Annie Darling's murder mystery cruise in the waters off her not-always-idyllic isle of Broward's Rock is going swimmingly -- until one of the revelers plunges overboard. And despite hubby Max's courageous rescue attempt, faux murder turns all too quickly into real-life death. As the body count rises over the next few days, the popular proprietress of the Death on Demand bookstore begins to suspect that all the victims were murdered most foully, and that they are all connected in some unknown way. But what intrepid crime solver Annie does not realize is that the killer she seeks is more ingeniously efficient than most -- and the puzzle she wishes to unravel is, in reality, a time bomb packed with an explosive mix of arson, assault, kidnapping, robbery ... and homicide, naturally.
One false step and Annie, Max, and their canny cohorts will be blown off Broward's Rock for good.
In Hart's winning 15th outing featuring Death on Demand Mystery Bookstore owner Annie Darling (after 2003's Engaged to Die), Annie is excited about the benefit cruise she's planned that will offer food, fun and prizes as well as relief from the sultry heat of August on the Low Country island of Broward's Rock, S.C. The evening's festivities, however, are shattered when the town's favorite volunteer, Pamela Potts, falls overboard. Rescued by Annie's husband, Max, Pamela is taken to the hospital unconscious. Only Emma Clyde, the island's celebrated mystery author, shares Annie's suspicions of foul play. When another party guest is found dead in her home the next morning, Annie and Max join forces to pursue the killer. In the process, they uncover some heart-wrenching truths and dark secrets that affect prominent townspeople and even their own family. In addition to a compelling puzzle and a fast-paced plot, fans will enjoy the realistic dynamics among characters who develop from book to book. The author includes all the usual amusing extras: the cryptic telephone messages from Max's mother, the mystery picture contest held each month at Death on Demand and the many references to real-life crime writers. This latest can only reinforce Hart's high standing among the cozy mystery cognoscenti. FYI:The winner of numerous Agatha, Anthony and Macavity awards, Hart is also the author of Resort to Murder (2001) and other titles in her Henrie O series, and is one of the founders of Sisters in Crime.