Thursday, May 8, 2014

Blog Tour Stop: Dead, White, and Blue by Carolyn Hart (Guest Post, Review and Giveaway)

Please join me in welcoming Carolyn Hart to Debbie's Book Bag, today. Carolyn is here promoting the paperback release of the 23rd book in her Death on Demand mystery series, Dead, White, and Blue. Enjoy her guest post, along with my review of her book and a giveaway!

  Blog Dead, White and Blue by Carolyn Hart

One of the fun aspects of writing a series is finding a different twist, a new approach, a character or action that will surprise long-time readers.
Dead, White and Blue is the 23rd in the Death on Demand series which features Annie Darling, a mystery bookseller on a sea island off the coast of South Carolina, and her husband Max, owner of a quasi-investigative agency Confidential Commissions. 
Annie Darling grew up in modest circumstances in Amarillo. She met Max when she was an aspiring young actress in New York. Their backgrounds are utterly dissimilar. Max is rich, laid back, relaxed, and considers fun a lifetime goal. Annie is serious, hardworking, and frugal. They typify a happy marriage, sharing passion, understanding, respect, and laughter. They are involved in their community and often find themselves involved in helping friends or neighbors who are facing calamity
The challenge for the author is to offer readers a new and compelling mystery in each of Annie and Max’s adventures.
In past titles, I have explored the desperate need for love (Deadly Valentine), the terrible burden of pride (Southern Ghost), the anguish of false accusation (Dead Days of Summer), the danger of greed (Death Comes Silently), and the cost of selfishness (Death at the Door, coming in May)
Something new, something different . . . How about a woman walking into the pines never to be seen again?
Dead, White, and Blue focuses on two disappearances. We don’t know what happened to young, gorgeous, reckless Shell Hurst when she left the country club dance and walked into the pines as fireworks flashed in the sky. A few days later an observant waiter who was on the terrace at the country club that night doesn’t show up for work. 
Does anyone care that Shell is missing?
Apparently not her husband Wesley. Or the bitter ex-wife Vera, whose place Shell took Or the troubled teenage golfer who hated his stepmother. Or the man who wanted her to run away from him. Or the wife who knew her husband was unfaithful with Shell. Or a would be blackmailer who wishes he’d never heard of Shell. Or the society matron who is only concerned that someone stole her scarf from the back of her chair the night of the dance. 
One person cares, the golfer’s teenage sister Hayley wants to know where her stepmother has gone. She comes to Max, asks for help. Max understands this is a family problem and he has no business interfering. The girl goes away in tears.
But Annie Darling thinks someone should look for the missing woman. Annie sets out to discover more about that night at the dance and those who hope Shell never returns. She and Max learn the secret of an old public phone booth, persuade a maid at the Sea Side Inn who knows more about “folks” than they realize to share what she has seen, and uncover the reasoning of a quick-witted teenager faced with an appalling discovery. 

Now they know, but they have no proof. Their only hope is that a carefully planned gathering on the country club terrace can unmask a cold and calculating killer.  

Book Information:

Dead, White, and Blue (Death on Demand - Book 23) by Carolyn Hart

Publication Date: 05/06/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 042526078X
ISBN-13: 978-0425260784

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Carolyn Hart on the WEB: website, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Death on Demand

  1. Death on Demand
  2. Design for Murder
  3. Something Wicked
  4. Honeymoon With Murder
  5. A Little Class on Murder
  6. Deadly Valentine
  7. The Christie Caper
  8. Southern Ghost
  9. Mint Julep Murder
10. Yankee Doodle Dead
11. White Elephant Dead
12. Sugarplum Dead
13. April Food Dead
14. Engaged to Die
15. Murder Walks the Plank
16. Death of the Party
17. Dead Days of Summer
18. Death Walked In
19. Dare to Die
20. Laughed 'til He Died
21. Dead by Midnight
22. Death Comes Silently
23. Dead, White, and Blue

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, Dead, White, and Blue, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


Bookstore owner Annie Darling’s life is all about murder mysteries: reading them, selling them—and solving them…
Summer is a hectic time for Annie and her husband, Max. Sun and scorching temperatures never fail to bring swarms of tourists to their mystery bookstore, Death on Demand, for the latest beach reads. Not to mention the whole island is buzzing with excitement over the upcoming Broward’s Rock Fourth of July dance.
Shell Hurst is the kind of woman wives hate—for good reason—and most of them wish she would just disappear. But when she does—last seen walking into the pine trees during the Fourth of July fireworks display—Annie can’t help but feel like someone should be looking for her.
Annie and Max are soon following a twisted trail marked by blackmail, betrayal, and adultery, winding from the corridors of the island’s lovely inn to a pier lashed by pelting rain, to a gathering on the terrace of a country club where a trap is set for a calculating killer…


Carolyn Hart's 23rd book in the Death on Demand series, Dead, White and Blue has shades of Agatha Christie running through it, as well as, as old fashioned game of Clue. Annie Darling and her husband Max are investigating a couple of disappearances in Broward's Rock and there are definitely some fireworks. Long times readers of the series will marvel at Hart's ability to keep the series fresh and original, while new fans will line up to read the other 22 books in this long lived series. A great addition to the series!

