Gown with the Wind

Gown with the Wind

by Stephanie Blackmoore

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Overview

Professional wedding planner Mallory Shepard knows her job is challenging under any circumstances. But when the groom is your ex and someone invites murder, there may never be another tomorrow . . .
 
Mallory’s fine—really—handling the wedding arrangements for her ex, Keith. But his fiancée, Becca, has at the last minute decided to switch from a Japanese-cherry-blossom theme to a Gone with the Wind theme. She wants to honor her ailing grandmother, who owns an impressive collection of GWTW memorabilia—and who is fiercely at odds with the groom’s mother over the nuptial plans.
 
But among other complications, Becca gets into a fight with an old childhood rival over a replica Scarlett O’Hara wedding gown. She wins the dress—but soon becomes a murder suspect when the other woman is found dead in Becca’s swimming pool. And it’s up to Mallory to solve the mystery behind this unhappy occasion, before a different kind of civil war breaks out . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496717511
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 12/18/2018
Series: A Wedding Planner Mystery Series , #4
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 46,953
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie Blackmoore now lives in Missouri, with her husband, son and two spirited cats. She was an attorney in Pittsburgh and a librarian in Florida before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of snow, pierogis, and everything black-and-yellow. She is hard at work on her next Wedding Planner mystery. Readers can visit her website at StephanieBlackmoore.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

"You're either a saint or completely crazy." My sister Rachel put down her wand of electric-blue mascara and tried to catch my eye in the rearview mirror. "You can still back out, you know."

I kept my eyes on the road, a slalomlike dip of pavement retreating from our Italianate mansion B and B, toward the other side of the town I'd come to call home. Port Quincy, Pennsylvania, rose up before us at the top of another steep hill. Pretty Painted Lady Victorians flanked both sides of the brick street in shades of lilac, butter yellow, and petal pink, like little girls in Easter dresses. The turreted and gingerbread buildings gave way to wide Craftsman bungalows and squat Cape Cods. Ruby geraniums, winking black-eyed Susans, and lush magenta impatiens bloomed in profusion in front yard flowerbeds. The sky was an overturned bowl of rich robin's egg blue, with a scrape of cirrus clouds scattered like feathers. I rolled down the window of my ancient tan Volvo station wagon, a vehicle I'd christened the Butterscotch Monster. The air was sweet and warm, carrying the scent of a recent rain. It was a gorgeous mid-May afternoon. Summer would soon be upon us, but spring still held sway, the world around me dewy and fresh and new.

"I think I'm a little bit of both." My heart rate accelerated as I turned to follow the road next to the roiling Monongahela River, away from Port Quincy and toward the countryside. "I can't just leave Becca hanging. What I would have given to have some help standing up to Helene last summer." I shivered despite the warmth of the late-day sun and recalled when I'd been in Becca's position. When I'd been engaged to Keith Pierce, Port Quincy's favorite son, about to go through with my inflated albatross of a wedding. Back when I was an attorney. Before I'd found out about Keith's cheating, called off the wedding, and inherited his grandmother's mansion, Thistle Park.

So much had changed. I was now a wedding planner and B and B purveyor, working with my sister to make brides and grooms' dreams come true. I loved my new career and my life in Port Quincy. I felt like I'd found my true calling, and had the good fortune to stumble upon a place I could call home. The only glitch was occasionally running into my ex-fiancé, Keith, his mother, Helene, and his new fiancée, Becca Cunningham.

"Well, I know I wouldn't even give Becca the time of day, much less plan her wedding to Keith." Rachel had moved on to the lipstick portion of her car face-painting routine, and carefully applied a swath of rose gloss to her lips.

