This book is dangerous! Seriously, I checked the ebook out from the library and thought, 'I'll read the first chapter and see what I think before I go back to Dawn of the Belle Epoque.' On the last page, I looked up and realized two hours had gone by and I hadn't even changed my seating position! I'm not sure that has ever happened!
Needless to say, I really liked this book. Annie Laurence and Max Darling have to be my new favorite mystery solving couple and I love the name dropping of various mystery books that goes on throughout the book. I need to look back so I can note down all the authors and books...Never mind! I found a website that has the various authors and books mentioned listed! I urge you to check it out. Though the thought of all those books on my TBR pile does conjure up images of Mount Doom!
So Annie has inherited Death on Demand, a mystery bookstore from her Uncle after his boating accident. It is on an island off the South Carolina coast and there just happens to be several mystery authors who call the same island home. Once a week, Annie hosts a get together where one of them gives an informal talk to the others. When one particularly difficult author threatens to open some skeleton-inhabited closets, it's not too surprising when he winds up dead just before the talk. However, this means one of the authors had to have done it...and when the police zero in on Annie herself, she uses her vast knowledge of mysteries to help clear her name. With her friend and one time lover Max helping her, how can they lose?
The best part of this book was Annie and Max. I love how different they are and yet how much they care about each other and how ell they work together. I also love how Hart sets this up like older mystery shows: where you see a hand preparing the items for the murder and then something that set the events into motion. Excellent.
I did guess the murderer but not until the very end, practically as the author had Annie and Max go through their final Ah Ha! moment.
In short, this is a great start to what I hope will be a wonderful series. Just make sure to handle with care and not start until you have the free time to read it!
Note: While I loved this book, I did find parts of it...dated. You can tell it was written in the '80s. That's not a criticism, I liked that you could see this (and hopefully follow them through the years), just thought I should point this out. Some series are to some degrees timeless while others are clearly set during a particular time.