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DEAD BY MIDNIGHT by Carolyn Hart Kirkus Star


by Carolyn Hart

Pub Date: March 29th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-191497-3
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

A mystery bookseller once more finds real-life murders harder to solve than the ones in the books she loves.

Death on Demand’s owner, Annie Darling (Laugh 'Til He Died, 2010, etc.), has her hands full. Her mother-in-law Laurel is insisting she fill the shop with her latest photographs, “Cat Truths.” Between this demand and the book-club members, needy authors and mystery novices who stop by the shop, Annie knows that she has to get some extra help. When her friend Henny Brawley insists that Annie take on Pat Merridew to lighten the workload, Annie is skeptical. Not only was Pat recently let go as secretary to local law firm Jamison, Jamison, and Brewster—though they cited the economic downturn as the reason—but Pat doesn’t know Christie from Chandler. To her surprise, Annie finds Pat enthusiastic and able, until she doesn’t show up for work one day because she’s dead. Local police chief Billy Cameron wants to rule her death a suicide by self-administered pain pills, but Annie is convinced otherwise. In her investigation, she enlists the help of her husband, Max, who’s something of an amateur sleuth (and, in Annie’s opinion, a total stud). Her investigation leads her to the Jamison family, where husband-and-wife team Cleo and Glen run the law firm that let Pat go. Annie tries to build trust with the Jamison clan as the murderer becomes more bold and the danger closer to home.

Hart’s latest cozy puzzler casts a net that will ensnare a wide audience.