Killer Wedding (Madeline Bean Series #3) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Although not about to say "I do" anytime soon, hip party-planner Madeline Bean is no stranger to the phenomenon known as the LA wedding; the good, the bad and the kind where the party lasts longer than the marriage. Still, Maddie never expected to be the guest of Vivian Duncan, the West Coast's grande dame of wedding consultants, at a lavish affair held amidst the dramatically lit fossils in the Nature Museum's Hall of Dinosaurs. While checking out the glittering event, Maddie, with her keen event planner's ...

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Killer Wedding (Madeline Bean Series #3)

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Overview

Although not about to say "I do" anytime soon, hip party-planner Madeline Bean is no stranger to the phenomenon known as the LA wedding; the good, the bad and the kind where the party lasts longer than the marriage. Still, Maddie never expected to be the guest of Vivian Duncan, the West Coast's grande dame of wedding consultants, at a lavish affair held amidst the dramatically lit fossils in the Nature Museum's Hall of Dinosaurs. While checking out the glittering event, Maddie, with her keen event planner's instinct, realizes something is not quite right, but what? The groom is on time. The bride is beautiful. And a corpse wearing a Cartier bracelet is dangling from the triceratops skeleton. Ah, yes. That.

With people disappearing and the bride in tears, Maddie just may be the next species to become extinct...unless she can reveal the murderer fast. Quicker than she can whip up a white chocolate wedding cake, Maddie follows the trail deep into dark jungles—urban and otherwise—amid tantalizing tales of smuggled gems, while fending off a nervous bridegroom, a crazed carjacker, and a half-naked ice-sculptor and his trusty chainsaw. Along the way, she discovers something old, something new, something deadly and something a wedding pro should never, ever do.

Although not about to say "I do" anytime soon, hip party-planner Madeline Bean is no stranger to the phenomenon known as the LA wedding; the good, the bad and the kind where the party lasts longer than the marriage.Still, Maddie never expected to be the guest of Vivian Duncan, the West Coast's grande dame of wedding consultants, at a lavish affair held amidst the dramatically lit fossils in the Nature Museum's Hall of Dinosaurs. While checking out the glittering event, Maddie, with her keen event planner's instinct, realizes something is not quite right, but what? The groom is on time. The bride is beautiful. And a corpse wearing a Cartier bracelet is dangling from the triceratops skeleton. Ah, yes. That.

With people disappearing and the bride in tears, Maddie just may be the next species to become extinct...unless she can reveal the murderer fast. Quicker than she can whip up a white chocolate wedding cake, Maddie follows the trail deep into dark jungles—urban and otherwise—amid tantalizing tales of smuggled gems, while fending off a nervous bridegroom, a crazed carjacker, and a half-naked ice-sculptor and his trusty chainsaw. Along the way, she discovers something old, something new, something deadly and something a wedding pro should never, ever do.Although not about to say "I do" anytime soon, hip party-planner Madeline Bean is no stranger to the phenomenon known as the LA wedding; the good, the bad and the kind where the party lasts longer than the marriage. Still, Maddie never expected to be the guest of Vivian Duncan, the West Coast's grande dame of wedding consultants, at a lavish affair held amidst the dramatically lit fossils in the Nature Museum's Hall of Dinosaurs. While checking out the glittering event, Maddie, with her keen event planner's instinct, realizes something is not quite right, but what? The groom is on time. The bride is beautiful. And a corpse wearing a Cartier bracelet is dangling from the triceratops skeleton. Ah, yes. That.

