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Murder at the bookstore.
What is the Death on Demand series about?
Written by American author Carolyn G. Hart, Death on Demand is a mystery series or, more precisely, a cozy mystery series.
The story revolves around Annie Laurance. She’s the proprietor of the Death on Demand, a bookstore dedicated to mystery books located in the fictional South Carolina island community of Broward’s Rock.
Murders are on the page, but also in the life of Annie who always ends up mixed in a murder investigation.
How to read the Death on Demand Books in Order?
Every book in the Death on Demand series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- Death on Demand – At Annie Laurance’s Death On Demand bookstore on Broward’s Rock Island, South Carolina, murder most foul suddenly isn’t confined to the well-stocked shelves. Author Elliot Morgan’s abrupt demise during a weekly gathering of famous mystery writers called the Sunday Night Regulars is proof positive that a bloody sword is sometimes mightier than a brilliant pen.
- Design for Murder – When Annie Laurance is invited to stage a Mystery Night for the annual antebellum house tour of the Historical Preservation Society of Chastain, South Carolina, she instead finds herself the leading lady in a flesh-and-blood drama. The play’s the thing wherein the curtain falls on mean-spirited grande dame Corinne Webster.
- Something Wicked – Everyone–including Annie Laurance–loves Arsenic and Old Lace. But something wicked is poisoned a local summer stock production as cast members stab each other in the back and props are sabotaged. Worst of all, the star, aging Hollywood beach-blanket hunk Shane Petree, butchers his lines–while getting top billing in bed with wives and teenage daughters around town. No wonder somebody wants to draw his final curtain.
- Honeymoon with Murder – Annie Laurance and detective Max Darling are finally tying the knot, but a bizarre sequence of events might unravel this blissful marriage before it begins. With the ceremony completed and the champagne goblets emptied, Max sweeps Annie into his arms for an amorous moment . . . when the phone rings and a woman on the other end of the line screams bloody murder!
- A Little Class on Murder – When Annie Laurance is invited to teach “The Three Great Ladies of the Mystery” class at Chastain Community College, the sometime sleuth discovers that all is not strictly academic in Chastain’s hallowed halls of learning. And when a shocking scandal in the school newspaper erupts in a suicide and two violent deaths, Professor Laurance enlists the talents of her new hubby, private eye Max Darling, and dons her thinking cap to probe intrigue and vengeance among Chastain’s faculty.
- Deadly Valentine – Annie Laurance didn’t really want to go to her neighbor’s Valentine Day masked ball. So when her dizzy mother-in-law, Laurel, made a surprise visit to Broward’s Rock Island, Annie thought it would be a perfect excuse to skip the party. She should have known better: True to form, Laurel accepted the invitation for all three of them. But the biggest surprise of all came at the party’s end, when Annie found the amorous hostess in the gazebo–murdered.
- The Christie Caper – In honor of Agatha Christie’s one-hundredth birthday, Annie Laurance Darling plans a week-long celebration of mystery, treasure hunts, title clues, and Christie trivia. Yet even as the champagne is chilling and the happy guests begin arriving on Broward’s Rock Island, Annie feels a niggling sense of doom. But the last thing she or her guests expect is that the scheduled fun and mayhem will include a real-life murder.
- Southern Ghost – Annie Darling, owner of the Death on Demand bookstore, is shocked to hear talk about her husband, Max, and a beautiful blonde. By the time she’s faced down a hostile police chief and bailed Max out of the Chastain, South Carolina, jail, the lady has vanished and Max is the prime suspect in an unspecified crime.
- Mint Julep Murder – Normally, Annie Laurence Darling would be eagerly awaiting her trip to Head Island, where this year’s Dixie Book Festival is being held. But this year Annie has agreed to be the author liaison to five authors honored with the much-coveted Dixie Book Festival Medallions. What Annie doesn’t count on is the untimely death of ambitious Mint Julep Press publisher Kenneth Hazlitt.
- Yankee Doodle Dead – The library board wants to declare its independence from new member, retired Brigadier General Charlton “Bud” Hatch, a man accustomed to being in charge. Hatch’s takeover attitude has alienated everyone in town, especially the women. But Annie finds it difficult to ignore him at a crowded patriotic festival — particularly when he’s shot dead before her eyes…
- White Elephant Dead – Annie’s dear friend (and best customer) Henny Brawley stands accused of murdering a Women’s Club volunteer-cum-blackmailer. So Annie rouses her husband Max into action, and together they dive into the shark pool of dotty eccentrics and imperious belles who constitute the island’s smart set.
- Sugarplum Dead – It’s getting to look a lot like Christmas on the sea island of Broward’s Rock, South Carolina. At the Death on Demand mystery bookstore, owner Annie Darling’s Yuletide preparations have to be put on hold thanks to several rather inconvenient distractions — including murder.
