Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Terror in Taffeta by Marla Cooper

Marla Cooper combines cozy mystery, exotic wedding locations and fun characters in what is undoubtedly the first in a new series, Terror in Taffeta. Wedding planner Kelsey McKenna normally enjoys planning destination weddings. But, the wedding in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, brings together a demanding mother-of-the-bride, a last minute addition to the wedding party, and a death at the end of the ceremony itself. Not quite as Kelsey pictured the newlyweds starting their new life.

Kelsey warned the bridesmaids against drinking too much the night before the wedding, but they ignored her. So, it didn't come as a surprise when they didn't feel good the next day, and one was even sick before walking down the aisle. But, Dana Poole had been trouble from the very beginning when she agreed to be a bridesmaid after turning it down earlier. The last minute addition to the party turned out to be pushy, and it was easy for Kelsey to see that the bride's sister, Zoe, couldn't stand Dana. But, she wasn't the only one. However, Zoe was the only one arrested after Dana died during the wedding ceremony.

It's bad enough to lose a bridesmaid. But, then Mrs. Abernathy, the bride's mother, insisted Kelsey's contract meant she had to take care of all problems associated with the wedding. To the mother-of-the-bride, that meant Kelsey was responsible for getting Zoe out of jail and finding Dana's killer. Kelsey felt differently. "Maybe I should have been a funeral planner instead. Your responsibilities are finite, the expectations aren't as high, and no one's going to be happy anyway." But, Kelsey takes her responsibility to Zoe seriously, particularly when the police seem satisfied they've arrested the right person. However, Kelsey has something the police lack, "a guest list with seventy-eight potential suspects."

Terror in Taffeta is a humorous treat, introducing a wonderful crime-fighting duo, Kelsey and her photographer best friend, Brody Marx. I have to say, though, this is another case in which I like the sidekick better than the hero. Kelsey is smart and an ambitious businesswoman with a strong sense of right and wrong. She's an excellent star for the book. But, Brody's personality pushes her to be even better. He's witty, intelligent, and an excellent friend. Kelsey and her business will make for an interesting series. Brody will make readers come back.

Congratulations are in order for Marla Cooper's Terror in Taffeta, with its gorgeous location, well-developed characters, and intriguing mystery. Here's best wishes for a long, prosperous marriage of mystery and humor.

Terror in Taffeta by Marla Cooper. Minotaur Books. 2016. ISBN 9781250072566 (hardcover), 288p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Kay said...

I want to read this one. Saw another piece about it somewhere and it sounded like it would be funny and interesting. So...off to see about it. :-)

Mark Baker said...

This book sounds like fun, and your review made me want to read it even more.

Lesa said...

Kay & Mark, Oh, good! That's exactly what the review should do, make you want to read the book. Enjoy!