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White Elephant Dead:


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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.


After demanding that leading citizens of Broward's Rock donate priceless objects to the annual White Elephant sale, a wicked blackmailer turns up dead. The leading suspect is a top customer at Annie Darling's Death on Demand bookstore, so Annie must get involved. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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 friendÄand good customerÄHenny 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 charactersÄa tough mystery writer, a dippy mother-in-law, a hard-working single father, an arrogant police chiefÄmakse 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. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

"A page-turner...charming...colorful...intriguing twists and turns.""Oklahoma City Oklahoman""Carolyn Hart is the reigning monarch of the amateur sleuth mystery.""Cleveland Plain Dealer""Zany...charming characters, both old and new, a tantalizing mystery, and plenty of appealing descriptions of coastal landscapes.""Booklist"

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