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James Bradley, Ron Powers
Paul Levine
Death on Demand (Death on Demand Mysteries, No. 1) - Carolyn Hart After a reading jolt (meant in a very good way) of James Lee Burke, I usually have to take a brain rest with a little, quick read “cozy.” Little, yes 200 pages; quick read, no I had a lot going on; easy to follow, no, not so much with a lot of characters; fun read, definitely!

Set on a small South Carolina barrier island called Broward’s Rock Island, the area is a haven for mystery writers and has one mystery book store aptly named Death on Demand. Lucky them, having everything I love; the ocean, mystery writers and books!

Surprisingly, Death on Demand was published in 1987 but it made no difference in book itself.

The sleuthing team of book store owner and previously NY model, Annie and Max, an independently wealthy and non-practicing lawyer, Annie’s beau, was top notch. It was fun hearing them bicker about who really solved the crime…Annie with her deduction skills or Max who got a critical clue. They were simply fun to listen too, going back and forth.

The one thing that stands out for me in this nice cozy is the drawings which I just loved and found helpful. There was a pen drawing of the island showing where all the characters lived, the ferry and reserve, etc. Another drawing of the inside of the book store where a character was killed and who was sitting/standing where when the crime was committed. And still another couple of lists including one on the alibis of everyone who was a suspect, which totaled nine more or less.

And another thing I liked about the book was the author ‘dropping’ the names of mystery writers from the beginning to end some of which I was familiar with and some not. The two stand outs for me were Rex Stout, creator of the Nero Wolfe series, which are great mysteries and Agatha Christie, creator of Miss Marple and Detective Poirot. Knowing my likes in genres, my favorite bookseller Vanessa recommended this one for me and again, she hit the mark!

To say it’s high literature, no. To say it was fun to read, yes, indeed, and I will certainly pick up another Carolyn G. Hart in the future.