The Christie Caper

Carolyn Hart, Author Bantam Books $18 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-07404-8
Hart's sixth Death on Demand novel exuberantly celebrates the centenary of Agatha Christie's birth with a clever plot and an array of puzzles for readers. With reigning English crime queen Lady Gwendolyn Thompkins, South Carolina bookstore owner Ann Darling is cohosting the Christie Caper, a week-long conference featuring author panels, a treasure hunt and gala Come-As-You-Wish-You-Were ball. Bolstered by her Laurel, her flighty mother-in-law, as well as intrepid reader Henny and husband Max, Annie thinks she can handle any contingencies--until hard-boiled crime aficionado and critic Neil Bledsoe shows up with his aunt, a Miss Marple look-alike. Bledsoe is determined to be odious, even going so far as to publicly attack Christie and her work. After Bledsoe is the victim of two suspicious accidents, Annie, Max, Henny, Laurel and Lady Gwendolyn fear that a disgruntled author, editor or agent is using the conference to exact revenge. When a would-be writer is slain, the five amateur sleuths redouble their efforts to prevent more violence. As in the past, Hart lards the text with titles, authors and characters' names, this time with a plethora of Christie trivia. For those who seek an extra challenge, Hart uses the clues to the treasure hunt as chapter titles (with answers at the end of the book). (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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