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It's the Fourth of July on Broward's Rock, the sea island off the coast of South Carolina that is home to Death on Demand, the mystery bookstore run by Annie Darling, and to Confidential Commissions, the problem-solving agency run by her husband, Max. At a dance at the club that holiday night, it seems that Max and Annie are the only happy couple. Most notably, Shell, the younger, second wife of Wesley Hurst, is making things miserable for him, his first wife, her lover, his kids, and her blackmailer. Several days after the dance, Wesley's daughter comes to Confidential Commissions to ask Max for help in finding Shell, who is missing along with her new green Porsche. Also missing is a waiter at the club. Annie and Max suspect a connection, but, until a body is found, others assume both Shell and the waiter are just away. As always, Annie and Max use conversations and subterfuge to seek out the truth. Fans of this series will enjoy the twists on the monthly store contest and the involvement in the case of Max's mother, local author Emma Clyde.--Muller, Karen Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Anthony-winner Hart's assured 23rd Death on Demand mystery (after 2012's Death Comes Silently) finds Annie Darling, proprietor of the "most successful mystery bookstore north of Delray Beach," dealing with the summer tourist crush at her store on the South Carolina island of Broward's Rock. In a break from business, Annie attends the local country club's Fourth of July dance, where Shell Hurst, the unpopular trophy wife of much older Wesley Hurst, puts in an appearance, then disappears on her way through the woods to watch the fireworks. When a club waiter later drowns under suspicious circumstances, Annie and her husband, Max ("Joe Hardy all grown up and sexy as hell"), search for evidence linking the two events. The leisurely plot takes several unexpected turns, and a number of suspects remain in play until the final revelation. Series fans won't mind that Annie, Max, and the recurring secondary characters haven't undergone much change over 20-plus years. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman-Schneider Agency. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Tourists aren't supposed to just disappear during the Fourth of July celebrations, but a well-known visitor does. When a second person vanishes soon after, Annie Darling's radar goes up. This is the 23rd entry (after Death Comes Silently) of a standard-bearer series. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.