"She extracted a promise in a moment of weakness." I'd tried to help the man I'd once thought I'd marry, and the woman he'd been cheating with, elope just this past February. But a blizzard stymied their plans to jet off to St. Kitts. Becca had acquiesced to Helene's demands for a big Port Quincy society wedding, and I'd taken pity on the bride. I was once in her position, fulfilling Helene's every wish for my wedding, against all my own wants and desires. I'd felt sorry for Becca, and though she was once the other woman, no one should have to stand up to Helene without reinforcements. I squared my shoulders behind the seatbelt and glanced at my sister. "We're lucky in a way that the Norris party canceled their big day. We can get Keith and Becca's wedding out of the way, and in two weeks, this will all be behind us."

The bride and groom were on a waiting list to be married at my B and B, and had accepted the slot from the last-minute cancellation. Their nuptials were to be the first week of June, and then I'd be done with them for good.

Rachel rolled her eyes in apparent disbelief at my proclamation as we reached the housing development of mega McMansions nestled in the rolling green countryside. I reached the cul-de-sac Keith and Becca called home and stifled a giggle. I parked the Butterscotch Monster behind Keith's familiar navy BMW in the circular driveway and cut the engine.

"Holy heck." Rachel dropped a compact of bronzer in her lap and yelped as a spray of tan talc covered the worn leather bench seat.

"I warned you." I couldn't tamp down the grin I felt spreading across my face as Keith and Becca's hulking colossus of architectural wonder stood before us. The bride had designed the house, a busy collection of cubes and rectangles jutting out at improbable angles. The house was a dark red-brick edifice that would rival any creative toddler's LEGO construction. Floor-to-ceiling glass block windows glimmered in long, unpredictable slices peeking out from under a shiny copper roof. Severe and precise topiary huddled next to the structure in random groups.

"If this is a clue to Becca's wedding style, we may be in trouble." Rachel dusted off the last bit of bronzer from her berry-colored leather miniskirt and craned her head to take in every inch of the modernist structure.

"It gets better. Wait'll you see the inside." I advanced up the wide brick path to the double-lacquered front doors and took a deep breath before I rang the bell. It was flung open a nanosecond later, and I found myself face-to-face with a woman I'd never met before.

"You must be Mallory. I'm so glad to meet you." I found myself being gathered up in an impetuous hug on the threshold of the house, and I smiled as the woman next embraced my sister.

"I'm Becca's mother, Jacqueline Cunningham. Her father and I are so thrilled you're able to accommodate Becca and Keith so much earlier than we were expecting." I tried to listen to Becca's mother and take in my sister's reaction to the interior of the house at the same time. Rachel's pretty green eyes grew round as she did a double take.

The inside of the house was a study in nineteen eighties' boudoir finery, with yards of white, cream, and ecru chintz and silk. Gold and seafoam green accents were scattered throughout the cavernous open floor plan, and everywhere the eye landed, there was peach. Peach tile, peach ceilings, and peach pillars. Even the kitchen cabinets were a shade of apricot. It took my eyes a few seconds to adjust to the glow of the room. A room that had my nemesis, Helene, written all over it. I wondered how Becca liked living in this split-personality house, where she'd designed the outside but had to acquiesce to her fiancé's mother with regard to the inside decor.

But I wouldn't be dealing with Helene today. Becca and Keith were keeping it a secret from the reigning queen bee of Port Quincy that they were to be married in two weeks' time. She would never consent to having the wedding at Thistle Park, and they were going to reveal their plans to marry the day of the wedding. I wasn't sure how I was going to keep their ceremony under wraps, but I would try. I didn't want to face the wrath of Hurricane Helene.

Rachel and I followed Jacqueline through a maze of white and peach furniture to the sleek black deck at the back of the house. I shielded my eyes as we stepped outside, briefly noting the spare obsidian rock garden beyond the low, rectangular pool. It was before Memorial Day, but the wide expanse of blue water looked to be up and running and ready for swimmers.

"You're finally here." Becca leaned down to give the side of my face a cool air-kiss, and I stifled a wince as she pulled away. We weren't friends, if not exactly enemies either, but I didn't need to exchange pretend pleasantries.

"I'm glad we were able to move your wedding up," I said in a neutral voice.

