Walking on My Grave
Death on Demand #26
By Carolyn Hart
Author Website: carolynhart.com
Annie’s friend and fellow shop owner Ves Roundtree is a very wealthy woman. Her rich brother entrusted her with his estate, and upon her death, his fortune is to be divided. Several cash-strapped islanders are in line to collect life-changing inheritances. The problem is, Ves is very much alive.
Ves hosts a dinner for the prospective beneficiaries and feels a chill in the air that has nothing to do with the wintry season. Not long after, she suffers a bad fall that was no accident. Everyone at the table had a motive but not a shred of evidence was left behind.
When one of the suspects is found floating in the harbor and Ves disappears, Annie and her husband Max spring into action to catch a calculating killer before greed takes another life. (Goodreads)
Walking on My Grave is the twenty-sixth, and final, entry in the Death on Demand Mystery series. Bidding farewell to much loved characters is bittersweet, and Annie and Max Darling leave us much the same way they entered our lives – young and happy with each other and their life on the island.
I have always enjoyed my time spent with the Darlings. As with any long running series, some books are better than others. Unfortunately for me, this is not one of my favorites. This makes me feel slightly guilty and disloyal to Ms Hart. On the bright side, twenty-six books in Ms. Hart’s formulaic stories and characters are as comfortable and familiar as Annie’s favorite booth at Perotti’s and a fried oyster sandwich. For as long as I have been reading these books, I have wished I could visit Broward’s Rock and Annie’s bookstore.
In this outing, wealthy Ves Roundtree feels that one of the inheritors of her brother’s estate is in a hurry for Ves to die and divvy up the riches. Her fears are confirmed when she takes a tumble in her home that she is sure is no accident. When those who stand to gain from her demise are themselves being murdered and Ves disappears, time is of the essence to get to the bottom of things before the body count rises even more
There is no death until approximately one hundred pages in, and despite the build up to the danger, this makes for a very slow start. The recurring characters are like old friends, but those central to this book are bland and uninspired. It is far too easy to pick out the murderer far too early. To further bog down the tale, there is a lot of repetition. So much rehashing the same information over and over. There are also many details given that have nothing to do with anything related to the mystery. I do not care what a couch looks like or what a characters wears each day. There is also too much emphasis on a chapbook project that just feels like padding.
I have dearly loved most of the books in the Death on Demand series, and their absence will surely be felt as time goes on. Though Walking on My Grave is not the best of the books, I do not hesitate to recommend it to fans of the series. If you are new to Annie and crew, start with one of the earlier books.