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Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

Those of you who are regulars at B&N's Mystery Forum know that Carolyn Hart is a favorite of mine - both as an author and as a person. She sent me a nice surprise to share with you all - a guest blog about her new book, a Death on Demand mystery.

 

Because Carolyn has had problems with the gremlins at the Mystery Forum before, she's not going to be joining us. She WILL read all your comments, though, and if you have any questions, post them here and I will relay Carolyn's response.

 

If you haven't read Carolyn's books yet, you're in for a treat! Check out her website here: 

http://www.carolynhart.com/

 


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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

The Case of Carolyn G. Hart

After hanging the contest watercolors in Sugarplum Dead, Annie Laurance Darling poured a cup of strong Columbian coffee, munched on a chocolate raspberry brownie, and grabbed the phone.

Max answered on the first ring. "Confidential Commissions. If you want to know, let us find out."

"Max, that's good!" She pictured her Joe Hardy handsome husband reclining comfortably in the red leather chair in his office.

"I rather like it." He sounded relaxed, equable and quite pleased with himself, a normal state with Max.

"Listen," Annie licked several luscious crumbs from her fingers,"I've got a great idea. You know how Carolyn Hart's always telling the world about us, revealing our most intimate secrets. Well, I think it's time we got the goods on her. I've put in a call to Henrie O Collins. If she'll work with us, we'll find out everything there is to know about Carolyn Hart."

Henrie O Collins, a retired newspaperwoman with a talent for trouble and a taste for adventure, flew into Broward's Rock the next day and hurried to Death on Demand mystery bookstore and the trio set to work to discover some truths about their creator.

Carolyn G. Hart

Five feet five inches tall, light brown hair streaked with silver, green eyes, fairly athletic, reticent about her weight but decidedly not thin. (Henrie O looked thoughtful. Was that why she was thin?)

Some books are written by Carolyn G. Hart, some by Carolyn Hart. Why the missing G? When Hart changed publishers, the new publisher decided the art work would be easier without the G. G stands for Gimpel, Hart's maiden name.

Hart was born in Oklahoma City where the sun almost always shines and the wind almost always blows. Her first fiction about Oklahoma is a non-series short story, "Spooked," which appears in Murder on Route 66. "Spooked" tells the story of Gretchen, a 12-year-old girl in a northeastern Oklahoma town during World War II.

Hart met her husband to be, Phil, on a student trip to Europe during her junior year in college. They had a great journey. They are still having a great journey.

Hart's first cat was Baby Face, a gray tabby. Her current felines are charming (and huge) Cat-A-Thomas and imperious but beautiful Sophie (who bites).

Women she admires: Amelia Earhart, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Edith Hamilton, and Georgie Anne Geyer.

Favorite vacation spot: Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Favorite baseball player: Sammy Sosa.

"A Cubs fan," Annie observed darkly. "That's revealing."

"Oh hey, maybe next year," Henrie O challenged.

Max shook his head. "I thought Harry would have some influence in high places, but..."

Annie rattled the sheet with the dossier. "All of this is okay, but surely there's something more interesting about her. Something exciting!"

Max ran his hand through his thick blond hair. "I couldn't find anything else and I looked at everything on the web."

Henrie O sipped the strong coffee. "You know, maybe the truth is, she puts all the interesting stuff in the books about us!"

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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

A Celestial Press Conference

Malice Domestic XIX Tribute to Lifetime Achievement Honoree Carolyn Hart
by Nancy Pickard

Carolyn has earned many Agatha Awards, including this one for Lifetime AchievementAgatha Christie held a press conference in Heaven the other day.

This was surprising--because who knew there were any reporters in Heaven?

Dame Agatha’s purpose was to crown her heir apparent: Carolyn G. Hart.

"There were other suspects," Dame Agatha acknowledged, "but all the evidence points to Carolyn, to wit:

"Her plotting is classic perfection, and I should know, if I do say so myself. All of her plots tumble together in the most satisfying way, like shuffling cards and then laying down four aces. . .flip, flip, flip, flip. . .a feat which astonishes one and all, and which few players will ever match.

