Overbearing Bud Hatch has problems with liberated women, modernization, non-whites and just about everything else under the sun. During the towns annual Fourth of July bash, someone takes advantage of the noise and hoopla to finish Bud off. No one misses him, and the many suspects are so well-liked that no one really wants to see an arrest.

Annie Laurance Darling disliked the obnoxious Bud immensely, but the mystery bookstore owner decides to get in on the investigation, especially since her flaky mother-in-law, Laurel Darling Roethke, is the most likely killer. Her ever-faithful husband, the level-headed and lackadaisical Max, helps her. To Annies surprise, even her long-time friends are carrying secrets that they are hesitant about sharing.

YANKEE DOODLE DEAD is an absolute delight for fans of the cozy mystery. There are interesting characters, humor, romance and plot twists enough to warm the heart of every mystery fan. Of course, Hart once more tosses about mystery titles to whet the readers appetite and once again includes Annies picture mysteries for the reader to solve. (Aug., 304, $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg