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White Elephant Dead [Audio Cassette]

Carolyn Hart
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 13 2000
(11th in Dead on Demand series)

The Women's Club prides itself on the success of its annual White Elephant Sale, but this year's sale is marred by a bizarre turn. A blackmailer coerces five of the town's citizens into donating valuable artifacts. When a volunteer fails to show up on time, Henny Brawley drives off to find the missing woman, just as a powerful squall hits the island. Hours later, a worried Annie Darling goes off in search of Henny, only to find the corpse of the missing volunteer. The victim turns out to be the blackmailer, and the police chief suspects Henny of the murder. Convinced of Henny's innocence, Annie and her husband, Max, set off to determine who has a secret they would go to any length to protect.

"Charming characters, a tantalizing mystery, plenty of appealing descriptions of coastal landscapes. Recommended." (Booklist)


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Mystery aficionados will get a workout while trying to catch all the references to mystery authors and their protagonists in Hart's 11th entry (after Yankee Doodle Dead) in her Agatha Award-winning Death on Demand series. Annie Darling, who owns a mystery bookshop on the barrier island of Broward's Rock, S.C., is appalled when Kathryn Girard, one of the island's Women's Club members, is slain and Annie's friendAand good customerAHenny Brawley, who was injured at the scene, is accused of the crime. Kathryn was supposed to be collecting donations for the annual white elephant sale, but instead she used the Women's Club van to visit the houses of four wealthy families. When Annie and her amateur sleuth husband, Max, discover a stash of thousand-dollar bills in a photo album taken from Kathryn's apartment, they realize that the dead woman had been blackmailing their friends and neighbors. But why? What did the richest of the island's residents have to hide? And who would kill to preserve their secret? As Henny recuperates in the hospital, Annie and Max set out to prove her innocent. Hart's panoply of vivid charactersAa tough mystery writer, a dippy mother-in-law, a hard-working single father, an arrogant police chiefAmakse for entertaining set pieces, but their relationships aren't always fully developed. Moreover, Hart's copious allusions to fellow genre authors and their sleuths becomes distracting. Though no white elephant, this is not prime Hart; still, cozy fans should cotton to it well enough. Author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When Henny Brawley, organizer of the Broward's Rock (SC) women's club annual white elephant sale, goes missing, book store owner and series sleuth Annie Darling quickly begins a search. They find Henny, but unconscious and in the vicinity of a dead body. The new police chief pins the murder on Henny, so Annie, Max, and droves of club members come to the rescue. Bubbling with energy, good humor, hearty appetite, and affection, Annie saves the island village from murderous deceit. Bouncy prose, nifty characters, and frequent references to other mysteries makes this "heartily" recommended for series fans.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

2.0 out of 5 stars
2.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars To many mystery allusions Nov. 28 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I usually enjoy Carolyn Hart's mysteries, but in this one there was not enough action and there were WAY too many allusions to other mystery writers and their books. A few here and there is fine, but it seemed that the references were sprinkled on every page. Please, Ms. Hart--give it a rest!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Murder among the nabobs July 12 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
...This addition to the Death on Demand Series is a bit more wordy than some of the others and Annie and Max seem to do a lot of investigating without making much progress. Also Max's mother seems to be a silly, unnecessary character who doesn't add much to the proceedings. Fans of Carolyn Hart will probably want to read this book, but it is not her best.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Boring Sept. 4 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The author's constant reference to other mystery writers was extremely annoying. I've read other books by this author, and don't recall this tactic. I will probably not read any more of her books.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Murder among the nabobs July 12 2002
By Karen Potts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
...This addition to the Death on Demand Series is a bit more wordy than some of the others and Annie and Max seem to do a lot of investigating without making much progress. Also Max's mother seems to be a silly, unnecessary character who doesn't add much to the proceedings. Fans of Carolyn Hart will probably want to read this book, but it is not her best.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stop trying to impress with your mystery knowledge Oct. 21 1999
By M. C. Carter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If the author would stick to writing mysteries, her books could be among the best in the genre. However she spends way too much time describing people's actions and motives by comparing them to another author's characters. Noone thinks or does anything on Broward's Rock without Annie commenting to herself that the thought or action was just like this or that fictional mystery character. While I enjoy the bit with the contest that has the characters guessing their fictional origin, this constant "showing off" of the author's mystery fiction knowledge detracts from the story. Any true mystery buff probably knows as much but hopefully doesn't spend their time sizing up their friends and family by this criteria.
Stick to the mystery writing and leave the mystery trivia to game players.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR Nov. 22 1999
By gloria.watkins@co.fairfax.va.us - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I enjoyed the book, but not as much as previous ones by Hart. Of course, there's the obligatory explanations that regular readers already know concerning Max and Annie's professions, Max's "far-out" mother, etc., but what I really disliked was the CONSTANT references to other mystery writers and/or characters. I counted more than 30 (depending on how loosely you define 'reference') in the first three chapters alone. After that, I stopped counting, but it still was distracting and annoying. Please, Ms. Hart, stop trying to impress us with your knowledge and get on with the story!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable but enjoyable Nov. 19 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The latest installment in the Death on Demand series finds Henny Brawley prime suspect in a murder, and Annie, Max, Laurel, etc. working to clear her name. While the mystery is enjoyable, the series is becoming a bit too predictable. One of the main characters is usually a suspect, and the rest of the characters try to solve the mystery. As mystery readers know, you must suspend belief somewhat when reading the genre, but in normal life, how many of us or our friends are murder suspects? This is happening too often in this series. Perhaps it's time for Annie and Max to start a family.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing entry into the Death on Demand series Nov. 5 1999
By "wishbury" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I always eagerly await the next DEATH ON DEMAND book. Annie's usually funny, Max adorable, and Laurel maddening. However in this entry, nothing much seems to happen and those beloved characters fail to come alive. Annie's best friend, Henny Brawley, has been injured, but it also the prime suspect in a murder. That alone should've made for a great book. But Ms. Hart couldn't put it together this time. I like the references to other mysteries -- I've found a lot of new favorite authors through the mentions in Ms. Hart's novels. Please make the next one better!
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