"Her writing," Dame Agatha continued," is crisp as. . .crisps. (I do miss them! With vinegar. You’d think we could get some up here, wouldn’t you? And a decent Scotch egg, for God’s sake, so to speak. Sometimes the service up here is so. . .French.) We visualize her characters and settings so clearly, because she conjures them with a spare elegance that reminds readers of the writing of. . .ahem. . .me.

"Though she never preaches, her heroines’ values are impeccable: trustworthy, decent, always on the side of goodness, kindness, and fair play."

Dame Agatha then astonished the heavenly hosts by saying, "Carolyn G. Hart has polished and improved my tradition, adding more humor and suspense, lively romance, and important modern accoutrements such as believably contemporary language. Her Annie Darling and Henrie O are accomplished, straightforward, vigorous women, and I confess I envy and admire them! My own poor Jane had to be so manipulative to get her own way, don’’t you know, because of the era in which she and I lived. Carolyn has freed the female amateur sleuth from those unfortunate Victorian restrains, and I say, you go girl!

"For all of these contributions, I bless her, because even beloved forms of literature must evolve in order to thrive."

Then the Grande Dame drew herself up to formidable height and pronounced: Carolyn Gimpel Hart, author of 39 marvelous novels, author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated Letter From Home, upholder of the Malice Domestic faith, champion of the amateur sleuth, devoted Sister in Crime, mailing list compiler extraordinaire, winner of more awards than anybody ever gave me, wife to dear Philip, mother to sweet Sarah and Philip Jr., grandmother to adorable Trent and Adrienne, I crown you my official heir designate. Long may you reign, preferably at the top of the bestseller lists!"

And then Mrs. Christie whispered in an aside to Carolyn, who stood beaming beside her, "My dear, if you need help with that wonderful new series of ghost mysteries you’re writing, do call on me!"

Hallelujahs were sung all ‘round!

 

Nancy Pickard 
www.NancyPickardMysteries.com 
The Virgin of Small Plains 
Agatha Winner ~ Edgar nominee

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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

An interview with Carolyn Hart 
by Kathy Moad, The REPORT
Oklahoma Writers' Federation

Q: What is your philosophy on writing: why we do it, have to do it, love/hate to do it. Where does the need come from for you?

A: This is a perceptive question which reflects a clear understanding that writers do not choose to write, they must write.

I am often asked at a writers' conference: How do you have the discipline to write? I know then that the questioner will likely never write a novel. I am not disciplined, I am compulsive. Actually, I am miserable and worried and uncertain and frantic when working on a novel. It is not fun.

I am always afraid I can't do it this time. I am never confident of success. Yet, I would be infinitely more miserable, in fact non-functional, if I did not write. Writing gives me a reason to live. It also affords comfort from the chaos of the world, the horrors that beat against us from every direction every day all the time. I address my feelings about writing in Letter from Home, my Oklahoma novel.

The misery and stress end, however, when I complete the first draft. That is when writing becomes fun. I love doing revisions. This is the payback for the pain of the process. I have the book. It's there. I am no longer afraid . I revise and polish and change and tweak and my mood is sunny. Oh happy day, the book is done and all I have to do is enjoy making it better.

Q: Who or what particularly influenced your work?

A: Agatha Christie. She is and will always be the greatest writer of traditional mysteries. I believe in the importance of mysteries and their contribution to goodness. The world is beset by evil and injustice but the traditional mystery will always offer a good, just and decent world to readers.

Q: Does plot inspire character, or does character decide plot?

A: Plot demands particular characters but the characters then determine how the plot plays out.

Q: Do you outline, or let the muse take you? And what is the greatest drawback of the path you choose to create stories?

A: I do not outline. This isn't to say that I start off on the first page with nothing in mind. I know these particulars:

  • The protagonist. The personality and attitudes of the sleuth determine the background, style and possibilities of the book.
  • The victim. The personality and identity of the victim determine the cast of characters. Those who surrounded the victim in life will be suspects after the death.
  • The murderer. I know who committed the crime and why.
  • I have a working title. I can't write a book unless I have a title. It may not be the title of the published book but the working title gives me a sense of the book.

That's all I know. When I start Page 1, I have no idea how I will get to Page 300. This is where the importance of character comes in. The story will unfold because of the dictates of character.

