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Honeymoon with Murder
Series: Death On Demand #4
Genres: Amateur Sleuth
Fourth in the Death on Demand mystery series revolving around Annie Laurance, the owner of the Death on Demand bookstore located on Broward’s Rock.
In 1990, Honeymoon with Murder won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original.
It’s loyalty to a friend and a search for the truth. Crane certainly takes us on a winding path to solve this murder. And as irritating as I find Annie, I thank god for her as well because, lord knows, the legal authorities certainly are hopeless!
While I appreciated everyone’s loyalty to Ingrid and enjoyed the quirky personalities in Hart’s series, I didn’t enjoy this particular story as much other than finally learning what Laurel had planned for the wedding day. I don’t understand why it was necessary to set up a camp right there and make everyone sleep, eat, and search there. It’s not that far from everyone’s homes… I also want to know if Annie ever considers living her own life instead of through all these detectives? I do appreciate Hart’s encyclopedic knowledge of the various detecting protagonists in the book world and, as much as I enjoy the listing of the various sleuths in fiction along with their various attributes, it gets rather irritating after awhile.
It may be Annie and Max’s wedding, but it’s definitely Laurel’s day from the Hawaiian wedding breakfast followed by the boat race and on to the international luncheon followed by the international craft bazaar followed by the wedding and then the blooming reception. Which itself was followed by a frantic call at midnight by Ingrid screaming for help.
When Annie and Max get to Ingrid’s, they find a body but no Ingrid. And very quickly, the other cabin’s inhabitants and Billy Cameron descend upon Ingrid’s cabin getting in the way and demanding a search for Ingrid. A search that must get underway immediately if only to get around Posey’s imminent arrival!
When Posey latches on to the first possible suspect and refuses to consider any other possibilities, Henny takes over and organizes the search for Ingrid. Of course, Max, Annie, Laurel, and Henny have their own ideas of how to search, to discover the truth and it’s off in all those directions for the crew. With, naturally, Annie knowing best.
Now it seems that Betsy Raines is also missing. She arrived at her hotel in San Francisco, but hasn’t been seen since and Alan is worried. Worried enough to ask Max to look into it.
It certainly isn’t being much of a honeymoon for Max and Annie. Sleeping in cots. Max in the Men’s Side and Annie in the Women’s. Not at all what they had planned.
Ingrid Jones works for Annie Laurance at Death on Demand and manages Nightingale Courts (she lives in Cabin Three). Duane Webb lives in Cabin Four and secretly loves Ingrid. I suspect he doesn’t do anything about it due to his own past tragedy, believing he doesn’t deserve it. Ingrid loves him back. Secretly. Ophelia Baxter lives in Cabin Two and communes with the spirits. Mavis Beeson and her young son, Kevin, are hiding out from her abusive husband, Henry, in Cabin Six. She’s also having it off with young Billy. Adele Prescott lives in Cabin Five and doesn’t have anything nice to say about anyone. Jesse Penrick lived in Cabin One. He is not a nice man. Poking and prying into other people’s business, loving to see them squirm. Now he’ll pay the price for that. Tom Smith lives in Cabin Seven building miniatures which he sells at craft fairs and flea markets.
Annie Laurance is about to become Annie Darling. Finally having succumbed to Max. Of course, it’ll never hold her back from investigating crime! Max Darling is getting married at last! Laurel is his very free-thinking mother with a need to explore every culture in their wedding. Max’s three sisters, including Dierdre, are bridesmaids. Barbie is Max’s secretary at Confidential Commissions.
Henny Brawley is a force to be reckoned with on the island, and she quickly takes up the reins for Ingrid’s search, calling on the members of her various organizations to help even as she pursues clues in the style of many of her favorite detecting characters. Madeline Kurtz is her second-in-command. Billy Cameron is the policeman in charge while Chief Saulter is on vacation. Circuit Solicitor Brice Willard Posey will take charge of the case…which means the truth will never emerge.
Ben Parotti owns the ferry, the marine store, and the bar. Alan Nichols works for Betsy Raines at the Piping Plover Gallery and had been to the wedding. Dr. Samuels is a good customer at Death on Demand and protective of his patients. Lucinda Barrows is excited by her part in this particular play…little does she know how short-lived her part will be.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a somewhat cartoonish collage of an owl peering out at us from the head of a bed. One of the pillows stabbed by a sword and swirling with a vine of tubular flowers while the bed itself hosts a scattering of Tarot cards, wedding rings, and a pyramid.
The title says it all when Annie finally learns what Max has planned for their honeymoon trip, truly a Honeymoon with Murder.