With people disappearing and the bride in tears, Maddie just may be the next species to become extinct...unless she can reveal the murderer fast. Quicker than she can whip up a white chocolate wedding cake, Maddie follows the trail deep into dark jungles—urban and otherwise—amid tantalizing tales of smuggled gems, while fending off a nervous bridegroom, a crazed carjacker, and a half-naked ice-sculptor and his trusty chainsaw. Along the way, she discovers something old, something new, something deadly and something a wedding pro should never, ever do.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062013965
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/17/2010
  • Series: Madeline Bean Series , #3
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 116,094
  • File size: 343 KB

Meet the Author

Jerrilyn Farmer, the author of seven acclaimed, award-winning Madeline Bean novels, is a TV writer who has written for game shows such as Jeopardy! and Supermarket Sweep, and sketch comedy specials for Dana Carvey, Jon Lovitz, Timothy Stack, Cheri Oteri, Tim Meadows, and others. Farmer also teaches mystery writing at the UCLA Extension's Writers Program. She lives in Southern California.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"You ... look ... so ... thin!" Darius's dramatic voicespoke each word with its own staccato punch.

"Please."

"You ... look ... so ... thin!" Darius always knew the right thing to say to each of his friends and clients. And that was always the right thing to say.

"Oh, stop," I answered, pleased anyway.

"Protein power?" Darius guessed, as his hands flew, lacing more white roses into the charming flower arrangement on the counter between us. Darius knew each and every diet that every one of his clients was on. As a matter of fact, so did I. That's part of the job description when you cater in this community.

"I'm more into a tasting diet," I joked. "I end up having a taste of everything I prepare. The hard part is convincing myself that's enough."

"Mmm hmm," he said, a rose in his mouth, as he spun the flower arrangement around, looking for bald spots. Deftly, he found the spot and worked the stem in. "But I hear you are not working, these days. True or false?"

"Well..." Rumors spread so fast. I had only just been hit with the lawsuit that week. I shook my head. It's a long story. The people who bought my catering company need to get straightened out. That's all." I took adeep breath of cool, slightly moist air, appreciating the spicy sweet aroma of so many blooms at their peak.

"So-o-o," Darius asked, eyes agleam, "do you have a good lawyer?" I was sure he had several names he wanted to recommend.

"My buddy, Paul, is taking care of it. Don't worry, okay? We just have a little down time now. Why shouldn't we take a rest?"

"So-o-o," he said, tsking, "they slapped you with aninjunction."

"We'll be fine." I smiled, in a fine way.

Darius looked around his empty shop and said, "Word is ..."

I braced myself I could tell we were in for some serious gossip.

"...Vivian Duncan is looking for you!" And then he went on to explain why the most notorious wedding consultant in Beverly Hills had decided she wanted me to buy out her fabulously successful business.

I let him have his say. Darius's elegant shop contained the most sought-after blossoms in the world. The rarest tulips and specialty orchids were flown in from around the world, filling his cool shop with mystery and beauty. The walls were painted the color of dark moss, the better to show off each precious floral jewel. I loved to visit him there, to catch a few glimpses of the wonderful new arrangements he kept inventing for his picky clientele, and to hear the latest gossip circulating through our tight little world of party planners. I wasn't expecting today's central topic, however, to be me.

Darius fixed his green eyes on the project at hand and removed one single stem from the profusion of blooms in the vase. "Now then, what was I saying?"

"I'm not sure. But what I'm saying is I am not interested in buying someone else's business. Ever since I came into some money..."

"A shitload of money," Darius interrupted, smiling.

"Well, we were lucky. We sold my old catering company to a foolish buyer. That's true. But now every restaurant in town is after me to invest in their expansion. Or there's a guy who wants me to be a silent partner in his chef's supply store. I mean really."

"But Vivian's the best wedding consultant there is," Darius said. "Frankly, everyone is simply shocked she'd consider leaving the business at all. What is she? Sixty? I don't know — she's been lifted so many times. But here she is offering you a once in a lifetime opportunity."

"Weddings make me nervous," I said, joking.

"Oh, ha-ha-ha," Darius said, with only the heaviest hint of sarcasm. "You refuse to settle down just to drive all the straight men in Los Angeles wild."

"Yes," I said, straight-faced, "that's my plan."

I looked at the flowers he was almost finished working on and sighed. "You ... are ... such ... a ... genius!"

He smiled. Yes, I knew what to say to my suppliers, too.

Just then a young couple entered the shop. Darius was the trendiest florist in Beverly Hills, and he had not managed to stay at the top of the heap by scaring away affluent couples, especially when the female half of the couple sported an engagement ring featuring an emerald the size of a cocktail onion.