The drawback to this openended fashion of writing is the panicked feeling that there is no way to get there (the conclusion) from here (the beginning). I wish I were smart enough to plot in advance. My mind doesn't work that way (or doesn't work well enough to do it that way!). But one of the great joys of writing is coming up against a blank wall and then little squiggles of thought begin and suddenly something happens, a character appears, a door opens, a message is left and hey, we're off and running again.

Q: What's worse: fear of failure or fear of success? How do you get past the fear?

A: I taught writing for a few years and if I had one precept for students it is this: You will never succeed unless you are willing to fail.

Whether a writer will write will be determined by the force of the compulsion to write opposed to the fear of failure or success.

I think my suggestion would be to realize that there is no disgrace in failure and success is what we make of it.

Q: What was harder: getting there, or staying there? Does the 'fun' leave with a contract?

A: I don't think most writers, unless they are on the level of Mary Higgins Clark or John Grisham, ever feel they have "got there." Most of us run scared. All we can do is write the best books we can write and know that is all we can do.

A contract is simply a recognition that there are readers who want to read your books. That is an affirmation. Enjoy it.

Q: If you could skip a part of the process, which would it be? What part of writing do you struggle with?

A: I struggle with the first draft, but obviously I wouldn't skip it.

Q: In birthing the story, do you 'hear the voices' or 'see the pictures/movie'?

A: I see the pictures which is probably odd because I am not a moviegoer. But the scenes play out in a visual way.

Q: Getting an agent can be like getting a loan: you only get one if you don't really need one. Do you think an agent is important, and what is your advice for unpublished authors who are seeking representation?

A: An agent is essential in today's publishing world. The best way is to go to conferences such as OWFI. I would like to explain here that the reason I've never been able to attend the wonderful conference is because the most important mystery conference of the year for traditional mystery writers is the same weekend in Washington D.C.

Getting to know other writers is not only a joy but a necessity. Most writers are friendly and helpful and knowing them and attending conferences is the best way to get an agent.

Q: Do you worry about being pigeon-holed in your success, and do you have other worlds/genres you hope to explore someday?

A: Success is ephemeral. Like sea foam, it's here today and gone tomorrow. I will write mysteries as long as someone will publish them. My heart belongs to the mystery.

Q: Advice? What do you know now that you wish you'd known then?

A: Care passionately about what you write. If you care, readers (and somewhere an editor) will care. Q: What have you learned over the course of writing that made the task easier?

A: This is a mundane, nuts-and-bolts question but it took me almost 20 books to learn this. As you write the book, outline the chapers you have written. In the margin (I do this on a legal pad), mark the day and time as the action occurs and scenes shift. This makes it easy to find a particular scene when you need to revise or remember a fact. And the times are invaluable.

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History of the Mystery

by Carolyn Hart

First presented as part of a panel on the History of the Mystery at Manhattan (KS.) Mystery Conclave October 1, 2005. Patricia Sprinkle traced the beginnings of mystery literature from the Bible to Poe. Susan Wittig Albert explored history as mystery.

Elements of the mystery are present in much literature, both ancient and modern, but the world waited until Edgar Allan Poe for the first true mystery stories. Scholar Jon Breen believes deductive mystery fiction only became possible after countries with a rule of law organized professional police forces devoted to solving crimes on the basis of fact. A detective wasn’t necessary if crimes were solved by guess, happenstance, black magic, or brute force.

Jon believes that Poe was familiar with the rather self serving autobiography of the French detective Francois Vidocq and that Poe’s disdain for professional police capabilities prompted him to create the world’s first amateur detective, Auguste Dupin. Whatever Poe’s motive, we know that the modern mystery traces its beginning to the publication in1841 of the Murder in the Rue Morgue. All of the elements necessary for a mystery novel were first gathered together in fiction by Poe:

 

  • The amateur detective whose exploits are chronicled by an admiring friend
  • The locked room mystery
  • An innocent suspect in jeopardy
  • Careful detection through following clues fairly offered
  • A trap laid for the true villain
  • The solution through the efforts of the detective
  • The first series character

All of this was achieved by Poe in three stories, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget, and The Purloined Letter.

Early writers who contributed to the genre include Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone 1868), Charles Dickens (Bleak House 1853) and Anna Katharine Green (The Leavenworth Case 1878).