Becca gave Rachel a curt nod. The bride-to-be had donned a pretty pink sundress for the occasion, her large princess-cut diamond front and center as she folded her left hand over her right. She wore her ubiquitous flats, the better to attempt to match Keith in stature now that she was engaged. Her hair was its usual fall of shiny flaxen tresses, her trademark stripe of dark roots standing out at her part.

"You must have a lot of cancellations if you were able to accommodate us so quickly," Keith Pierce stated with a glint in his eye. My once fiancé was clad in his best prepster wear for this wedding planning meeting. He wore a navy blazer with gold buttons, a pink check dress shirt to complement Becca's sundress, and he completed the outfit with khakis and boating shoes. A bead of sweat dripped down from the bald spot forming atop his head and landed on his shoulder with a plop.

"This is the first cancellation this year," I responded, trying and failing to remove the frosty tone in my voice.

"And we're glad that luck was on our side to move up the wedding." A sprightly woman of an indeterminate age, somewhere between eighty and ninety, clutched my arm with warm, gnarled hands. She had a slight stoop, bringing her height under five feet, but her grip was firm. A full, fluffy corona of shocking white hair graced her head, and her blue eyes twinkled merrily like those of a young woman.

"I'm Alma Cunningham, Becca's grandmother," the woman gushed. "And this is my son, Rhett."

A short, portly man shuffled forward to grip my hand in a surprisingly hard shake.

"Pleased to meet you, Mallory." Becca's father had a little button nose, an amused smirk, and the same twinkling eyes as his mother. His hair was a longish iron gray, the ends nearly brushing his shoulders. He reminded me a bit of the Quaker Oats man. I couldn't help but swivel my head from Rhett Cunningham to his wife, Jacqueline. Becca definitely favored her mother. Jacqueline Cunningham and Becca towered over Rhett by an easy foot. Both mother and daughter had a sophisticated, if brittle kind of grace. Jacqueline wore a coral shift dress, her frame willowy and tanned and toned.

"And I'm Samantha, Becca's sister." A slight, short woman seemed to emerge from the shadows, dressed simply in a black tea dress and strappy sandals. "Pleased to meet you." Her lips parted and she gave a bright smile, and it was then that I saw her resemblance to Becca. Samantha favored her father and grandmother, with her short frame and twinkling blue eyes. But her hair was dark, the color of Becca's roots.

"My twin sister, actually." Becca slung an arm around Samantha and bestowed her with a winning smile.

"Twins?" Rachel squinted at the sisters.

"Fraternal," Samantha qualified. "I've been overseas in Colombia, working as a human rights attorney," she added. "I couldn't make it back for my cousin Whitney's wedding last October. It's so good to be home for Becca's." I found myself warming quickly to the sweet woman, who obviously loved her twin sister.

"Shall we get started?" Keith's droll voice cut through the air, and he glanced officiously at his Rolex.

"Of course."

I accepted the chair Rhett pulled out for me and opened the book of ideas I'd fashioned for Becca and Keith.

"You wanted a Japanese cherry blossom–inspired wedding, to mirror your backyard, but also to take advantage of the grounds at Thistle Park." I pulled out a photograph of the gazebo at the back of my property. It was festooned with cherry blossoms and stands of orchids, lit from within by red-lacquered lanterns.

"Oooh ..." Becca shimmied in her chair as I slid the book toward her. Keith continued to look unimpressed, but I felt all my misgivings melt away. Becca seemed pleased with my vision, and I relaxed by degrees. I was going to give Keith and Becca a beautiful day, and maybe earn some karma points.

"The wedding will be a joint catering effort between our cook and the restaurant Fusion. For appetizers, we'll have sushi." Rachel took over the food portion of our planning reveal. "Dinner will feature ginger beef short ribs, coconut curry risotto, and Thai chili mint chicken."

"And the cake will be a five-tiered cherry and almond vision in pink."

The doorbell chimed somewhere deep within the house, solemn and gonglike.

