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Design For Murder (Death On Demand, #2)
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Design For Murder (Death On Demand #2)

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3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  1,843 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
An alternate edition (page count) for this isbn can be found here.


Annie is asked to stage a murder for the annual spring house tour sponsored by the Historical Society of Chastain, South Carolina. Her only problem is deciding which fictional murder to stage--until a corpse turns up in the town pond. The second Annie Laurance/Max Darling novel.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 1st 1988 by Crimeline
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Kathy Davie
Apr 17, 2017 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it
Second in the Death on Demand mystery series revolving around the owner of a bookstore by the same name that specializes in mysteries.

My Take
A righteous murder of a nasty old bitch who terrorized everyone around her…and anyone else she could hurt. It's great fun reading Hart's stories if only for the list of mystery authors, series, and titles she sprinkles throughout the text. I keep stopping to add 'em to my list!

The Story
That bitch Sylvia enticing Tim into her bed and away from hers! Well, we
...more
Debbie
Aug 15, 2011 Debbie rated it it was ok
I really think this one was the weakest of her books that I have read. Nothing happened until halfway through the book. She got too caught up in little descriptions about the gardens and people's clothing and it it took awhile to get into it. I am really glad that I have already read others by her so I know that they are not always so slow. If this had been the first by her that I had picked up I likely would not have read anymore of hers which would have been sad since I have enjoyed most of he ...more
Danielle
May 31, 2013 Danielle rated it did not like it
So disappointing. I didn't enjoy this book at all, and only pushed through to finish it because I've already given up on one book this week.

First of all, the name dropping in this book was annoying and distracting. It felt as if Hart was more interested in making sure her readers knew just how many mystery books she was aware of than actually writing her own novel.

Secondly, it was halfway through the book before the actual murder took place. It wasn't all that exciting.

Thirdly, this may sound
...more
Jill Tool
Aug 28, 2015 Jill Tool rated it really liked it
The Death on Demand Series of books are just fun to read. Most of the time it's pretty easy to figure out whodunit, but it's so nice to go back and visit Annie and Max at Annie's little book store, Death on Demand.

Annie keeps telling herself that she won't get involved in help solving the murder of one of the Historical Society of Chastain, South Carolina. However, the first half of the book, is just a typical week in the life of Annie, the murder didn't happen until about half way, and then af
...more
Miss Trixie
Sep 17, 2012 Miss Trixie rated it did not like it
It seems like 75% of this is a bibliography of mystery novels, which, in moderation, may be a fun and reasonable filler for a series centered around a mystery bookstore owner but the author goes overboard. Are all the entries in this series so heavy on lists of authors and titles? The victim is obvious from page one although the murder does not occur til halfway through the story. The muderer isn't much of a surprise either. Didn't make me want to read any more of this series.
Cindy
Nov 16, 2016 Cindy rated it really liked it
Interesting series, well narrated, clean and recommended!
Deanna Anderson
Feb 14, 2017 Deanna Anderson rated it liked it
Whew! Am I ever glad I finished. I am not a fan of this series and will not pick up any more books by this author. I was excited because I love mysteries and the idea that the mystery-sleuth is also a mystery-book store owner was intriguing. However, I barely got through the first one and almost gave up on #2 three times but continued on, because, well, it was there.

But, the author over-describes things and page or chapter breaks often has the reader dumped right in the center of a scene or dial
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Cheryl Landmark
Jan 07, 2013 Cheryl Landmark rated it liked it
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

This was another quick, entertaining read in the Death on Demand series.

I actually liked Annie much better in this one than the previous one. She didn't seem to be quite as abrasive or clueless as she was in the first book. Max also endeared himself to me even more--I loved his charming, laid-back personality and how he handled the sometimes prickly, stubborn Annie. The fact that he is handsome, sexy and filthy rich doesn't hurt, either!

There was a rich cast of interestin
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C.
Aug 27, 2016 C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After collecting oodles of Carolyn G. Hart novels, I have tried two. An island setting and whimsically thematic bookshop are intriguing but Annie needs to stop ogling it. "Design For Murder" was tedious for 43 pages. Max protested Annie's brainstorming of famous titles for a mystery project. I dislike arguments and even banter. It was a refreshing surprise and relief to leave the shop altogether. I enjoy detail where it belongs: describing trees, flowers, homes. It was a neat premise to create a ...more
Carolynn
Mar 09, 2016 Carolynn rated it really liked it
I really like this series. It's got the old-time feel to it: a husband-wife team (in feel, if not in actuality, at least not yet), a relatively sanitized murder (or murders), and the old time feel to it--a gentleness that isn't present in a lot of current fiction. And, I got well over a page of authors' names and series written down to revisit when I have the time (sigh). That may not be such a blessing, as I already have hundreds on that list!