Arthur Conan Doyle carried the idea of the amateur detective to great fame with his Sherlock Holmes stories. The first, A Study in Scarlet, appeared in 1887. G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown, the first fictional clergyman sleuth, appeared in 1908.

Mary Roberts Rinehart, at one time the highest paid writer in America, debuted in 1907 with the serialized publication of The Circular Staircase. It appeared as a book in 1908. In that first book, she set her standard of humor and a beleaguered heroine.

1920 was the watershed year in mystery fiction. In 1920, The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie was published. Agatha Christie was and is the most influential of all mystery writers with sales in the hundreds of millions. What was her magic?

Christie never forgot what she was about. She created clever puzzles and wrote with charm and grace about characters familiar to readers whether they spoke Finnish or Urdu or English. She was unpretentious, honest, and clear-eyed. She never walked a mean street, but she understood human passions. She knew that life in a humdrum English village was as subject to evil as any Bristol slum.

Christie equated the modern mystery with the medieval morality play. In the morality play, trades fair audiences were offered a graphic representation of the seven deadly sins. In a more sophisticated guise, this is what Christie addressed in her books. Do you want to understand the pain and agony inflicted on the human spirit by greed? Read the Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Would you like to contemplate self-righteous arrogance lifted to madness? Read Ten Little Indians.

Some critics have dismissed Christie’s books as puzzles devoid of realistic characters. Death on the Nile, Murder Is Easy, and Five Little Pigs are among many of her books which make that claim absurd.

Christie was the leading light of the Golden Age, that glorious period between the two world wars that saw the publication of Dorothy L. Sayers, Philip MacDonald, H. C. Bailey, Earl Derr Biggers, Ellery Queen, John Dickson Carr, Nicholas Blake, Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, Josephine Tey, and Phoebe Atwood Taylor.

These writers excelled with the mystery as conceived by Poe. A different kind of mystery springing from a different heritage made its debut in 1929 with the publication of The Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett.

The private eye novel is rooted in the 19th century action-oriented dime novels with the hero prevailing against the forces of evil. Modern day crime writer Robert B. Parker forever defined the genre when he said that the private eye novel is about the protagonist, not the crime.

1939 saw the publication of Raymond Chandler’s first Philip Marlowe novel, The Big Sleep. His has been the most profound influence on private eye novels. Chandler wrote with elegance and has never been surpassed as a stylist in this genre. 1939 is also remarked for the publication of Erle Stanley Gardner and Brett Halliday.

The Golden Age between the world wars included great practitioners of both the traditional mystery and the private eye novel.

1947 saw publication of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer and Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer.

There are names to conjure with after WWII, authors of both the traditional mystery and the private eye novel, Rex Stout, Patricia Highsmith, John D. McDonald, Margaret Millar, George Harmon Cox, John Creasey, Dick Francis, Ross Thomas, Tony Hillerman, P.D. James, Emma Lathen, Ed McBain, Charlotte MacLeod, Elizabeth Peters, Ruth Rendell, Georges Simenon, and Donald E. Westlake.

The 60s and the Cold War saw a diminution of interest in both the traditional mystery and the crime novel. This was the heyday of spy fiction which had its early incarnation with John Buchan and the publication of The Thirty-Nine Steps in 1915. Eric Ambler and Graham Greene were brilliant successors. Building on that tradition in the 1960s and 70s were Len Deighton, John Le Carre, Frederick Forsyth, George V. Higgins, and Ken Follett. The 1960s also saw perhaps the zenith of romantic suspense. I mentioned Mary Roberts Rinehart as a very early and wonderful and enormously successful American mystery author. She was also perhaps the earliest mystery author to combine romance and suspense. Perhaps the finest novels of romantic suspense were penned by Daphne DuMaurier with Rebecca in 1938 and My Cousin Rachel in 1952. Topping the charts in the 1960s was the brilliant stylist Mary Stewart. Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney also captured readers and hearts. Barbara Michaels debuted in 1967 with The Master of Black Tower. Her first novel as Elizabeth Peters, The Jackal’s Head, was published in 1969.

The 1980s was a fateful decade for all mystery writers. It saw the resurgence of the Hammett-Chandler type private eye novel. There was also a major transformation of the private eye novel which opened the window of opportunity for authors of traditional mysteries.

