Paula Munier: The Wedding Plot

Paula Munier’s insanely readable Mercy Carr series has so far never disappointed, and The Wedding Plot is no exception.  As the book opens, Mercy’s mother, Grace, has been meticulously planning her mother’s wedding to her long-time beau Claude at the swanky inn her aunt Prudence runs (with an iron fist).   Between these two intimidating ladies, the wedding is proceeding on a path that looks to have Mercy in bridesmaid’s satin pumps and a blowout hairdo before she knows it.

It would not be a mystery novel, however, if all went as planned.  Frist, the spa’s yoga instructor disappears, and Mercy is pressed into service, leading the wedding guests through the classes he was supposed to take on.  And while all this sounds slightly like a cozy set up – wedding, yoga instructor (and wait, there are goats) – it’s far from it.  Munier takes a normal domestic situation – a wedding, something everyone has experienced as guest or participant – and turns it into an action novel. read more

Dianne Freeman: A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder

I knew from Dianne Freeman’s first book that this was a special series, and the subsequent books have done absolutely nothing to change my initial opinion.  In this installment, she manages to carry off the wedding of the main character without destroying the interest and tension in the novel.  I can think of other series where a wedding can prove to be a disaster for the characters and only one other historical series, Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily books, where that was not the case.  So, bravo to Ms. Freeman right off the bat, before I even got to the heart of the book (the wedding happens at the very beginning). read more