Still, it's a good series, with lots of description
...more
Kristen
Sep 12, 2016 Kristen rated it liked it
Shelves: cozies, audiobooks
Book two in the Death on Demand series was lots of fun. I am still enjoying the series.

The second book wasn't quite as good as the first one, because Annie and Max were off their island to deal with a bunch of snooty rich folks who also happened to be murderous.

I really love the interplay between Annie and Max, and I love that Annie is smart and confident and doesn't take anyone's nonsense. In this book, she came across as a bit obnoxious and shrill, but to be fair, the rich people she was creat
...more
L.K. Scott
May 11, 2015 L.K. Scott rated it it was ok
I love Death on Demand. Annie and Max are realistic characters and Hart's prose is simple, witty, and brimming with beautiful imagery. This particular novel was my least favorite so far, and although I enjoyed it, I had higher expectations. I probably spoiled it for myself by reading some of her other Death on Demand books first. Personally, it'll be tough to top my favorites in the series like the Christie Capers, Dare to Die, and Death of a Party. Or maybe it's simply my taste in genres has ch ...more
Beth
Feb 04, 2016 Beth rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This second book in the series really rates 2.5 stars for me. Annie Laurence is hired to put on a Mystery Night for the Chastain HIstorical Society and a real murder occurs that places "outsider" Annie square in the sights of the detective investigating the murder of a Society board member who seemed to universally disliked by all. I found the part of the storyline that dwelt on solving the mystery night murder very distracting and confusing, and that I could not care less who the Sticky Wicket ...more
Babette
Feb 16, 2009 Babette rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I started this book last evening, looking for a quick and entertaining read. I just finished it (I am off from work in honor of President's Day). This is not a series with spectacular writing or unusually clever plots, but the main characters are very appealing and I especially enjoy all the mystery name-dropping that goes on in each book. I have 54 names of authors, titles and characters to look up. Those are the ones mentioned in this book that I don't already know about. I have found a series ...more
SpoonieReads
Jul 12, 2014 SpoonieReads rated it really liked it
I always enjoy the relationship between Annie and Max, and the interesting cast of characters that Carolyn Hart creates. The murderer wasn't hard to guess in this book. I found a couple of the characters seemed more like caricatures too. Maybe not the best book in the series, but a nice way to pass a rainy evening or two.
Wendy
Oct 27, 2014 Wendy rated it it was ok
I really liked the first book so was very eager for the second. Once the action got going it was really good as well but it took FOREVER to get the action going. You knew who going to get murdered within three chapters but it just kept going on and on and nothing.

Still moving onto book 3 though :)
Trish
Jan 24, 2017 Trish rated it it was ok
Not sure why, but this one dragged a lot more than the first one in the series. Maybe because it was almost half-way through before the body actually turned up.
Marti
May 05, 2017 Marti rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Reasonably well-written cozy. Quite a few cliches, however. Basic premise is that a mystery bookstore owner has been asked by a Charleston area small town to come up with a murder mystery to be solved by teams during a spring town festival.
Owlsinger
May 23, 2017 Owlsinger rated it it was ok
I believe I'm done with this series, even though it's a fairly long one. too much "cutesy" in the characters, exceeded my tolerance for same.
Elke Koepping
Oct 16, 2016 Elke Koepping rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Though I liked the first book in this series a lot, the second novel indulges in endless boring descritions of tourist guides about the town where the murder plot is set as well of lifeless descriptions of the smell of certain flowers and the look of certain gardens. This helps not the least in creating a certain atmosphere as the author might have thought, it does not go beyond mere description - no pictures or emotions related to these list- and endless description are evoked. I have the feeli ...more
Kevin
Feb 03, 2017 Kevin rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Character List
(view spoiler)
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FangirlNation
Feb 22, 2017 FangirlNation rated it really liked it
In Design for Murder, the second book in Carolyn G. Hart's Death on Demand series, Annie Lawrence is thrilled to be asked to create a murder mystery for the Historical Society of Chastain, South Carolina. The board of the society has voted against the objections of its widely hated chair, Corinne Pritchard Webster, to host this activity. They hope this will increase attendance at its annual program of house and garden tours that show off some of the well-preserved antebellum houses in the city. ...more
Jenny
Sep 18, 2016 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't awesome, but it was entertaining. I can understand other readers' irritation at the mystery author name-dropping that happened throughout the book. No one goes around saying things like, "This reminds me of The Murder at Maple House by Agatha Christie," but that's how the Chastain Mystery Night attendees and Annie talks in this book.

