Book Review: Carolyn G. Hart’s Death on Demand

Posted May 2, 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 Death on Demand

Death on Demand


Carolyn G. Hart

amateur sleuth that was published by Crimeline on February 1987 and has 195 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Design for Murder, Something Wicked, Honeymoon with Murder

First in the Death on Demand amateur sleuth mystery series revolving around a woman who owns a bookstore specializing in mysteries.

In 1988, Death on Demand was nominated for the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original.

My Take

A few years back, I read Carolyn Hart’s Death Walked In, 18, and I finally got around to reading the start of the series, Death on Demand. I’m not really sure how it is that the publishers wanted a second from her.

For a start, how could anyone possibly make a go of a bookstore specializing in mysteries on a small island? Once Elliot was killed and the nail polish remover-soaked wad was found, why didn’t the Chief sniff everyone’s fingers. Who would be stupid enough to break into a dead man’s house, especially if she’s the main suspect AND she’s brought the only piece of evidence with her? After she’s conked at Elliot’s, why doesn’t she go back and collect her bike? I mean, hullo, tying her to the crime scene!??

It’s a lovely setting. A beautiful island with a bookstore remodeled to invite perusing with a huge collection of mystery writers [all living on one little island] with a very thematic setting with its coffee cups named for mysteries, the monthly watercolor contest, and the Sunday Night Specials. There’s the cute waif of a bookstore owner, Annie Laurence, who inherited the shop from her beloved uncle and being pursued by the madly wealthy and madly-in-love-with-Annie Max.

And not three months after Uncle Ambrose‘s ill-fated slip into the water, death is again in demand at the bookstore — did I mention the name of the bookstore? It’s Death on Demand…very clever.

Hart uses the investigation into the death of a rather slimy writer to introduce us to Chief Saulter who’s deeply suspicious of Annie; Bud, one of the two policemen who work under the chief; all the writers and their backgrounds; Carmen Morgan, Elliot’s ex-wife; and, provides us with Annie’s background and the island’s layout.

I fully intend to read the next in the series, Design for Murder, if only because I did enjoy Death Walked In. Somehow, Hart grows although I don’t know if it’s in skill or in appeal.