New and good in the 1980s were Robert Crais, Loren Estleman, Joe Gores. But something quite amazing occurred with the advent of women as private eyes. Prior to the novels of Marcia Muller, Sue Grafton, and Sara Paretsky, New York publishers had a narrow view of the private eye novel. It was considered to be the American mystery, novels written by men with male protagonists. The traditional mystery was deemed the preserve of dead English ladies, no American women need apply. Sharon McCone, Kinsey Millhone, and V.I. Warshawski, changed American mystery publishing forever. Their huge success convinced NY publishers that American mystery readers were interested in books by and about American women. This opened the window of opportunity for writers such as myself. By the end of the 80s, publishers were scrambling for mysteries set in America with female protagonists. Among the early authors who caught that first wave of change were Nancy Pickard, Margaret Maron, Joan Hess, Barbara D’Amato and I.

The traditional mystery continues to thrive. It has many incarnations including regional mysteries such as Patricia Sprinkle and JoAnna Carl write. Susan Wittig Albert’s present day books are a brilliant example of taking an appeal to a niche audience and lifting it to national popularity. Susan’s historical mysteries, both her own and those written with her husband Bill, are prime examples of successful historical mysteries. In a moment Susan will share with you the history of the mystery as history.

Other new currents in the mystery are apparent in the chick lit novels of Mary Kay Andrews, aka Kathy Trocheck, Sarah Strohmeyer, and Susan McBride. New and different are the futuristic novels of J. D. Robb. The forensic mystery was first lifted to bestsellerdom by Patricia Cornwell.

The mystery thrives because it is an important part of literature. Mysteries address the bedrock issue of good and evil. The mystery states clearly and absolutely that evil exists, but the efforts of the detective offer a testament that the human spirit seeks goodness and decency and justice.

As long as hearts beat and minds care, there will be mysteries.

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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

[ Edited ]

Escape From Paris 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escape From Paris

 

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER -- the complete, uncut version of Carolyn's vintage WWII suspense novel!

Escape From Paris

Two American sisters risk their lives in Nazi-Occupied Paris to save British fliers from arrest. The Gestapo sets a trap for the American sisters. On the bleak Christmas Eve of 1940, death is only a step behind.

I was a child during WWII and the war dominated our lives.

Family members served in the Army or Navy. We followed the faraway course of the fighting in huge black newspaper headlines. Food and gasoline were rationed.

The war remained vivid in my memory and, as an adult, I wrote several WWII suspense novels. To sell ESCAPE FROM PARIS, I cut the book from 93,000 to 55,000 words. That version was published in 1982 and 1983.

To my great delight, Oconee Spirit Press is publishing the original manuscript, which has a newly amended copyright. It has been 30 years in coming but now ESCAPE FROM PARIS is available as it was written.

I hope readers will share the struggles of brave men and women who defied the Gestapo during the bitter winter of 1940. They knew fear, found love, grieved loss. Their lives and deaths remind us that freedom survives only when the free are brave.

In 1940, England awaited invasion and the Nazis devoured Europe. I believe this book will appeal to book club readers, highly intelligent women, often of a certain age, who will bring their own memories or memories of their parents into play.

~ Carolyn Hart

Read an excerpt from Escape From Paris (in PDF)

 

Get Book Club Discussion Questions for Escape From Paris (in PDF)

Recipes From the Homefront (in PDF)

Readers share their memories of WWII (in PDF)

Share your own memories of WWII with us. Just send an email to chart@carolynhart.com with your strongest memories of the era. Please let us know whether we may use your memory and name when we update WWII Memories.

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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

Rendezvous in Veracruz

Carolyn's classic young adult suspense novel
is available again!

When feisty American college student Maura intercepts a mysterious message, she soon finds herself caught up in the middle of an international crime spree. With no idea how many of her acquaintances are involved, she doesn't dare to trust anyone! Her only option is to go on the run in order to elude the ruthless criminals who will stop at nothing to protect their secret.

Here's what Kirkus Reviews said about the 1970 edition: Rendezvous in Veracruz "...goes down as smoothly as tequila with that pinch of salt."

