An elaborately plotted homage to Agatha Christie--once again featuring Annie Darling (Deadly Valentine, etc.), owner of the Death on Demand mystery bookstore on South Carolina's Browards Rock Island. Annie has spent months planning a centennial celebration of Christie's birth--an event to be attended by writers, fans, and critics, and headed by England's top crime writer, Lady Gwendolyn Tompkins. An unwelcome guest is Neil Bledsoe--an all-around hateful critic-magazine publisher--accompanied now by aunt Kathryn Honeycutt, a dead ringer for Miss Marple. Bledsoe is credited with a number of suicides and ruined careers. Attendees Victoria Shaw and Derek Shaw are two victims of his malice. There are others present--and it'll soon become apparent that one of them is after Bledsoe, even before he noisily promises to slander Christie in a new book. Surviving attacks by shooting and a vase dropped from a height, Bledsoe finally gets his, but not before the deaths of two seemingly innocent bystanders. All of this explored, in excruciatingly drawn-out detail, by Annie and a clutch of would-be detectives headed by Lady Gwendolyn, along with Police Chief Saulter. Meanwhile, the author's knowledge of the genre is ever-- and irritatingly--on show.