I penned a Farewell to Annie and Max this spring, but a funny thing happened on the way to Life without Annie and Max. A knock on my door. There stood Annie, a glint in her brown eyes, a determined tilt to her chin. “What are you thinking?” Max was right behind her, his usual easy going smile absent. “No more island sunshine? No alligators snoozing on a bank? No more laughter?” Annie and Max looked me in the eye and said, “Don’t even think about it.”
Do I want to see the displays at Death on Demand, catch up on the new mysteries, talk about old favorites? Or drop into Confidential Commissions and have a slice of Barb’s lemon pie?
Oh, yes. The scent of the ocean, the rattle of magnolia leaves, the grace and mystery of Spanish moss, hot heavy summer days, windy walks on a chilly winter beach, all await on the small sea island of Broward’s Rock. I’ll see everyone again, ebullient Annie, charming Max, curmudgeonly author Emma Clyde, mystery maven Henny Brawley, ditzy mother-in-law Laurel Darling Roethke, intense reporter Marian Kenyon, stalwart police chief Billy Cameron, observant officer Hyla Harrison . . .
I realized I’d miss them too much. So I changed my mind and hope to write their 26th adventure as soon as Bailey Ruth persuades a lovelorn ghost to climb the shining stairs to Heaven.
DON’T GO HOME – Annie is hosting a party to celebrate a successful Southern literary icon and island native and his best selling novel, Don’t Go Home. The local newspaper announces that the author intends to reveal the real life island inspirations behind his characters and the dark secrets in their lives. Reporter Marian Kenyon, Annie and Max’s good friend, quarrels bitterly with the author. When his body is found, Annie knows her friend will be a suspect. Despite an array of people who feared the author’s revelations and Annie’s promise to Max that she will steer clear of sleuthing, Annie is drawn into the hunt because the police may close the book on Marian unless Annie finds the truth.
DON’T GO HOME * Carolyn Hart * Berkley Prime Crime Hardcover * 272 pages/$25.95/on sale: May 5, 2015
Carolyn Hart is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels, including the Death on Demand Mysteries and the Bailey Ruth Ghost Mysteries, and has won multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She lives in Oklahoma City. Visit her online at carolynhart.com and facebook.com/authorcarolynhart.