Reviewed by Erin McKibbin

Annie Darling owns a very popular mystery bookstore on the Florida island of Broward’s Rock. Like most isolated towns, the families of Broward’s Rock have been there for generations and everyone knows each other. So, it is no surprise that when the island’s oldest and most trusted legal firm hits hard times and lays off its receptionist, Annie is called on by her close friend and asked to hire the recently unemployed Pat Merridew. What does turn out to be a surprise is that the grateful Pat dies of a Percocet overdose just a week later and the police rule it as a suicide. Even more surprising is that while Annie does her own digging into Pat’s death (she refuses to accept that it was suicide), she inadvertently becomes a witness to Pat’s former employer’s murder.

Glen Jamison’s family and law firm had been on Broward’s Rock for several generations. A generally respected man, he had the sympathy of the entire town when his wife passed away and the shock of his family when he remarried a young attorney. Never quite getting along with Glen’s children or sister, the new Mrs. Jamison is further villanized when she makes the tough judgment calls to fire Pat Merridew and Kirk Brewster (a young partner in the firm). Her husband’s murder only adds to her unpopularity with the town. But who could have done it? Her sister-in-law? Her step-son? Her soon-to-be ex partner in the law firm?

Carolyn Hart creates a riveting mystery in the traditional genre with Dead by Midnight. Her characters are lovable and multi faceted against a backdrop of American life that is so familiar yet so rare. An expert in her craft, Hart weaves a story so intricate and captivating, you can’t put it down until you know “who done it.”

Rating: 4/5

Erin fell in love with the written word as a small child and subsequently spent most of her life happily devouring literature. She works as a freelance news, marketing, and technical writer as well as a full-time researcher/investigator in the sign industry. Erin lives just outside of Cleveland, Ohio enjoying the beauty of life with her children and grandchildren.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.