mixes moved quickly into cozy entertainment, possibly due to the decrease of tension from earlier struggles toward (and away from) a serious relationship. Sometimes the fun fizzles after the fish is caught. But, in this case, I felt heightened entertainment from the interplay between these two formally engaged characters heading toward a marriage ceremony. It was warming to observe the couple's dance into win/win scenarios, their balancing of each others' foibles, though Max, from my perspective has few if any flaws. If God were to Himself descend to visit the planet, I'd imagine Him in the attitude of Max's easy going nature. The Max Gestalt would fit like a Divine Glove. He not only has confidence, class, and pizzazz; he has endearing vulnerabilities (and no guilt over being wealthy).
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Annie Laurance and Max Darling take part in a summer stock production of "Arsenic and Old Lace". They enjoy it until someone starts sabatoging the rehearsals and the ego of Shane, a former player in surfer movies, begins to grate on all of the cast members. When a murder occurs, Max seems to be the most likely perpetrator and Annie has to do some fast detective work to convince the local police that Max is innocent. Comic relief is provided by Max's mother, who keeps coming up with "creative" ideas for Max and Annie's wedding. This is another enjoyable cozy by Carolyn Hart.
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This is the third in the Death on Demand series. In it we have Annie and Max involved in summer theatre. They are part of the cast in "Arsenic and Old Lace". Weird things seem to be happening on the set of the rehersal stage, and then someone turns up dead. Annie is even more motivated to solve the case herself because her fiance has been accused of the crime. The book was pretty good, and it kept me turning pages, but I must admit that the characterization of the Circuit Court Judge, Posey, was a bit over the top. I don't think anyone could be as obtuse and objectionable as Ms. Hart portrayed him to be. It was overdone, and I think the idea of Annie and now Max being accused of murdering someone has been over-worked. Hopefully in the next book there are other suspects besides this precious pair.
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I agree with other reviewers that this is not her best work to date. There are other Death on Demand mysteries out there that are much more enjoyable. However, this is still an enjoyable read.
Annie is a typical woman running her own business. She has many problems of her own and many issues she is working out for herself through out this series. Max is a rich man who doesn't need to work, but who loves Annie enough to do what she would like him to do. (To a degree!) While they work out their own lives together, they also happen to solve mysteries.
The setting is nice and the characters are fun. The plot is convoluted. I enjoyed this book, but did find it hard to follow everything that was going on at times.
Enjoy.
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Annie and Max's wedding plans are moving forward with the help of Max's mother, Laural. But the footlights beckon as Max takes the roll of Mortimer Brewster in the classic ARSENCI AND OLD LACE.
Rehearsals are rough as actors refuse to learn the lines, torn curtains, and when Max is scheduled to find a body in the window seat -- the corpse's place has been taken by a dead cat. Someone is out to sabotage the production.
SOMETHING WICKED by Carolyn G. Hart brings all the favorite character to center stage and provides an interesting backdrop of some of the most famous authors, titles, and characters in the mystery genre.
A great cozy for a midnight read.
HaintsWriting as a Small Business
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