"We've arranged for a small replica of the meal from Fusion for you to taste."

Rhett licked his lips appreciatively as Rachel and I emerged several minutes later with trays of food bearing appetizer-size bites of the wedding menu.

"And what about the dance floor?" Becca set down a half-eaten spring roll and delicately touched the sides of her mouth with a cherry-blossom- patterned napkin. "I don't just want a boring white tent."

Ah, that's more normal.

Becca's usual imperious tone had returned. I knew it was only a matter of time.

"We'll rent tents with a bamboo-thatched roof, and the sides will be mosquito netting," I smoothly promised. I pulled out the brochure of the company in New York that had agreed to let us rent the tents at extremely short notice. "They'll be translucent and will look lovely with the torches we'll place around the grounds."

Becca seemed to love the idea despite herself.

"And what about —"

"Well, well, what do we have here?"

Becca went silent as all our heads swiveled in unison to take in Helene Pierce, standing in the doorway of the deck in her trademark Chanel bouclé jacket. Her face was a mask of barely controlled rage, her pageboy fanned out above her ears like a king cobra.

"I see you opened the pool before Memorial Day," she tsked as she made her way to the table. "A savage move, but not unexpected."

"Mother —" Keith rose to greet Helene, carefully stepping in front of a seated Becca, as if to shield her. Becca frantically grabbed at the idea book of her wedding and shoved the large tome under the table.

"And what is this?" Helene quickly retrieved the book and did a cursory flip-through, her papery cheeks growing red and mottled under her peach blush.

"This looks like Thistle Park." Her voice was quiet and quaking, the volcano about to erupt. "And just when were you planning on carrying out these clandestine plans to wed?"

"In two weeks," Samantha answered brightly. She seemed to have misunderstood Helene's hot face for excitement, not barely controlled anger.

"Not on my watch!" Helene tossed the idea book into the pool, where it broke the smooth expanse of blue and sent up a splash. "And at Thistle Park no less? You," she turned to me, her index finger a mere inch from my nose. "You are behind this, once again?"

"Calm down, Helene." I took a step back from my once-mother-in-law-to-be and bumped into Rachel, who sent Helene a powerful glower. "Perhaps if you had been a bit more understanding, Becca and Keith would have included you in their plans." Helene was a pistol, but I didn't think she'd ever resort to fisticuffs, no matter how mad she got.

"Why, you little —" Helene lunged for me. I'd miscalculated.

A flash of white materialized at my elbow, and I barely comprehended the wooden cane that nimbly tapped Helene behind the knees, setting her off-balance. Helene grabbed at my elbow as she went down, and nicked the edge of the large silver tray laden with appetizers instead.

The beautiful plated pyramid of elaborate sushi returned to its marine beginnings and toppled into the pool with a satisfying splash. Edamame and a rainbow of sushi rolls bobbed upon the waves like a mini school of fish come to the surface. The contents from upended bowls of wasabi drifted around in the water like green algae.

And above it all was the frantic caterwauling of the woman I'd almost once called mother-in-law. She continued to carry on, splashing and screaming, channeling the melting witch in The Wizard of Oz.

"I can't swim! Help me!" She bobbed under the water again and resurfaced, gasping and gulping in huge breaths of air. Her signature gray pageboy finally succumbed to the effects of the water despite a prodigious amount of hair spray. Wet clumps of hair hung limply on either side of her face.

"You're in the shallow end. Just stand up." Becca's voice was spasmodic and high-pitched. I wondered if she was all right, then I realized she was trying to hold back gales of laughter. She finally gave up and began to hysterically giggle, tears rolling down her face, leaving inky trails of mascara.

Keith looked at his bride in disgust and shrugged off his navy sports coat. "I'll fish you out, Mother." He leaned over the edge of the pool and meekly offered his hand to Helene. She grasped it like a drowning woman and nearly pulled her son into the pool. He hoisted her up and out of the water, careful not to get himself too wet. Helene stood quaking with rage, a puddle of cold water forming below her now-ruined pale blue suede kitten heels. Rivulets streamed down the sleeves of her sodden wool bouclé Chanel jacket, and her plaid skirt clung to her frame.

