Dead By Midnight by Carolyn Hart is the 21st book in the “Death on Demand” mystery series. Publisher: William Morrow, March 2011

Solving puzzles comes naturally to Annie Darling, cheerful owner of the Death on Demand mystery bookstore on the lovely sea island of Broward’s Rock. Annie is aided and abetted by her admiring husband, Max, who runs an unusual business that offers help to people in trouble.

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.

Annie believes she has set the perfect trap for a merciless killer until her cell phone rings and Death whispers in her ear.

I always love my yearly visits with the Darlings. This time Annie’s newly hired employee has died and initial reaction is that she committed suicide, but Annie and her friend believes she was murdered. When another person dies, it confirms to Annie that a murderer is on the island. The mystery was intensified by so many suspects which kept me guessing. I do love that Annie is so dogged in her pursuit of justice even though she can be reckless. This was another good read in this charming series.

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