Annie Darling, owner of Death on Demand Mystery Bookstore, Broward's Rock Island, South Carolina, is planning a book signing for mystery writer Emma Clyde, but several of her promotions are sabotaged by a prankster. Then a teacher and one of her students are murdered, and the boneheaded police chief considers Annie a suspect. To clear herself, Annie sets out to solve the crimes, with help from her husband, Max.
This thirteenth Death on Demand mystery starts slowly, but Hart picks up the pace quickly and does a good job of combining multiple plot strands into a tantalizing mystery. Annie, Max, and Laurel (Max's eccentric mother) are all appealing characters in the cozy mold, and there is an entire village of amiable supporting players. The presence of Rachel, Annie's teenage sister, makes possible a side trip into the world of high-school angst. Throughout, Hart includes a wealth of mystery genre trivia that will appeal to the cozy crowd.