Friday, March 24, 2023

Book Review: The Christie Caper by Carolyn Hart (Death on Demand #7)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters and puzzle
Cons: Annie’s temper (at times) and pacing near the middle
The Bottom Line:
Honoring Christie
But critic is targeted
A worthy tribute

Honoring Agatha Christie Turns Deadly

Considering the Death on Demand books I’ve read so far have all had numerous references to Agatha Christie, I was wondering why we had The Christie Caper, a book devoted to her, in the series.  But, I figured any book in the series would be enjoyable and it would make sense once I got into the book, and I was right.

If you’ve missed this series, it features Annie Laurance Darling, owner of Death on Demand, a mystery bookstore on the island of Broward’s Rock, South Carolina.  You’d think a small island would be free from crime, yet she and her husband, Max, keep finding themselves in the middle of one mystery after another.  I’m late coming to the series, which started in the 1980’s.  This book was originally released in 1991, which is important to the set up.

You see, the title of the book comes from an event that Annie has been planning to honor Agatha Christie’s one hundredth birthday, which was in 1990.  She is planning a week-long celebration to honor Agatha and the traditional mysteries that have come sense.  She has high profile authors coming and plenty of fans.  It’s been a lot of work, but Annie is certain it will be fun.

However, trouble arrives in the form of Neil Bledsoe.  He’s a reviewer.  Reviewers, such horrible creatures.  In all seriousness, Neil delights in tearing down books he deems unworthy, and the only mysteries he deems worthy are blood and guts hard boiled stories.  The conference is filled with people who have come to hate Neil, and it isn’t long before the attempts on his life start.  He isn’t helping matters by threatening to release a new tell all biography that will tear down Agatha Christie.  Can Annie figure out a way to stop him and keep him from being killed?

This book is a little longer than the books in the series have been so far, and I felt it showed.  The story was beginning to drag a little in the middle, with the characters going round and round without anything truly new happening.  But then something did happen, and the book picked right back up.  When I reached the end, I was impressed with how brilliant the plot was.  This was something definitely worthy of Agatha Christie herself.

All the characters we know and love are here.  I’ll admit that Annie’s temper gets a little annoying at times.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand why she is angry, but I hope she outgrows it a little in future books.  I still do like her overall, and I love so many of the supporting characters.  We get some charming new ones as well as some good suspects.  While we do get the dossiers of the suspects, they come later in the book than normal, which was a welcome change.  By then, we already knew who the suspects were, so this information meant something.

Once again, we get some great humor in the book.  Yes, we are laughing at some of the things that stress Annie out, but there are some truly fun moments in this book.

As usual for this series, it comes with my usual language warning.  Despite being a cozy in every other way, there is a lot of foul language over the course of the book.

This is still one of my audiobook series, and Kate Reading did another great job reading the book and providing just the right amount of expression without overshadowing the story and becoming annoying.

The Christie Caper is a wonder tribute to the queen of crime and a fun mystery on its own.  If you are a Christie fan or a fan of this series, you’ll enjoy it.

Browse the rest of the Death on Demand Mysteries.


  1. This is an author I've always meant to read more of but have only read a couple. I love that this involves Agatha Christie and that you enjoyed it despite Annie's temper.

  2. I'm glad this was a good addition to the series and you enjoyed it.

  3. This sounds fun. I get a kick out of books that feature Agatha Christie -- a celebration of her 100th birthday would be great.

  4. This sounds fun! I haven't read any of Agatha Christie's books in years but I loved them back in the day. And you really can't go wrong with Kate Reading as an audiobook narrator. I'm listening to her right now, in fact.


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