I have been reading this series for several years and have really enjoyed them. I love that Annie will not give up when she figures that someone needs her help. And then she gets Max involved whether he thinks there is any way they can help or not. I had an idea who the killer was but wanted to know the motive behind the killings so kept on reading to the end. The false directions were a good way to keep me reading. Will be looking forward to finding and reading the next one in this series.
This book is the first of the "Death On Demand" cozy type mystery series that I have read. "Death On Demand" is the main character Anne Darling's book store on the island of Broward's Rock. The author, Ms. Hart, does a fairly good job of writing this story that can be read alone though, I imagine that this book, would be more enjoyable for those who have been following the series. At first I had a bit of trouble getting into this story, as I wasn't familiar with some of the minor characters. In this story, Annie Darling is a bookstore owner who is convinced that the death of a recently hired employee is not the suicide it appears to be. Trying to unravel what happened to the employee gets Annie and her supportive husband Max caught up in trying to solve yet more crimes. From there, the pace of the story picks up and the book becomes harder to put down.
The true murderer of this plot is quite easy to suspect and figure out, as the author expresses everyone's dislike for them quite early in the book. The book also included a thread about posters of cats which at first I had trouble really getting into. Later into the story I found myself enjoying the thread. Also at times I had trouble believing that any murder victim's family and the police would let Annie and Max get so involved in the family's business & murder investigation as they were.
For me the ending left many unanswered questions as the murderer said "Richard...I did it all for you" and there's never any thing explained about why she did it for him...love? money? attraction? Maybe it's me, but, I just longed for more of an explanation.
Overall, I'd rate this book a 3.5 stars. Other than the few little things I mentioned that I didn't like, this was an enjoyable mystery. It's a light cozy type mystery with likable characters that many people could relate to in one way or another. I'd more than likely read another "Death On Demand" mystery.
I suspect that these mysteries would be more enjoyable read on the beach or on a boat as the location of this story (the lovely sea island of Browell's Rock) is well described. "Dead by Midnight" is definitely a beach vacation book.
Also, on the plus side is there is no cursing or sex scenes which makes this a clean read for any age group.