"Hello, darlings," Darius called to them, full of professional charm. "I will be with you momentarily. Please look around." His eyes twinkled at them and then he turned back to finish his work. One of his trademark floral creations was nearly complete. In a round crystal bowl, a low arrangement had been made of two dozen tightly packed, burstingly large white roses. The exuberance of so many luxurious, velvet rose petals was only part of Darius's magic with flowers. His trademark creative stroke was found just below the waterline. The clear round bowl was packed to the brim with several dozen submerged fresh lemons, hiding and supporting the rose stems in one delightful masterstroke.

"Here you are," Darius said, as he made one more quick adjustment to my arrangement. I watched his elflike features, deep in concentration now, his blond hair brushed down onto his forehead in bangs.

"Just one last word of advice to you, my pet," he added as he wrote up the receipt. "Be careful if you mean to take on Vivian Duncan." His voice dipped to sotto voce when he spoke the famous wedding planner's name.

"I'm not taking anyone on."

Vivian Duncan, the doyenne of this city's wedding consultants, was a daunting figure in our little pond. She captained an elegantly tight ship and had the power and resources to float quite a few other friendly boats as well. Her favored florists sailed high.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2000

    Kept me guessing until the very end.

    <P>This is the first novel I've read by Jerrilyn Farmer, but her first two are in my ToBeRead pile. Farmer's writing is witty, entertaining and well-wrought in the ways of humorous mysteries. The cast of secondary characters is manageable so that you don't need a score card to keep track of them and she gives the heroine Madeline Bean a generous share of male attentiveness as the plucky caterer cum sleuth picks her way through a debacle of a wedding to discover who killed the wedding planner and used her body as a dinosaurian accessory. <P>If you're a fan of Diane Mott Davidson, Sophie Dunbar or any of the writers of humorous mystery, you will enjoy Killer Wedding. <P>Note to Ms. Farmer: Please....less Arlo and *much* more Chuck Honnett.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2000

    A top notch title from an award winning author

    Maddie Bean's event planning business has legal problems, but she doesn't want to buy the top wedding planning business in LA either. She is manipulated into helping the bride and at the wedding, held at a natural history museum, the woman who wants to sell Maddie her business is found murdered atop a dinosaur fossil. Fast-paced, witty and with a superb mystery, Farmer is at the top of her game. This author deserves the fame and fortune that less talented writers seem to reap for no apparent reason. Recommended along with the first two books in the series: The Macavity winning 'Sympathy for the Devil' and Agatha nominated 'Immaculate Reception.'

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining amateur sleuth tale

    Madeline Bean and Wesley Westcott co-own Madeline Bean Events, an enterprise that plans events for clients. Recently, the company organized a successful welcome celebration for the visiting Pope. This has led to a large demand for their services among the rich and famous. However, the courts have prevented Maddie from accepting any work due to an injunction filed by the owners of her former company. Los Angeles¿ most prominent wedding consultant Vivian Duncan wants Maddie to buy her out of her wedding consultant business. Though the thought of coordinating a wedding leaves Maddie with hives, she is unable to reject the offer to the vindictive woman. <P>At the posh Silver-Bell wedding reception, Maddie decides to tell Vivian no. However, before she can complete her quest, Maddie finds Vivian¿s dead body. Someone obviously killed the wedding consultant and Maddie is determined to find out who the murderer is. Her search soon uncovers a wide range of suspects who had motive and opportunity to kill Vivian. Even as she conducts her own brand of sleuthing, Maddie finds time to be enamored with the lead detective and a jewel thief. <P>With the enjoyable and witty KILLER WEDDING, award winning Jerrilyn Farmer seems heading towards another Agatha or Anthony nomination. The independent heroine is a role model who thinks for herself, is nonjudgmental, yet is not afraid to voice her opinions. The fast-paced story line includes other likable characters that have appeared in previous Maddie Bean tales. Anyone who reads this novel will become a Bean collector for the series contains one of the better amateur sleuths. <P>Harriet Klausner

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