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Archive for April, 2010

Laughed ‘Til He Died – Review by Martha A. Cheves,  Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

Jean’s harsh sobs brought Max’s secretary, whose heart was as big as her beehive hairdo, to his office door.  Summer-bright in a yellow tunic and white caprice, Barb looked at him questioningly.  As awkward as most men in the face of feminine meltdown, Max cleared his throat.  “How about some iced tea, Jean? Hey, Barb, bring us some of your special fruit tea and good lemon pie.”  Jean using a handkerchief provided by Max, wiped her face, leaving purplish smudges atop puffy redness.  She looked shyly at Barb when she returned.  Barb placed a try with two big tumblers and two plates on the desk.  “Goji berries and guava, my own private blend.  Guaranteed to refresh.  And lemon pie made this morning.”

Jean Hughes had just stepped into Max Darling’s office at the Confidential Commissions.  Jean, who is the director of a youth recreation center called the Haven, came to seek Max’s help.  One of the directors was in the process of acquiring enough votes to have her dismissed and she didn’t want to go down without a fight.  Since Max’s specialty is in  solving problems, he takes her on as a client.

Annie Darling, Max’s wife, owns a mystery bookstore called Death on Demand.  At first, she’s not comfortable with Max taking Jean as a client.  But that changed with the death of a young member from the Haven and the death of one of the Haven’s directors with Jean being the police’s number one suspect.

I’ve read both of Carolyn Hart’s Bailey Ruth books and loved them.  I’m patiently waiting for her to write a 3rd.  This is the first of her Death on Demand books that I’ve had a chance to read and I have to say I love it too.  Carolyn Hart holds you in suspense until the end.  She gives no clues throughout the book allowing you to guess at who the killer really is.  In fact, she actually had me believing that the killer just might be Jean Hughes.  Did Carolyn Hart lead me on a wild goose chase throughout the whole book?  I’ll never tell.  Read Laughed ‘Til He Died and find out for yourself.

Harper Collins Publishers April, 2010 ISBN 978-0-06-145309-0 282 Pages

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