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Carolyn Hart, DEATH AT THE DOOR

Carolyn Hart is probably the reigning queen of cozy mysteries, those mysteries with little sex or graphic violence, usually taking place in a small town with a continuing set of characters.  Hart’s book meets all of these requirements.  The writing is serene. most of the characters are highly civilized, and the two main sleuths, Max and Annie Darling, seem to be an extremely contented couple.

In this story there is a series of deaths which at first appear unconnected, but soon turn out to be related.  The police fail to see these connections until they are pointed out to them by Max and Annie.  The plot is appropriately puzzling and keeps the reader guessing up until the last.

There is a large cast of characters, including a whole corps of amateur sleuths assisting Max and Annie.  At first it may be difficult to keep all of them straight, particularly if you haven’t read earlier books in the series.  But Hart spends some time delineating them in the first half of the book, so the second half can be devoted to rising tension.

This books and others in the series may seem a bit too precious to those readers who prefer their mysteries a bit grittier, but fans of cozies will enjoy it.

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