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Laughed 'til He Died [Mass Market Paperback]

Carolyn Hart

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Book Description

March 14 2011 Death on Demand Mysteries

“Carolyn Hart is one of the most popular practitioners of the traditional mystery.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Return to Broward’s Rock in Laughed ’Til He Died, Carolyn Hart’s landmark 20th novel in her much loved and critically acclaimed Death on Demand mystery series. Island sleuths Annie and Max Darling must solve three related local murders in this wonderful new whodunit by the multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Award-winner—a must for fans of Diane Mott Davidson and Lillian Jackson Braun.


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (March 14 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061453080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061453083
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.9 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #363,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Intrigue and foul play are no strangers to the idyllic South Carolina sea island of Broward's Rock. Mystery bookstore owner Annie Darling and her husband, Max, who specialize in solving problems, plunge into a startling web of danger and deceit when a trio of deaths is linked to the island's youth recreation center.

With the evidence mounting against her, the center's director seeks out Max to clear her name. When it comes to intrigue, where Max goes, Annie isn't far behind. To save an innocent woman, the pair scrambles to unravel three complex interlinked puzzles: the mystery of three guns, the pulled-out pant pockets of one victim, and the disappearance of a teenager whose stepfather always had the last laugh . . . until he died.

About the Author

An accomplished master of mystery, Carolyn Hart is the author of twenty previous Death on Demand novels. Her books have won multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards. She is also the creator of the Henrie O series, featuring a retired reporter, and the Bailey Ruth series, starring an impetuous, redheaded ghost. One of the founders of Sisters in Crime, Hart lives in Oklahoma City.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading with Tequila April 6 2010
By Jennifer Sicurella - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Carolyn Hart's Death on Demand series has been a favorite cozy series of mine for many years. Annie Darling owns a mystery bookstore (Death on Demand, obviously) and mystery is the main theme throughout the series, both up front with the murders and in the background through the books Annie sells. The novels are full of mystery references which is sure to delight fans of the genre.

In Laughed 'Til He Died, the 20th installment of the series, Hart offers up a mystery that boggles the mind in the best way possible. by the middle of the novel, I was utterly convinced of the killer's identity. I was so off base, but looking back, the clues were right there. I have read all the previous books in the Death on Demand series and feel rather acquainted with Hart's style, so it was a fantastic surprise to find myself so far off base.

The prime suspect in the murder comes to Max, Annie's husband, for help on another matter before the victim was killed. I loved how Annie and Max had a legitimate reason to be as involved in the investigation as they were. The island's famous mystery author, Death on Demand's best customer and Max's mom were all there to lend their specialized viewpoints as well.

Oh, how I wish there was a real Death on Demand close to home. A store full of nothing but mysteries, the coffee in mugs adorned with mystery titles, a big stuffed raven; the image sound like a place I would never want to leave. A scene where Annie was setting up themed displays, mentioning both famous and new to me authors and titles made me want to be Annie. What fun it would be to own Death on Demand (you know, without all the murders.)

Laughed 'Til He Died contains a great mystery surrounded by mysteries and was great fun. Actually, it was one of the very best in the series and if Carolyn Hart can entertain this well after 20 books, I would love to read at least 20 more.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darling regional mystery April 10 2010
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
On the small South Carolina barrier island of Broward's Rock lives Max and Annie Darling. Annie owns the mystery bookstore Death on Demand while Max runs an inquiry agency Confidential Commissions.

Jean Hughes, director of Haven, a youth recreation center, is not having her contract renewed due to the lobbying of her former lover affluent and influential businessman Booth Wagner. Jean asks Max to help her keep her job because her sister is dying and they want to stay here. However, Booth succeeds in forcing Jean to give up her position. On the night she is to announce her resignation, someone kills Booth. The evidence mounts that Jean killed her ex lover, but both Darlings think otherwise as they believe Jean would never risk anything at that this time due to her beloved sibling's failing health as separation is unacceptable. Max and Annie learn that Booth made a myriad of enemies that include his family and ex wife. However, pressure on Max mounts when Annie and Booth's heir end up in the crosshairs of a killer.

The Darling Death on demand mysteries are always a special treat because the investigation seems genuine with a plenty of suspects and the loving relationship between Max and Annie enriches the whodunit story lines. Carolyn Hart's latest cozy is filled with strong characterizations including a killer in plain sight, but readers will find it almost impossible to determine who that person is even with clues also in plain sight. Carolyn Hart provides another Darling regional mystery.

Harriet Klausner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lively and fun! May 3 2010
By S. Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a lively book with old friends in it like Annie and Max Darling, Max's spinny mother, and a few others that have become familiar over time. Ms. Hart writes a good cozy mystery story and this book is no exception. I noticed there wasn't as many references to other mystery writers and mystery books and that is actually a positive thing because it allowed me to focus more on this story. This book focuses around the local youth shelter and a mysterious death as well as two murders. It is apparent that things have not settled down in the supposedly idyllic little town of Broward's Rock. I really enjoy these stories and this book was a nice retreat for me. I look at Ms. Hart's books as retreats from the reality of life. They're fun, cozy and the puzzles are always good ones that keep me guessing. And Annie and Max are just so likeable that it makes reading about their lives a pleasure. Thanks Ms. Hart for pure escapism.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death on Demand Delivers April 25 2010
By Nash Black - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Carolyn Hart is a master story teller who delivers each new volume in the highly acclaimed Death on Demand with a challenging puzzle that through 20 efforts does not become stale.
The fascinating side issue is the acute accuracy of mystery titles with which Ms. Hart peppers each novel to support the story line. Her choices for the five mystery paintings, the mugs from which Anne and her friends drink their coffee, and the displays Annie creates in the store are all tiny clues to the murderer at hand.
LAUGHED 'TIL HE DIED has a retired tycoon who never forgets and extracts his revenge from anyone who stands in the way of his desires as the victim. As normal with Ms. Hart there are several candidates for the murderer, but who hates the man enough to kill him? Was it the woman he wanted to make his mistress, his wife, his daughter, his ex-wife, his step-son, the list goes on and on with a surprising twist to the conclusion.
LAUGHED 'TIL HE DIED is a great summer read even if you don't live on an island.
Nash Black, author of SINS OF THE FATHERS.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Darlings May 14 2011
By Linda Riback - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Annie and Max Darling are adorable and smart! I love the consistency of the background points, like the 5 paintings in Death on Demand per month, for a free book and free coffee. I enjoy the fact that Max is Not a private detective, but rather a problem solver. The stock characters, like Laurel-Max's New Age mother, are terrific. The plots are suitably convoluted but not in a way designed to fool the reader. I really like that Browards Rock is as much a character as any of the people in the books.
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