April Fool Dead
A Death on Demand Mystery, #13
By Carolyn Hart
William Morrow & Co - March 2002
ISBN: 0380977745 - Hardcover
Cozy Mystery / Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by: Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.Com

Max and Annie Darling are back for their thirteenth mystery. The award-winning series has a cozy reputation in the mystery genre. The Dead On Demand bookstore is getting ready for an April Fool's Day book signing with South Carolina's local mystery writer, Emma Clyde. She is entertaining and flamboyant in starkly colored caftans and multi-colored hairdos, but she isn't behind the strange things concerning her signing at the store . . . or is she?

As usual, the tale begins with the introduction of the characters and a hint of the storyline. Right away odd things begin to happen. First, the mysterious skywriting of Emma's mystery title, Whodunit. Next, flyers looking just like Annie's advertising the signing and contest show up, but these flyers are cruel and refer to possible crimes by local people. Annie wonders if it's all "for real" or part of an April Fools joke. It's no joke when the strange happenings lead to murder and the young Chief accuses Annie of it. Laurel and Henny play a large part in this mystery, while the cats, Agatha and Dorothy L, lay low. Laurel lightens the mystery up a bit, but I have to say the funniest scene in this one is at the very end.

My favorite things about the DoD series concern Annie's mystery book store - the cups labeled with mystery titles and author names, the watercolor paintings with famous mystery scenes used in contests (I actually guessed two right!), the references to seasonal and holiday mysteries, and the often mentioned and comparison of other mystery authors and series when the characters are sleuthing. Reading a Death on Demand mystery always sends me back to the mystery shelf with another list of mysteries to try.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Sugarplum Dead #12
April Fool Dead #13
Engaged to Die #14
Murder Walks the Plank #15
Death of the Party #16
Dead Days of Summer #17
Death Walked In #18 [review 1] [review 2]
Dare to Die #19
Laughed ’til He Died #20
Dead by Midnight #21
Death Comes Silently #22
Dead, White and Blue #23
Death at the Door #24


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