 

Rendezvous in Veracruz  

 

 

 

 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

Henrie O series

 

Dead Man's Island, 1993

 

Dead Man's Island (Henrie O Series #1)  


Scandal in Fair Haven, 1994

 

Scandal in Fair Haven (Henrie O Series #2)  

 


Death in Lovers' Lane, 1997

 

Death in Lovers' Lane (Henrie O Series #3)  


Death in Paradise, 1998

 

Death in Paradise (Jesse Stone Series #3)  


Death on the River Walk, 1999

 

Death on the River Walk (Henrie O Series #5)  


Resort to Murder, 2001 

 

Resort to Murder (Henrie O Series #6)  


Set Sail for Murder, 2007

 

Set Sail for Murder (Henrie O Series #7)  

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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

Death on Demand series

Death on Demand, 1987 
Death on Demand is in its 18th printing for a total in print of 175,621 books. 
Design for Murder, 1988 
Something Wicked, 1988
Honeymoon With Murder, 1989
A Little Class on Murder, 1989
Deadly Valentine, 1990
The Christie Caper, 1991
Southern Ghost, 1992
Mint Julep Murder, 1995
Yankee Doodle Dead, 1998
White Elephant Dead, 1999
Sugarplum Dead, 2000
April Fool Dead, 2002
Engaged to Die, 2003
Murder Walks the Plank, 2004
Death of the Party, 2005
Dead Days of Summer, 2006
Death Walked In, 2008
Dare to Die, 2009
Laughed 'til He Died, 2010
Dead by Midnight, 2011

Death on Demand (Death on Demand Series #1) 

Design for Murder (Death on Demand Series #2) 

Something Wicked (Death on Demand Series #3) 

Honeymoon with Murder (Death on Demand Series #4) 

A Little Class on Murder (Death on Demand Series #5) 

Deadly Valentine (Death on Demand Series #6) 

The Christie Caper (Death on Demand Series #7) 

Southern Ghost (Death on Demand Series #8) 

Mint Julep Murder (Death on Demand Series #9) 

Yankee Doodle Dead (Death on Demand Series #10) 

White Elephant Dead (Death on Demand Series #11) 

Sugarplum Dead (Death on Demand Series #12) 

April Fool Dead (Death on Demand Series #13) 

Engaged to Die (Death on Demand Series #14) 

Murder Walks the Plank (Death on Demand Series #15) 

Death of the Party (Death on Demand Series #16) 

Dead Days of Summer (Death on Demand Series #17) 

Death Walked In (Death on Demand Series #18) 

Dare to Die (Death on Demand Series #19) 

Laughed 'Til He Died (Death on Demand Series #20) 

Dead by Midnight (Death on Demand Series #21) 

Death Comes Silently (Death on Demand Series #22)                       

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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

Death Comes Silently (Death on Demand Series #22)  

 

Death Comes Silently (Death on Demand Series #22)

 

 

Overview

National Bestselling Author and winner of multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards, Carolyn Hart continues to dazzle mystery fans with an all new Dead on Demand Mystery.

Winter has arrived in Broward's Rock, South Carolina, and business has slowed for Annie Darling, owner of mystery bookstore Death on Demand. So when the island's resident writer publishes the latest in her popular mystery series, Annie jumps at the chance to host a book signing, even though it conflicts with her shift at the local charity shop, Better Tomorrow.

Luckily, fellow volunteer Gretchen Burkholt agrees to sub for her. The signing goes well, but Gretchen interrupts the event multiple times, leaving voice mails about scandalous news she's dying to share. Even though Gretchen tends to be excitable, Annie heads over to Better Tomorrow, where she finds Gretchen dead on the floor, an axe by her side.

Annie enlists the help of her husband, Max, to piece together a puzzle involving an overturned kayak, a stolen motorboat, a troubled love affair, and a reckless teenager. And she must tread carefully in her investigation, because a killer is on the loose, and that killer works well in the foggy days of winter...

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[ Edited ]

Guest Blog by Carolyn Hart

 

  DEATH COMES SILENTLY is the 22nd title in the Death on Demand series and no one is more amazed than I am to reach that number.
 
    When I wrote Death on  Demand, it was an exercise in hope, rather on the order of the much-married woman who ties the knot yet again, exemplifying the triumph of hope over experience.
   