"This is all your fault, Mallory Shepard." She crooked her index finger in my direction, the large sapphire wobbling. I took a step back and bumped into Rachel. It was our cue to leave.

"Let's get out of here."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Gown With the Wind"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Stephanie Hayes.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Gown with the Wind 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I+love+the+characters+in+this+series+I+hope+there+will+be+further+books+with+them.%0A
LisaKsBooksReviews 8 months ago
I read the first book in the Wedding Planner Mysteries, ENGAGED IN DEATH, but I didn’t read the second or third books. The first took me some time to warm up to. Now having read GOWN WITH THE WIND, I remember it’s some of the characters I couldn’t connect with. Those characters still aren’t my favorites, but I had an easier time reading them. As the title suggests, the theme of Gone With The Wind is represented in this book, and mentioned often. So GWTW enthusiasts will certainly enjoy that. GOWN WITH THE WIND is a creatively thought out tale with more than one mystery going on. Murder, attempted murder, attacks, theft, and general mayhem are all present and handled well by author Stephanie Blackmoore. Fans of this series are going to love GOWN WITH THE WIND.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Juggling should be listed as a key talent for a wedding planner. Mallory Shepard has many balls in the air, two weddings, a Mother’s Day tea, a partner that wants to book more non-wedding events. All that before the murder. Becca, her ex’s new bride has planned a Japanese Cherry Blossom wedding but then the groom’s mother steps in to put her own spin on the festivities. Becca finally decides she wants a Gone With the Wind theme to honor her grandmother and tells Mallory to plan accordingly. She even finds the perfect dress. Until a fight breaks out in the bridal salon with a childhood friend/enemy. She wins the dress but loses the war when the other bride is found floating in Becca’s pool. Of course, she is the prime suspect. Becca and her grandmother come to depend on Mallory to not only clear Becca but also handle another event. This was a delightfully fast-paced read. Mallory Shepard is a great protagonist. With all that is thrown at her she rarely gets rattled. I mean dealing with the wedding of an ex is tough but have to plan it and go with the flow of all the changes is beyond hard and she keeps it together for the sake of her business. Her sister Rachel also seems to always be pushing her buttons and the envelope with a more, more, more attitude when it comes to their business. Strong women that do make a good team but they need to be aware of their limits. Again this installment brings in a batch of new characters that were very well developed. The author gave us great descriptions that easily brought them to life within the story. With the theme of this series, new characters are a must and really keeps each edition fresh. It also gives new readers to jump in to this series anywhere. The mystery is very well plotted and written with many twists and turns. The subplots were entangled perfectly into the mystery. The story completely held my interest, making it a difficult book to put down. I have enjoyed each visit Thistle Park B&B and look forward many more.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
In the fifth Wedding Planner Mystery, we find Mallory and her sister Rachel with so much business that they have a waiting list. With a cancellation and after their failed elopement, Keith Pierce and Becca Cunningham jump at the chance to have Mallory and her sister, Rachel plan their wedding. It doesn't matter what Mallory plans or how secret she tries to keep those plans, Keith's mother, Helene, a thorn in Mallory’s side, takes over and informs the bride and groom-to-be of her plans for the wedding. In this story we meet Becca's family: her twin sister Samantha, her parents Rhett and Jacqueline and her grandmother Alma. When Alma is injured in an attack on her life and some of her valuable Gone With the Wind memorabilia is stolen, she makes a quick decision. She is leaving all her collection to Becca. When Becca finds a Gone With the Wind Gown, the theme for the wedding changes again. Before Becca can change her clothes another bride-to-be, Felicity Fournier sees the dress and wants it. The funniest scene in the book ensues. When Felicity is found dead in Becca's and Keith's pool, they are immediately