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....
To celebrate an April Fool's Day appearance by the island's most famous mystery author, Death on Demand bookstore owner Annie Darling creates a unique promotion. Offering a free book to anyone who can solve a series of clues about popular whodunits, Annie and husband Max pass out their flyers all over town. But an April Fool prankster is distributing a counterfeit flyer, complete with not-so-vague accusations of murder.
Annie Darling's yuletide preparations have been put on hold because her mother-in-law, Laurel, has taken to chatting up ghosts in the local graveyard. Across Broward's Rock, onetime movie star Marguerite Dumaney Ladson has called together all of her kin and their exes for a gala celebration. Among the honored guests are Annie's father and Dr. Emory Swanson. Ladson has fallen for Swanson's new-age-pseudo-occult gobbledygook. Right after the announcement that she's leaving her fortune to the charlatan's Evermore Foundation, there's a murder.
After a busy morning dispatching emissaries from Heaven's Department of Good Intentions to those in need, Bailey Ruth Raeburn is feeling flush with success. So when an urgent call for help comes through from her old hometown, she can't resist taking on the mission herself. After all, what could go wrong? With the shouted warning of her boss, Wiggins - Irregular! Problematic! - ringing in her ears, she arrives to face a shocking scene: Professor Iris Gallagher leaning over the corpse of her colleague Matt Lambert, the murder weapon clutched in her hand.