Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spotlight Series: Death on Demand

An accomplished master of mystery, Carolyn Hart is the author of twenty Death on Demand novels. Her books have won multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards. She is also the creator of the Henrie O series, featuring a retired reporter, and the Bailey Ruth series, starring an impetuous, redheaded ghost. One of the founders of Sisters in Crime, Hart lives in Oklahoma City.

Hart's first commercially-successful adult mystery series features Annie Laurance, proprietor of the Death on Demand bookstore, located on the fictional South Carolina island community of Broward's Rock. By using a mystery bookstore for her background, Hart has given her characters the opportunity to talk freely about other mystery authors and books. One of the ongoing themes of the series is a contest whereby the first customer who correctly identifies a series of five mysteries just from the clues in a painting hanging in the shop wins his or her choice of a novel.

The Death on Demand books are definitely cozy mysteries for mystery lovers. In each book you get to experience a wonderful mystery while visiting a mystery bookstore. The characters are all mystery lovers (with different favorite sub-genres) that often discuss the books they read. More often than not, the books get a visit from the islands best-selling mystery author who loves to share her writing and mystery-solving expertise. I love Annie and Max Darling. They are good, kind-hearted people who only want to help people in trouble. Add in the sometimes wacky, always entertaining residents of Broward's Rock, and you get warmth, humor and intrigue in every book.

Important Characters to Know
Annie Laurence Darling - Owner of Death on Demand. Wife to Max. Mystery book lover and very involved in the community.

Max Darling - Has a law degree but never took the bar in South Carolina, so he doesn't practice. Instead runs Confidential Commissions, where he solves problems big and small. Husband to Annie.

Henny Brawley - Retired military pilot and the island's resident mystery expert. Death on Demand's best customer.

Laurel Darling - Max's flighty yet lovable mom. Enticed by all things mystical and an unintentional heart-breaker.

Emma Clyde - The island's resident best-selling mystery author. Constantly discusses her main character, Marigold, as if she was a live person.

Death on Demand series
(in reading order, links lead to my reviews)
  1. Death on Demand
  2. Design for Murder
  3. Something Wicked
  4. Honeymoon with Murder
  5. A Little Class on Murder
  6. Deadly Valentine
  7. The Christie Caper
  8. Southern Ghost
  9. Mint Julep Murder
  10. Yankee Doodle Dead
  11. White Elephant Dead
  12. Sugarplum Dead
  13. April Fool Dead
  14. Engaged to Die
  15. Murder Walks the Plank
  16. Death of the Party
  17. Dead Days of Summer
  18. Death Walked In
  19. Dare to Die
  20. Laughed 'Til He Died
  21. Dead by Midnight
If you like the Death on Demand series, you should try:
The Henrie O series by Carolyn Hart
The Bed-and-Breakfast series by Mary Daheim
The Emma Lord series by Mary Daheim
The Tea Shop Mystery series by Laura Childs
The Claire Malloy series by Joan Hess


  1. Oh, a new cozy mystery series that I haven't heard of! I need to find these books in the library. I'm actually reading one of the Tea Shop mystery books right now and am loving it.

    from Une Parole