Dying on the Vine
By Marla Cooper
Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding #2
Minotaur Books, 2017
When wedding planner Kelsey McKenna goes to the Wine Country Wedding Faire, the last thing she expects to do is take on new clients. After all, she’s just there to help out her friend Brody and maybe score some free cupcakes. But when a young couple in a pinch asks for her help, she just can’t say no.
There’s only one problem: they’d been working with Babs Norton, the self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings—and things did not end well. Kelsey wants to make sure there are no hard feelings, but unfortunately she never gets the chance. When she goes to Babs’ office, she finds the wedding planner dead on the floor.
Babs’ high-strung assistant Stefan knows exactly who killed Babs: Kelsey. At least, that’s what he very publicly accuses her of at Babs’ funeral. When Kelsey decides to do a little sleuthing to clear her name, she uncovers a myriad of secrets and lies. And when a second wedding planner is attacked, Kelsey begins to wonder if she might be next.
Set against the stunning backdrop of California wine country, Marla Cooper’s Dying on the Vine is a mystery brimming with gossip, wine, and, of course…murder.
I enjoy wedding themes and thought Marla Cooper did a good job with Kelsey McKenna’s character as a wedding planner, as well as her associates and friends. Dying on the Vine is a true cozy mystery, with plenty of humor. California’s wine country makes a great backdrop and is conveyed beautifully.
The wedding industry is fascinating and I wasn’t surprised to discover that it is a cutthroat business. The mystery is well plotted and quite complex; there’s no way I could have figured out the murderer’s identity.
Dying on the Vine is #2 in the Destination Wedding series, but can be read alone. I would have enjoyed this story more had it not been for some profanity – not frequent, but still present. All in all, this is a story that fans of the cozy mystery genre will enjoy.
I was provided a free copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
As a freelance writer, Marla Cooper has written all sorts of things, from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku. But it was while ghostwriting a nonfiction guide to destination weddings that she found inspiration for her current series starring destination wedding planner Kelsey McKenna. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat.
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