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Design for Murder by Carolyn G. Hart
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Design for Murder (1987)

by Carolyn G. Hart

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As often happens, this second in the Death on Demand series does not live up to the first in the series. ( )
  ClifSven | Jun 30, 2011 |
February 19, 2000
Design for Murder
Carolyn Hart

Book #2 in the “Death on Demand” series. This one doesn’t center around the bookstore.

Annie’s been asked to stage a “Mystery Night” for the annual antebellum house tour of the Historical Preservation Society of Chastain, South Carolina” (why is there one of these in every cozy mystery series? The protagonist-planning-a-mystery-night-thing? Not that I’m complaining!).

The person who asks her to do it does so reluctantly, and with considerable distaste – she thinks the whole thing is supremely tacky, but the other members of the HP Society outvoted her. Corinne Webster is a bona fide snob, and everyone hates her - including her husband, who’s having an affair with a much younger local schoolteacher. Of course, right before the Mystery Night is to begin, Corinne is found murdered down by the pond, having been done in by one of the Mystery Night props, no less.

Again, Annie is one of the main suspects (this could get a little old, but it’s a common thread in this series), so she and Max have to piece it all together.

Carolyn Hart has been referred to as “the American Agatha Christie”, but I don’t see it. That’s not a negative statement. I like Christie, but Hart’s style is completely, utterly different. The characters are warmer and more fleshed out, the stories light and very modern – not dry and acerbic like Christie. Totally different. Hart also doesn’t use anything similar to Christie’s complex machinations – it’s all pretty upfront and uncomplicated. ( )
  victorianrose869 | Aug 8, 2008 |
This was a good mystery featuring bookstore owner Annie Laurence and her fiance Max Darling. There were lots of suspects and clues which Annie and Max had to sift through to find the killer. I liked the references to other mystery authors and stories sprinkled throughout the book. ( )
  krin5292 | Jan 4, 2008 |
This book took a bit to plow through. Although it had a good plot, and good characters, the story didn't grab me as the previous book I read from this author.

Some of the better points were the intricate details and constant changing of the most likely suspect. In fact, I didn't guess till close to the end who the real culprit had been.

The storyline puts our heroine in the position of setting up a mystery night at a neighboring town's house and garden show event. The main characters were portrayed are involved in the historical preservation society, and many of them are high society types. The relationships between the characters are complex, and not readily divulge to a town outsider.
Max Darling is there to help sort out the details, as Annie is tied up as a suspect and running the mystery night programs during much of the story.

Can't think of anything bad in particular about this story... but it just seemed to go quite slowly. ( )
  frazle | Mar 18, 2007 |
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For Phil, Philip, and Sarah, with all my love
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The typist nodded.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553265628, Mass Market Paperback)

Annie is asked to stage a murder for the annual spring house tour sponsored by the Historical Society of Chastain, South Carolina. Her only problem is deciding which fictional murder to stage--until a corpse turns up in the town pond. The second Annie Laurance/Max Darling novel. Original.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:11 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Annie is asked to stage a murder for the annual spring house tour sponsored by the Historical Society of Chastain, South Carolina. Her only problem is deciding which fictional murder to stage--until a corpse turns up in the town pond. The second Annie Laurance/Max Darling novel.… (more)

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