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Dead Days of Summer: A Death on Demand Mystery    by Carolyn Hart order for
Dead Days of Summer
by Carolyn Hart
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2006 (2006)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Annie Darling lives a pretty nice life according to most standards. She's young, attractive, married to a hunk who adores her, owns a pretty cool mystery bookshop, lives on a lovely island off the Carolinas and likes her mother-in-law Laurel even though that woman looks at the world a little differently than most of us do (Laurel normally figures prominently in the series, but in Dead Days of Summer, I just couldn't find her part adding to the script).

Whatever could possibly go wrong, does in this episode. Max, that hunky husband, is accused of murder and, in Annie's mind, it falls to her to prove him innocent. She has the help of a cadre of friends as well as the local police. The acting police chief was forced to arrest Max despite his being a good friend. Not a good situation.

Carolyn Hart's seventeenth Death on Demand novel is as good as the first sixteen. Annie finds dead bodies here and there on the island, leading to an engaging read. Annie is almost too sweet to be believable, but she comes off okay. She's normally in charge of her life. She takes risks when necessary, but doesn't show anger that much. Max is also almost too good to be true. He has minor faults that any woman would forgive.

Hart's knowledge of the mystery writing field (which she shares with readers in her books) is awesome. She can pull up the main characters' names in most mysteries as well as the authors' names. I'm lucky to remember my own name.

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