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Laughed 'Til He Died
A Death on Demand Mystery, No. 20

by Carolyn Hart


Annie Darling and husband Max have settled into their new home. Annie's Death on Demand bookstore is doing very well, as is Max's agency, Confidential Commissions. Max is also involved in a teen recreational center called Haven. Haven's Director, Jean Hughes, seeks Max's help after board member Booth Wagner informs her that she is to be terminated at the next board meeting. Booth is a wicked man with a depraved sense of humor. His decisions are aimed at hurting, humiliating or angering others. He has had many victims, leading Max, Annie and the local police to have many suspects once he's murdered. The second thread in this mystery involves the death of a teenager named Click. Click has a good reputation so drugs are out of the question. While working Jean's case, Max tries to clear Click's name and discover how he really fell to his death, and what he was really up to that day.

As usual, Hart introduces current players long before a murder occurs. Her writing style reminds me of Agatha Christie, and this may be why I can't resist following all three of her series (Death on Demand, Henrie O, Bailey Ruth). Right away, readers are given clues about current characters that eventually turn them into suspects. The recurring characters are likable, even Max's mother. The atmosphere of the bookstore and the island gives me the urge to take a vacation and hunt out a mystery or two at a nearby bookstore. Hart's clues and red herrings continue all the way to the end. Just when you think you've solved it, she proves you wrong. Turning the last page will make you feel like you got your money’s worth. Laughed 'Til He Died is another substantial mystery in a successful traditional mystery series.

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

The Book

William Morrow / HarperCollins
April 6, 2010
0061453099 / 978-0061453090

The Reviewer

Brenda Weeaks
Reviewed 2010
© 2010