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White Elephant Dead (Death on Demand Mysteries, No. 11) Mass Market Paperback – September 5, 2000


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (September 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380793253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380793259
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #495,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mystery aficionados will get a workout while trying to catch all the references to mystery authors and their protagonists in Hart's 11th entry (after Yankee Doodle Dead) in her Agatha Award-winning Death on Demand series. Annie Darling, who owns a mystery bookshop on the barrier island of Broward's Rock, S.C., is appalled when Kathryn Girard, one of the island's Women's Club members, is slain and Annie's friendAand good customerAHenny Brawley, who was injured at the scene, is accused of the crime. Kathryn was supposed to be collecting donations for the annual white elephant sale, but instead she used the Women's Club van to visit the houses of four wealthy families. When Annie and her amateur sleuth husband, Max, discover a stash of thousand-dollar bills in a photo album taken from Kathryn's apartment, they realize that the dead woman had been blackmailing their friends and neighbors. But why? What did the richest of the island's residents have to hide? And who would kill to preserve their secret? As Henny recuperates in the hospital, Annie and Max set out to prove her innocent. Hart's panoply of vivid charactersAa tough mystery writer, a dippy mother-in-law, a hard-working single father, an arrogant police chiefAmakse for entertaining set pieces, but their relationships aren't always fully developed. Moreover, Hart's copious allusions to fellow genre authors and their sleuths becomes distracting. Though no white elephant, this is not prime Hart; still, cozy fans should cotton to it well enough. Author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When Henny Brawley, organizer of the Broward's Rock (SC) women's club annual white elephant sale, goes missing, book store owner and series sleuth Annie Darling quickly begins a search. They find Henny, but unconscious and in the vicinity of a dead body. The new police chief pins the murder on Henny, so Annie, Max, and droves of club members come to the rescue. Bubbling with energy, good humor, hearty appetite, and affection, Annie saves the island village from murderous deceit. Bouncy prose, nifty characters, and frequent references to other mysteries makes this "heartily" recommended for series fans.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

Fans of Carolyn Hart will probably want to read this book, but it is not her best.
Karen Potts
I was cheerfully going along with it however, until our author had the characters quoting lines from other authors books.
S. M. Donovan
It seems it would be good for a young reader: simple language and not too challenging.
Pen Name

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Karen Potts on July 12, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
...This addition to the Death on Demand Series is a bit more wordy than some of the others and Annie and Max seem to do a lot of investigating without making much progress. Also Max's mother seems to be a silly, unnecessary character who doesn't add much to the proceedings. Fans of Carolyn Hart will probably want to read this book, but it is not her best.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Carter on October 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
If the author would stick to writing mysteries, her books could be among the best in the genre. However she spends way too much time describing people's actions and motives by comparing them to another author's characters. Noone thinks or does anything on Broward's Rock without Annie commenting to herself that the thought or action was just like this or that fictional mystery character. While I enjoy the bit with the contest that has the characters guessing their fictional origin, this constant "showing off" of the author's mystery fiction knowledge detracts from the story. Any true mystery buff probably knows as much but hopefully doesn't spend their time sizing up their friends and family by this criteria.
Stick to the mystery writing and leave the mystery trivia to game players.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By gloria.watkins@co.fairfax.va.us on November 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the book, but not as much as previous ones by Hart. Of course, there's the obligatory explanations that regular readers already know concerning Max and Annie's professions, Max's "far-out" mother, etc., but what I really disliked was the CONSTANT references to other mystery writers and/or characters. I counted more than 30 (depending on how loosely you define 'reference') in the first three chapters alone. After that, I stopped counting, but it still was distracting and annoying. Please, Ms. Hart, stop trying to impress us with your knowledge and get on with the story!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The latest installment in the Death on Demand series finds Henny Brawley prime suspect in a murder, and Annie, Max, Laurel, etc. working to clear her name. While the mystery is enjoyable, the series is becoming a bit too predictable. One of the main characters is usually a suspect, and the rest of the characters try to solve the mystery. As mystery readers know, you must suspend belief somewhat when reading the genre, but in normal life, how many of us or our friends are murder suspects? This is happening too often in this series. Perhaps it's time for Annie and Max to start a family.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "wishbury" on November 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I always eagerly await the next DEATH ON DEMAND book. Annie's usually funny, Max adorable, and Laurel maddening. However in this entry, nothing much seems to happen and those beloved characters fail to come alive. Annie's best friend, Henny Brawley, has been injured, but it also the prime suspect in a murder. That alone should've made for a great book. But Ms. Hart couldn't put it together this time. I like the references to other mysteries -- I've found a lot of new favorite authors through the mentions in Ms. Hart's novels. Please make the next one better!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Clare Chu on October 1, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Collecting secrets was Kathyrn Girard's livelihood. Her dingy antique store, with its small cashbox, would not support the glamorous double life she led, a hacienda in Mexico and a sleek black Porsche. When she is found murdered while collecting white elephants for a charity sale, the suspect list includes prominent island residents like the wife of the parish priest, the editor of the Island Gazette, and Annie's best customer, mystery buff Henny Brawley. Annie and friends must now dig into the secrets of their friends and other blackmail victims to ferret out the one desparate and bold enough to put an end to Kathryn's demands. Through dogged detective work, following every clue and thread, the murderer is not unveiled until the very end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ivy on April 4, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are good things that I liked and bad things that were annoying about this book.

Good: I really enjoyed not knowing for sure what was going to happen next. Annie keeps right on getting herself into all kinds of trouble and Max keeps getting her out of it. They seemed to do more investigating in this one. Just about the time I thought I might know who the killer was another clue was dropped that through my guess all out of whack. I don't think that I would have ever guessed who the killer was just from the clues...was completely surprised at the end because Annie and Max kept finding reasons why it couldn't be them until the end.

Bad: The constant reference to other books and authors was annoying to say the least. I wish that Hart would stop dropping names all of the time and just write her story. The constant name dropping detracted from the story...it was as if she wanted to make sure you knew that she was well read and new her mystery writers.

Max's mother, Laurel didn't seem to add to the story. What does all her rambling about flowers and what they mean have to do with the mystery??? I think she could have been left out or made to add to the mystery better.

That being said, I just tried to ignore the name dropping and enjoy the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 28, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I usually enjoy Carolyn Hart's mysteries, but in this one there was not enough action and there were WAY too many allusions to other mystery writers and their books. A few here and there is fine, but it seemed that the references were sprinkled on every page. Please, Ms. Hart--give it a rest!
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