- April Fool Dead – A felonious forger on the idyllic — if rarely tranquil — South Carolina island of Broward’s Rock has made it appear as if Annie Darling is accusing some of her neighbors of murder. In the wink of a bloodshot eye, the Darling name is mud . . . and then the Broward’s Rock body count starts mysteriously increasing.
- Engaged to Die – When wealthy, widowed art patron Virginia Neville officially announces her engagement to Jake O’Neill at a gala gallery opening, not all the gathered friends and stepfamily are pleased. And before the last champagne bubble pops, murder disrupts the grand celebration. Bookstore owner Annie Darling has a vested interest in the investigation, and she’s determined to untangle an unholy marriage of jealousy, blackmail, and malicious mischief.
- Murder Walks the Plank – 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.
- Death of the Party – Britt Barlow is certain her media mogul brother-in-law Jeremiah Addison’s fatal tumble a year ago was no accident — especially since she herself discovered, and disposed of, the trip wire someone had strung across the stairs. Now she’s bringing all who were in attendance that weekend back to Golden Silk — Addison’s luxurious secluded island estate — and inviting two extra guests, Annie and Max Darling, to help uncover a killer.
- Dead Days of Summer – Annie Darling, owner of the Death on Demand mystery bookstore, is understandably upset. It isn’t like her p.i. husband Max to abruptly disappear. But when his car is found abandoned on a remote road with a brutally slain, once-beautiful young woman nearby and the murder weapon stashed in the trunk, Annie’s worst fears seem justified.
- Death Walked In – Max Darling hasn’t been interested in crime since his brush with a seductive young woman put him in danger of losing his freedom. He even refuses to talk to a woman who calls for help and says she is afraid. The caller leaves word she’s hidden something in the antebellum house Max and his wife, Annie, are restoring. When Annie finds out, she hurries to the woman’s home, only to discover she’s been murdered.
- Dare to Die – After more than a decade Iris Tilford is back in Broward’s Rock. Years ago Iris disappeared after a fatal high school tragedy. Now that she’s home again, Annie Darling’s extending the hand of friendship by inviting the sad, beautiful, and mysterious stranger to the Darlings’ party at the pavilion. But Death, as it turns out, is an uninvited guest at their gala.
- Laughed ‘Til He Died – Mystery bookstore owner Annie Darling and her husband, Max, who specialize in solving problems, plunge into a startling web of danger and deceit when a trio of deaths is linked to the island’s youth recreation center.
- Dead by Midnight – A recent death appears to be suicide, but Annie suspects murder. To solve the case, she unravels the mystery of a towel hidden at midnight in a gazebo, the lack of fingerprints on a crystal mug, blood on a teenager’s blue shirt, and the secret of a lovers’ tryst.
- Death Comes Silently – Winter has arrived in Broward’s Rock, South Carolina, and business has slowed for Annie Darling, owner of mystery bookstore Death on Demand. So when the island’s resident writer publishes the latest in her popular mystery series, Annie jumps at the chance to host a book signing, even though it conflicts with her shift at the local charity shop, Better Tomorrow.
- Dead, White and Blue – July is a hectic time for Annie and her husband, Max. The whole island is buzzing with excitement over the upcoming Broward’s Rock Fourth of July dance. But after Wesley Hurst’s second wife Shell disappears during the fireworks display, Annie and Max take time out of their busy schedule to find the missing woman.
- Death at the Door – In one tragic week, two acts of violence shake the island community of Broward’s Rock. First, a beloved doctor is found shot dead, seemingly by his own hand. Days later, a local artist is arrested after his wife is found murdered.
- Don’t Go Home – Bookstore owner Annie Darling is hosting a party to celebrate former Broward’s Rock resident Alex Griffith and his bestselling new novel, Don’t Go Home. But after the local paper announces that Griffith aims to reveal the real-life inspirations behind his characters, perhaps the author should take his own advice. Not everyone in town is ready to give him a glowing review.
- From the Queen (short story) – Ellen Gallagher, the impoverished owner of a thrift shop in South Carolina, finds in her possession a first edition of Agatha Christie’s Poirot Investigates that has been signed by the author . . . and inscribed to the Queen of England. When the book disappears from her shop, Ellen must call on her friend Annie Darling to track it down.
- Walking on My Grave – Annie s friend and fellow shop owner Ves Roundtree is a very wealthy woman. Her rich brother entrusted her with his estate, and upon her death, his fortune is to be divided. Several cash-strapped islanders are in line to collect life-changing inheritances. The problem is, Ves is very much alive.
If you like our article about the Death on Demand series in order, don’t forget to bookmark it! You may also be interested in the Booktown Mystery series, the Scrapbooking Mysteries…