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Yankee Doodle Dead [Mass Market Paperback]

Carolyn Hart
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 7 1999 Death on Demand Mysteries
Master mystery spinner Carolyn Hart gives us the tenth high-spirited entry in her Agatha, Anthony and Macavity Award-winning Death on Demand series.

The most delectable sleuthing couple since Nick met Nora, Annie and Max Darling manage to find quite a bit of murder in their allegedly safe and serene South Carolina island resort town. After all, murder is Annie's business -- well, sort of. She's the proprietor of the popular Death on Demand mystery bookstore and cafe, and her establishment seems to attract trouble like Annie's pesky felines, Dorothy L. and Agatha, attract hairballs. Now, Annie and Max watch their Fourth of July holiday explode not only with fun and fireworks, but with murder as well.

The library board wants to declare its independence from new member, retired Brigadier General Charlton "Bud" Hatch, a man accustomed to being in charge. Hatch's takeover attitude has alienated everyone in town, especially the women. But Annie finds it difficult to ignore him at a crowded patriotic festival -- particularly when he's shot dead before her eyes...

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From Amazon

Unless you find the idea of a woman who runs a mystery book store as an amateur crime solver just too cute for comfort, you'll have some fun with Carolyn G. Hart's latest cozy yarn about Annie and Max Darling, the Nick and Nora Charles of the South Carolina island resort town called Broward's Rock. Annie, of course, still keeps her Death on Demand book shop, matching wits with customers about unlikely murder methods from classic mysteries while serving them iced café lattes to ward off the summer heat. Max, the most underemployed private detective of recent memory (he doesn't seem to have had a paying client since 1995), is still as charming and sexy (to Annie, that is) as ever--although his annoying mother, Laurel, has become positively dangerous. But Laurel is only one of a veritable Orient Express-load of possible suspects when an obnoxious ex-military man is shot to death at the Broward's Rock Fourth of July Festival. The racist, sexist, antigay Bud Hatch could have been killed by any of his several enemies. It's up to Annie and Max to clear Laurel and various other friends of suspicion, and Hart certainly knows how to keep a familiar story from becoming too obvious. Other Death on Demand tales in paperback: The Christie Caper, Deadly Valentine, Death on Demand, Design for Murder, Honeymoon With Murder, A Little Class on Murder, Mint Julep Murder, Something Wicked, Southern Ghost. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars An infuriating, unrewarding book. May 31 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
One of the surest ways to ward people off from a book or movie is to spoil the whole plot for them, and I came dangerously close to revealing who shot the corrupt, domineering General Bud Hatch in Yankee Doodle Dead in the first sentence of this review. I eventually decided against doing so (the solution to no mystery should be spoiled, I suppose, no matter how bad the book), but the fact that I contemplated using such drastic measures should scream a definite message - _stay away!_ Yankee Doodle Dead is irredeemable in so many ways that it traverses all individual boundaries of what constitutes badness - the pacing is horrible; the bulk of the supporting characters is ill-defined and indistinguishable; the story of the motives behind the murder, which could've been intriguing and moving in the hands of another author, jumps out of nowhere in the last fifteen pages and is hardly developed at all; and the protagonist, nympho bimbo Annie Darling, precious, incapable of taking anything seriously, and at turns passive-aggressive and bullyingly imperious, is the most distasteful character I've encountered in the mystery realm. (Her buffoonish slacker husband, Max, isn't much better.)
It got to the point where I became nigh-completely detached from the story's events and could only ask myself annoyed questions - Why would a community celebrate America's Independence Day with the work of Shakespeare, an English poet? Why are career military people always depicted in mysteries as either irrational control-freak tyrants or messed-up head cases? How could a newcomer - a _Yankee_ newcomer - to such a tightly-knit Southern community gain such ungodly power in such short time?
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoy Carolyn Hart's mysteries, but Laurel is getting very annoying and boring. I enjoy the references to other mystery writers and the rest of her characters are usually well-written. One other minor complaint, please stop the cutesy pie allusions to Annie and her hubby when they're about to "get intimate." Puhleeze, it's just too juvenile for words.
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4.0 out of 5 stars why the lists of books? Jan. 3 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I buy the Annie and Max books, but I skip over the interminable book lists the author includes every few pages. If she wants to recommend other mysteries, how about putting the lists at the end, when they don't distract from the book. If she is just padding the word count, tsk tsk.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Well, every author has a miss sometimes... Nov. 28 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although I generally greatly enjoy Hart's books, I was disappointed in this one. If fact, I put it down to read something else and almost forgot to return to it. The story was mildly interesting, however, there were several different "mini-plots" that detracted from the whole. The story never got moving and there was no sense of suspense. To be honest, I was irritated by the ending, not satisfied as I usually am. And PLEASE, get rid of Laurel! She has to be the most obnoxious character I've ever read about. A little (very little!) of Laurel goes a long way. Also, Max has turned into a mindless playboy who reminds me of a big St. Bernard with Annie as his trainer. The earlier Death on Demand mysteries were far superior. I am hoping to have more like those to read soon. And no, adding a pregnancy will not help this series.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing Nov. 20 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The depiction of the general was so ridiculous that I skipped almost everything he had to say. I've met my share of general and senior officers and haven't ever found one who is so absolutely chauvinistic, shallow, and unprofessional. I wanted to kill the SOB about ten pages in. It took me two tries to actually read the book. I was disappointed in many ways with this book. The multitudnous synonyms for "to go" and "to walk" are indicative of the predictable sentence structure. To give Hart credit,it did take me a while to figure out who the murderer was. However, this was definitely a low point in the series. Maybe it's time to wrap this one up if the plots and writing are as predictably boring and excruciating as in this volume.
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