Book Review: Carolyn G. Hart’s Design for Murder

Posted December 5, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Carolyn G. Hart’s Design for Murder

Design for Murder


Carolyn G. Hart

amateur sleuth that was published by Crimeline on January 1, 1988 and has 320 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Death on Demand, Something Wicked, Honeymoon with Murder

Second in the Death on Demand mystery series revolving around the owner of a bookstore by the same name that specializes in mysteries.

My Take

A righteous murder of a nasty old bitch who terrorized everyone around her…and anyone else she could hurt. It’s great fun reading Hart’s stories if only for the list of mystery authors, series, and titles she sprinkles throughout the text. I keep stopping to add ’em to my list!

The Story

That bitch Sylvia enticing Tim into her bed and away from hers! Well, we’ll see about that! The Prichard Museum simply won’t allow Tim’s paintings to travel as he has requested. Then the board wants a mystery nights! Well…at least she will have control over who is hired! Then that niece of hers! About to make the biggest mistake of her life.

Annie almost refused to create the mystery nights for Corinne Prichard Webster — the woman was so incredibly obnoxious. She’s just lucky that the challenge was enough to overcome her attitude as Annie bubbles into plans trying to winnow down the possibilities. It certainly is a challenge creating a Mystery Nights that plays up the house-and-garden tour for Chastain, and Annie has created one plot already when the fax comes through, changing everything only for Annie to discover the sabotage.

The Characters

Annie Laurence is the owner of Death on Demand, a bookstore specializing in mysteries, on Broward’s Rock in South Carolina. Ingrid is Annie’s assistant in the shop. Max Darling is a wealthy lawyer who has been after Annie to marry him. He’s followed her here and is determinedly setting siege. Barbie is his secretary.

Corinne Prichard Webster sees herself as the queen of Chastain society, believing that she is the only arbiter of how any one may live their lives. And as the leader of the Board, she has the power. Gail Prichard is her niece and “about to throw her life away” just like her father.

Other Board members include…
Lucy, a woman whom Corinne manipulated into not marrying her brother Cameron; Roscoe Merrill, a lawyer, and his wife Jessica; Dr. John Sanford; Miss Dora, an ancient upright bitch; and, the very flamboyant Sybil.

Mrs. Brawley is a mystery reading fanatic willing to do anything to win. Idell Gordon is the innkeeper who saw and wanted too much. Bobby Frazier is the very careful reporter attempting to throw dust in everyone’s eyes to hide his attraction.

The Cover and Title

The cover is murder with Poe’s raven, a skull weeping on the side of a glass, and a red dagger lying on the wicker table as Agatha the cat looks on from a background of shelves and shelves of books.

The title, Design for Murder, refers to the Mystery Nights designed by Annie.