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Death of the Party: A Death on Demand Mystery    by Carolyn Hart order for
Death of the Party
by Carolyn Hart
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I wonder if Carolyn Hart ever takes time away from her keyboard. To produce the volume of work she does requires skill and deftness of mind. She always writes winners.

Death of the Party is one of those - a winner. Death on Demand bookstore owner Annie Darling and her husband Max leave their island of Broward's Rock, S.C. to help a woman who believes she is the target of a blackmailer. The isolated island of Golden Silk is remote and the ideal spot for a touch of murder. The intricately devised plot is carefully unveiled as Max and Annie examine each suspect. The character sketches are wonderful as the players come to life under Hart's skillful portrayals. The estate on Golden Silk Island sounds like a place to get away from it all, in the luxurious style in which I would like to become accustomed – to write a mystery, perhaps.

Was the unloved curmudgeon who previously owned the estate truly murdered? Who was angry enough with him to do the dastardly deed? One of his two sons? Possibly his dying wife? Who is safe from the murderer? Any one of the houseguests who have been invited for an Agatha Christie dénouement? Hart has written another meticulous mystery with enough suspense to keep readers awake at night turning pages.

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