What I liked:

Carolyn Hart is a master at devising new and entertaining plots for her Death on Demand series. Every book has a central theme that Hart works from and Dead, White and Blue is no different. Hart works not from a murder, but a disappearance angle with this book, which was an interesting plot device, and one she hasn't used before with the series. I think readers continue to flock to Hart's books because they are tied together but still provide an original plot every time. 

Adultry seems to be on the dance card at the Broward's Rock 4th of July Dance. Shell Hurst is a bit notorious in town and wives have to keep close tabs on their husbands when she is around. When she abruptly disappears during the dance, several people are glad to see her go. But it's up to Annie and Max to find out what really happened in Dead, White and Blue. I liked the theme for this one. There are tons of suspects and a plethora of motives. Hart pulls out all the stops to explain what could have happened to Shell and to the waiter who saw her walk away that night. I think readers will have a difficult time trying to pin down the killer. It's one of the things that make the Death on Demand books so good, they are not at all predictable.

Was it Miss Scarlett in the Lounge with the knife? The ending for this one reminds me a good old fashioned game of clue. Where Annie and Max think they know whodunit, but they can't prove it without drawing out the killer. I love the fact that Hart stays true to her writing roots and continues to write her stories with a flair for Agatha Christie. Her writing is similar to one of the greats in mystery writing and the ending in Dead, White and Blue is exactly how Christie would done it. Get them all together and force a confession. Miss Marple or Hercule Perot would have been proud. It was perfect!

What I didn't like:

Not much to talk about here, since this is one of good ones. Hart has a knack for writing great old school mysteries that draw the reader in and won't let go. I loved it.

Bottom Line:

If you love Agatha Christie, Carolyn Hart is the writer for you. This a great addition to the Death on Demand series which I for one, hope continues until there are a hundred titles. It's just that good. You'll be missing out if you don't give this one a close examination!

Dead, White and Blue is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

An accomplished master of mystery, Carolyn Hart is the author of twenty-two previous Death on Demand Mysteries. Her books have won multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. One of the founders of Sisters in Crime, Hart lives in Oklahoma. 

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Dead, White and Blue by Carolyn Hart.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, May 22nd.

1. Please leave a comment about a favorite fireworks memory.

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Unknown said...

my memories of fireworks were those when i was a child; always had fireworks on the 4th; so fun :)

Rita Wray said...

Visiting my friend and we all went to watch the fireworks. It was great fun with both our families.

Unknown said...

I was able to see my town's fireworks from the roof of my childhood home. It was great.

cyn209 said...

the best fireworks I've seen was at Disneyworld!!!!

Linda Kish said...

When I was small, we went to the local swimming pool to watch fireworks. They were terrific. Now, my favorite are at Disneyland.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Angela - Bookaunt said...

When I was a kid my grandpa loved the 4th of July so he always got a lot of fireworks and had all the family over to watch them and be together

Alicia said...

I grew up in a very rural area so fireworks were always a big part of July 4th. I just remember the ooo's and laughter....

skkorman said...

We live on a waterway, and every 4th of July and New Year's Eve we sit by the water and have a clear view of the fireworks display put on by the city and by the neighbors—every year it's amazing!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

Anonymous said...

My favorite fireworks memory was going and all of us saying ooh, then ahh after each fireworks until all of the crowd was doing it. That was great. They are not loud enough anymore.

traveler said...

The fireworks were a huge event which everyone attended. they lasted long, were amazing and special with so many varieties, types and colors and we had a perfect view from our top balcony. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

My favorite memory is my dad popping popcorn at home and dumping it all in a big paper bag, to bring with us to the school parking lot!

Texas Book Lover said...

My favorite fireworks memory is sitting on the pier as a little girl watching the fireworks over the water! Absolutely beautiful!

Carol M said...

I saw a fabulous fireworks display when Princeton University was celebrating it's 250th Anniversary. I went to Princeton to help out my daughter when they had their third child.

Anonymous said...

One year there were fireworks on my birthday, which is in September, not July. Labor Day celebration.

bn100 said...

like the 4th of July fireworks at BBQs

Unknown said...

I always loved watching the fireworks in my old hometown. The firework display was always over the river. Beautiful!

Brooke Showalter said...

I love the first times my girls saw fireworks. So fun to see them in awe.

Sue Farrell said...

My dad always bought fireworks for The Fourth--and I remember I was so exited when he thought I was old enough to hold a sparkler all by myself.

Anonymous said...

When I was a child we would walk 3 blocks to the man-made lake in the middle of town where everyone would gather on the banks to watch the fireworks. The fireworks were especially beautiful bursting over and reflecting into the lake.

Kimberly Wyatt said...

When I was about 8 years old my brother lit a "Saturn Missile" and the base fell off of it and it went crazy. It landed on my leg and blew up. It put a hole in my favorite shorts and left a scar for many years after.

Anita Yancey said...

My favorite fireworks memory took place in 1975, I was with my husband to be, and we got married a few days later. It was a very romantic evening. Thanks for having the giveaway.


lag123 said...

When my children were little, we always watched the fireworks on Pensacola Beach. Beautiful sight!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Natasha said...

I loved going and seeing the fireworks at the lake when I was little.
Thanks for the chance to win!