Mint Julep Murder

Carolyn Hart, Author Bantam Books $19.95 (277p) ISBN 978-0-553-09463-3
In this paean to the cozy, Hart sets her lively amateur sleuth, bookstore owner Annie Darling (last seen in Southern Ghost), on a plot in which real mystery writers mix with fictional ones and most of the plentiful potshots are verbal. At the annual Dixie Book Festival, held on Hilton Head island, Annie has agreed to act as liaison for the five authors being presented with festival Medallions. The diverse honorees are a flame-haired author of Civil War novels; a handsome, smug writer of a bestselling male romance; a plump and unassuming woman who pens domestic murder mysteries; the cool author of a popular cozy series; and a loud, heavy-drinking redneck polemicist. Each one has reason to be distressed when the publisher of Mint Julep Press announces his plans to write a roman a clef about Southern writers. When the publisher dies at his own party, after downing some poisoned bourbon, Annie and her charges are all prime suspects. While her husband Max supplements her own reckless sleuthing, Annie must also cope with the determined attempts of her mother-in-law and two writing friends to snag publishers for their efforts. Casting probability to the winds, Hart wraps her light tale in a deliciously inviting setting and offers mystery readers a winsome treat. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/1995
Release date: 08/01/1995
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