At Annie Laurance's Death on Demand bookstore on Broward's Rock Island, South Carolina, murder suddenly isn't confined to the well-stocked shelves. Author Elliot Morgan's abrupt demise during a weekly gathering of famous mystery writers called the Sunday Night Regulars is proof positive that a bloody sword is sometimes mightier than a brilliant pen. With Annie in the unenviable position of primary police suspect, the pretty young mystery maven and her wealthy paramour, Max Darling, embark on an investigation into a classic locked-room mystery with high stakes.
Ever since the death of her fiancé, Nela Farley has found herself plagued by a sixth sense: she understands the thoughts of cats when she looks into their eyes. Nela knows that what she's experiencing is completely irrational and tries to convince herself that she is simply transferring her own thoughts that she doesn't want to face. When her adventurous sister, Chloe, goes on a trip and asks for a favor, Nela welcomes the distraction and agrees to substitute at Chloe's job at a charitable foundation.
Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins, known to her friends as Henrie O, is America's favorite ex-journalist turned sleuth. These days she's looking forward to a quiet holiday at a wealthy friend's mountain cabin in Tennessee. Instead, Henrie O finds herself in the middle of another murder mystery - this time in the well-heeled neighborhood of Fair Haven. Married to the daughter of a prominent citizen, her friend's nephew appears one morning covered in his wife's blood - but he swears he didn't kill her.
Invited to stage a Mystery Night for the annual antebellum house tour of the Historical Preservation Society of Chastain, South Carolina, Annie Laurance instead finds herself the leading lady in a flesh-and blood drama. The play's the thing when the curtain falls on grande dame Corinne Webster. While jeweled fingers point, accusing Annie of murder, the perpetrator lurks among the cast and the murder weapon is one of the props. Now it will take all of her sleuthing skills to discover the real killer.
Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins, better known as "Henrie O", has experienced much sadness and loss in her life - yet nothing more tragic than the sudden death six years ago of her husband, Richard, on Kauai. Then, on a brisk March morning, a package arrives by courier that shatters her fragile peace of mind - a chilling message that claims Richard's fatal fall from a towering island cliff was no accident. It was murder. It is news that enrages the normally self-contained Henrie O, and creates a summons she cannot ignore.
Annie and Max Darling watch the Fourth of July festival explode not only with fun and fireworks, but with murder as well. A library board newcomer who also happens to be a retired Brigadier General maneuvers the theme of the festival, which is to benefit the library, into his own vision: "Points of Patriotism." His takeover attitude has alienated everyone, including Annie, who finds it difficult to ignore him - especially when he's shot dead before her eyes.
The Women's Club prides itself on the success of its annual White Elephant Sale, but this year's sale is marred by a bizarre turn. A blackmailer coerces five of the town's citizens into donating valuable artifacts. When a volunteer fails to show up on time, Henny Brawley drives off to find the missing woman, just as a powerful squall hits the island. Hours later, a worried Annie Darling goes off in search of Henny, only to find the corpse of the missing volunteer. The victim turns out to be the blackmailer.
Mystery bookstore owner Annie Laurance, and detective Max Darling are finally tying the knot, but a bizarre sequence of events threatens to unravel this blissful marriage before it begins. The ceremony is barely over when the phone rings and a woman on the other end of the line screams bloody murder! The newlyweds rush to the scene of the crime only to discover that Ingrid Jones, Annie's bookstore assistant, has vanished, leaving the body of a neighborhood Peeping Tom on her living room rug.
Mystery bookstore owner Annie Laurance didn't really want to go to her neighbor's Valentine Day masked ball - particularly not after the voluptuous brunette made a pass at Annie's husband, Max. So when her dizzy mother-in-law, Laurel, made a surprise visit to Broward's Rock Island, Annie thought it would be a perfect excuse to skip the party. She should have known better: True to form, Laurel accepted the invitation for all three of them. But the biggest surprise of all came at the party's end, when Annie found the amorous hostess in the gazebo - murdered.
Chase Prescott, media magnate, is nearly killed by a box of cyanide candy. Fearing for his life, he calls his former lover, retired reporter Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins. His request is simple: He'll assemble all the suspects if she will kindly point out the would-be murderer. On Chase's private island off the South Carolina coast, Henrie O meets the players in this deadly drama: Prescott's unstable young wife, his sullen stepson, and his toady of a secretary.
When mystery bookstore owner Annie Laurance is invited to teach "The Three Great Ladies of the Mystery" class at Chastain Community College, the sometimes sleuth discovers that all is not strictly academic in Chastain's hallowed halls of learning. And when a shocking scandal in the school newspaper erupts in a suicide and two violent deaths, Professor Laurance enlists the talents of her new hubby, private eye Max Darling, and dons her thinking cap to probe intrigue and vengeance among Chastain's faculty.
One of America's most highly acclaimed mystery writers brings us another installment in the career of Henrietta "Henrie O" Collins, an ex-reporter turned sleuth. These days, Henrie O is teaching journalism at Thorndyke University, where she encourages an ambitious student to pursue an investigative series about three unrelated and hitherto unsolved local crimes. But the student's study habits get her killed.
Annie can hardly believe it: The police say her husband, Max, sits behind bars. They speak of him with a beautiful blonde. By the time Annie bails Max out, the blonde has disappeared and Max is the prime suspect in a crime. The baffling, bloodstained trail leads to the home of the Tarrants, a venerable Southern family with a violent history dating back to the Revolution - and ghosts of a more recent vintage. Infighting and mayhem reign in the family, and a killer wants hide the secrets that haunt the Tarrants.
In honor of Agatha Christie's 100th birthday, mystery bookstore owner Annie Laurance Darling plans a week-long celebration of mystery, treasure hunts, and Christie trivia. But the last thing she or her guests expect is that the scheduled fun and mayhem will include a real-life murder. The unexpected arrival of Neil Bledsoe, the most despised book critic in America, was sure to raise a few hackles. An advocate of hard-boiled detection and gory true crime, Bledsoe drops a bombshell on the devoted Christie assemblage....
Normally, Annie Laurence Darling would be eagerly awaiting her trip to this year's Dixie Book Festival. But this year Annie has agreed to be the author liaison to five authors honored with the Dixie Book Festival Medallions, and she fears she is going to have her hands full. What Annie doesn't count on is the untimely death of ambitious Mint Julep Press publisher Kenneth Hazlitt.
Everyone - including mystery bookstore owner Annie Laurance - loves Arsenic and Old Lace. But something wicked has poisoned a local summer stock production: The star, aging Hollywood beach-blanket hunk Shane Petree, butchers his lines - while getting top billing in bed with wives and teenage daughters around town. No wonder somebody wants to draw his final curtain. A pompous prosecutor tries to pin a murder on Max, Annie's own leading man. Unless Annie can prove her darling's innocence, their wedding date's off!
A frantic phone call from an old and dear friend on the other side of the world sends Henrie O to San Antonio, Texas, in search of her friend's granddaughter, Iris Chavez. Iris had been working at the family-owned Tesoros Gallery, a shop renowned for the priceless treasures it hunts for its rich and famous patrons. Iris has disappeared without a word; Her apartment has been ransacked, yet nothing is missing. And nobody at Tesoros seems to care. Why? Somewhere in the gallery or among the family members is a secret....