The other issue that other readers mention is that a murder doesn't happen until halfway through the story. You meet all the characters (Gail, Lucy,
...more
Katie
Apr 15, 2015 Katie rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
I enjoyed the first book in this series, so I thought I would like the second, but I was wrong. I couldn't get all the way through it. I lasted until almost the end, but only because I didn't have another audiobook ready to listen to, and I need something to keep me awake when I'm doing mind-numbing tasks at work. I feel like the cast of characters is too big, and it just gets overwhelming with useless details about houses, locations, gardens, and people without being related to the mystery.
I l
...more
Kate
Mar 19, 2012 Kate rated it it was ok
"When mystery bookstore owner Annie Laurance is invited to stage a Mystery Night for the annual antebellum house tour of the Historical Preservation Society of Chastain, South Carolina, she instead finds herself the leading lady in a flesh-and-blood drama. The play's the thing wherein the curtain falls on mean-spirited grande dame Corinne Webster. While jeweled fingers point, accusing Annie of murder, the perpetrator lurks within the genteel cast of Murder-Most-Make-Believe ... and the murder we ...more
Debbie
Mar 05, 2011 Debbie rated it liked it
In this second installment, Annie has been tapped to create a murder mystery contest for the Chastain Historical Preservation Society's annual garden festival week. She loves the idea of creating her own mystery and the opportunity to promote the bookstore in the nearby coastal town of Chastain. That is, until she meets the overbearing head of the society, Corinne Pritchard-Webster. Annie has several heated disagreements with the woman. And she's not alone, it seems half the town has reason to h ...more
Lizabeth Tucker
Death on Demand 2

Bookseller Annie Laurance was thrilled to be hired to put on a Mystery Event at the Chastain Festival. It would take her mind off her disputed wedding to Max Darling. Then the Grand Dame of the town is murdered. Despite all the many people who hated Corinne, the police chief is only looking at the two outsiders, one of whom is Annie. Finding a suspect isn't the difficult part, finding the murderer is, but Annie and Max are forced to do their own investigation to keep Annie out o
...more
Barbara Rogers
I love both Max and Annie. Don't you just love Max's name -- Max Darling. How perfect!

Annie is hired by a near-by community to participate in their annual historic celebration by staging a 'murder' where the participants must play detective and solve the crime. Annie is really looking forward to it and puts here all into the planning and staging -- only to have her murder weapon used in a real murder!

When Annie arrives in Chastain, South Carolina, she finds there is much discord among the member
...more
Jennifer
Jun 18, 2016 Jennifer rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sue
Oct 16, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is Book two in the Death on Demand series. The setting takes place in coastal South Carolina. Annie Laurence is putting on a mystery program where the guest try to solve a pretend murder. Annie who is a "mystery expert" is asked to run a mystery nights program for the Chastain Historical Preservation Society.This involves developing a victim, the suspects, motives, alibis, clues and scripts. The only problem is one of the Board of Directors is murdered and the cops want to pin the murder on ...more
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4278425
Also writing as Carolyn Hart.

An accomplished master of mystery with 46 published books, Carolyn Hart is the creator of the highly acclaimed Henrie O,Death on Demand, and Bailey Ruth Raeburn series. Her books have won multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards. Letter from Home (2003), her standalone mystery set in Oklahoma, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her latest book is Dead by Midnig
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More about Carolyn G. Hart...

Other Books in the Series

Death On Demand (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • Death On Demand (Death On Demand, #1)
  • Something Wicked (Death on Demand, #3)
  • Honeymoon With Murder (Death on Demand, #4)
  • A Little Class on Murder (Death on Demand, #5)
  • Deadly Valentine (Death on Demand, #6)
  • The Christie Caper (Death on Demand, #7)
  • Southern Ghost (Death on Demand, #8)
  • Mint Julep Murder (Death on Demand, #9)
  • Yankee Doodle Dead (Death on Demand, #10)
  • White Elephant Dead (Death on Demand, #11)

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