In Dead by Midnight, the 21st novel in Carolyn Hart’s Death on Demand series, Annie Darling hires Pat as a clerk after the woman has lost her 20-year-long job for the law firm run by the Jamison family. When Pat is discovered dead of an oxycontin overdose, everyone but Annie assumes Pat to be a suicide. Then Pat’s case gets put on the back burner when Glen Jamison is found dead, shot multiple times. Annie is certain there is a connection between the deaths, especially since Pat’s Blackberry is found to contain a photograph of a towel at the Jamison estate and dated just after midnight a day or two before her own death.
However, police chief Billy Cameron refuses to entertain this idea, especially after Annie discloses that she saw Glen’s sister Elaine Jamison throwing something into the marsh the same morning as the murder of Glen. With the murder weapon missing, the police naturally assume that Elaine threw the gun into the Marsh, where nothing has been recovered.
They naturally investigate all of the victim’s family, but this soon turns into a “locked room” murder when the police find that no one could have gone in the front door, since a man was working on the telephone pole across the street from the house. Darwin, the gardener, was using the leaf blower in the side yard and would have seen someone go in the back door. But then someone beats Darwin in the head with Elaine’s golf club, making the police assume Darwin has tried to blackmail the murderer. What did the gardener see? It takes Annie to figure out the truth of this mystery.
I have enjoyed the Death on Demand series throughout the course of the 21 books so far, but I didn’t find this as enjoyable as other books. I missed the delightful interactions with Hennie, Emma, and Laurel, among other creative characters, that we find in most other books. The plot was of interest, but it didn’t draw me in as much as some other books in the series.
Kate Reading continues the narration of this series and once again brings it to life.
Despite my preference of some of the other books in the series to Dead by Midnight, the high bar that the series sets in the first place means that it still is a good book. I enjoyed listening to it and bend transported to the island of Broward’s Rock. I give the book four stars.
To purchase this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.