    At that point, I had written seven books in seven years and sold only a few of them to a small house in England. I was utterly discouraged. I knew I should quit. Obviously no one wanted to buy my books. Yet I decided that I would try one more time and this time I would write the kind of book I loved to read, an old-fashioned traditional mystery with characters I liked. I wanted to write a book that had a puzzle and that entertained, offering insight into human motives along with laughter. Murder is never funny, but perople are very funny. 
 
    Since I was convinced the book wouldn't sell, I made my heroine young and happy and cheerful and in love with a man who truly cared about her. The fashion then was for a woman either to have a dysfunctional relationship or none at all. Instead, Annie and Max love each other. 
 
     Since I didn't think the book wouild sell, I set it in a mystery bookstore so that Annie could share my excitement about mysteries. 
 
    I had a wonderful time writing Death on Demand. I sent it off - and IT SOLD!
 
   In Death Comes Silently, they are still young and happy on their sea island. They still care about justice and goodness. This time they follow the trail of an overturned kayak, a stolen motorboat, a troubled love affair, a reckless teenager, and a missing friend. Annie sets out in the fog to find answers, but Death is waiting in the swirling mists.
     I care about them and the readers who have made it possible for Annie and Max to be forever young in print.  
 
    #22 - Thank you, dear readers. Carolyn 
 


Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

Wow, this is great!!!  I wanted to be the first to welcome you, Carolyn!!!  I'm sorry you won't be able to participate, but I'm glad that Becke let us know that you will be reading our posts!

 

Now, I've spent so much time reading all the wonderful material that Becke posted, it's time to get off the computer, so I will be back tomorrow.  But I wanted to at least welcome you and let you know that I am a big fan of the Death on Demand series, and a new one coming out is a cause to celebrate!!!

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Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
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maxcat
Posts: 4,012
Registered: ‎11-01-2006
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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

Your blog was great, Carolyn. I'm a huge fan of your books. I've read most of the Death on Demand series and am starting on the Ghost books. I'm glad you could stop by.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!


maxcat wrote:

Your blog was great, Carolyn. I'm a huge fan of your books. I've read most of the Death on Demand series and am starting on the Ghost books. I'm glad you could stop by.


Don't forget the Henrie O. books - those are wonderful!

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maxcat
Posts: 4,012
Registered: ‎11-01-2006
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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

I've read a couple of those but tend to like the Death on Demand series better.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

I've read all of the Death on Demand and the Henrie O. books, and I do prefer Death on Demand, but I love them all!  My understanding is that there will be no more Henrie O. novels, is that correct, Carolyn? (Hopefully you can reply to questions through Becke.)  The series I have not tried yet are the Ghost novels, but I am sure I will succumb sooner or later!  I can only handle so many series at a time, and have plenty that I am following at the moment.

 

Carolyn, what always impresses the heck out of me when I read the Death on Demand stories is your encyclopedic knowledge of mysteries!  Have you really read all of those authors and books?  If so, between that and writing, I don't see how you have any hours left in the day!  I love the paintings contest in each book, and how you handle it so that the reader can play along, describing them at the beginning, but not revealing the answers until the end.  I have to admit, though, that in the entire series, I have only managed to identify one of them!  I also enjoyed the Agatha Christie trivia in The Christie Caper - that was tough!  That was the first of your novels I read, because of my interest in Christie, but afterwards I devoured all of the earlier novels, and have been following it ever since.  Your article that Becke posted on the history of mysteries also shows your encyclopedic knowledge.

 

I also really appreciate how you manage to indicate that Annie and Max have a very satisfying sex life, without any graphic detail.  And I adore Laurel!!!

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Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
Inspired Wordsmith
eadieburke
Posts: 1,925
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

Welcome Carolyn: I have read the first book in your Death on Demand series, so I have a lot to catch up on. I have a total of 17 of your books in my to be read pile. Like Dulcinea, I am involved with a lot of series, so I rotate the authors. No questions at this time but I do hope you enjoy your visit with us!
Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

I don't think there are any more Henrie O. books on the horizon but I'll check with Carolyn. I'm a fan of ALL her books but I do have a soft spot for Henrie.

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dhaupt
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Guest Blog by Author CAROLYN HART!

Guess what Nook Free Fridays is giving away for FREE Carolyn Hart's 

Dare to Die (Death on Demand Series #19)  so don't walk run to your nook