Yankee Doodle Dead: A Death on Demand Mystery

Carolyn Hart, Author William Morrow & Company $21 (273p) ISBN 978-0-380-97529-7
This ninth in the Death on Demand series (after Mint Julep Murder, 1995) finds mystery-bookstore owner Annie Darling in top form: polite, considerate, cheerful and relentlessly investigative. Retired Brigadier General Charlton ""Bud"" Hatch is a newcomer to the tiny resort community of Broward's Rock, S.C., where his arrogance, power and extreme right-wing views have quickly antagonized many of the genteel yet clannish residents. When Hatch is shot to death at the island's annual Fourth of July festival, Annie and her relaxed but shrewd husband, Max, utilize their connections and gentle diplomacy to interview some of the many idiosyncratic natives who loathed the general. Was he murdered by a cuckolded husband? What about the young, sweet do-gooder whom Hatch had terrified? Or the gay library director whose job had been threatened by the moralistic library trustee? Annie and Max tap into the best source of information anywhere--rampant gossip--and, aided by society doyenne Miss Dora, find out more than they want to know. Might Max's flaky and much-married mother be another suspect? Rich in Southern atmosphere (lots of live oak, Spanish moss and the ever-present smell of the salt marsh), populated by a diverse and engaging cast, including the fallible, endearing leads, and following a deftly constructed plot line, this tale is charming--and gripping. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1998
Release date: 10/01/1998
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