suspects. There are bodies or attempts at murder taking place all over this book. If this were my business, I think I would sell it and move on, but Mallory is a wonderful sleuth and does not give up easily. This story is well written and developed. There are a lot of characters in this one, but it is easy to follow. All the varied threads are pulled together and the ending is quite satisfactory. I enjoyed the quirkiness of some of the characters in this story to offset the acidic personality of Helene. It is nice to see Keith finally stand up to her. With the wedding on, then off, then on, then off and so on, it will keep the reader on their toes. Like in all Stephanie Blackmoore's books, there are a lot of clues sprinkled along the way, several suspects and red herrings to that this reader did not guess the culprit or the motive until the final reveal. I read this book in one sitting as I enjoyed it so much. The publisher, Kensington Publishing, generously provided me with a copy of this book upon my request. The rating, opinions and ideas shared are my own.
kimdavishb More than 1 year ago
GOWN WITH THE WIND, the fourth book in the Wedding Planner Mysteries by Stephanie Blackmoore, is the first I’ve read in the series and most certainly not the last! In fact, I’m anxious to start at the beginning and immerse myself in the adventures of wedding planner and B & B owner, Mallory Shepherd. Even though I haven’t read the previous books, I was able to jump in and feel like I knew the characters. Ms. Blackmoore offers enough backstory to make the reader comfortable but never detracts from the ongoing plot. First off the premise of GOWN WITH THE WIND sets up the story with plenty of opportunities for chaos: Mallory has been hired to plan her ex-fiance’s wedding and it is scheduled to be held at her own B & B! Add in a bridezilla, the groom’s mother who is also known as ‘Hurricane’ Helene, stolen valuable Gone With the Wind memorabilia, and an unsolved murder. The pace never lets up and kept me turning pages faster and faster as jaw dropping events filled the story. The bride-to-be’s grandmother is a Gone With the Wind enthusiast and the author effectively captures the spirit of the classic and weaves it into the story. There are many memorable characters and I especially liked Pickles, the Maine Coon Cat named as such because he loves to eat pickles. While he holds a minor role, he steals the scenes he is featured in. The unsolved murder mystery from the previous year is effectively woven into the story with the current murder of the bride-to-be’s nemesis. I admired the twists and turns throughout the course of the book and there were plenty of suspects to keep me guessing. The suspenseful reveal wrapped up the threads of the mysteries and provides a satisfying conclusion! I was provided an advance copy via Netgalley with the hopes I would review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clever and entertaining. Love Mallory and Rachel
Shelly9677 More than 1 year ago
Love, love, love this series! The Wedding Planner Mystery series never disappoint me. I love the characters, the plot and all the delightful twists and turns! Wedding planner Mallory finds herself planning the wedding of her ex-fiancé but the bride to be isn’t making it easy, in more ways than one. You’ll find yourself getting lost in this story line and won’t want to put the book down until its final page.
Marshathereader More than 1 year ago
Gown with the Wind by Stephanie Blackmoor is the 4th in the Wedding Planner mystery series. I have been a fan of this series since book 1 and they just keep getting better. This can be read as a stand alone but you will want to read them all. What could go wrong, when the groom of the wedding you are having at your venue is your ex and his new fiancee was the “other woman” that broke you up, plenty. Then throw in the groom's overbearing mother and a Gone With the Wind theme wedding, you have a tsunami in Port Quincy, Pennsylvania. There is some laugh out loud humor and the main characters are realistic and likeable. You have plenty of twists and turns that kept you guessing until the end. It is an easy to read, enjoyable cozy mystery. There are recipes also included. I was given an ARC by Netgalley and Kensington Books for an honest review.
ScrapNSign More than 1 year ago
The 4th installment in the Wedding Planner Mystery series brings the past back for Mallory when she agrees to plan the wedding of her ex-fiance Keith and Becca, the woman he cheated on her with. Keith's mother is a whirlwind to deal with on top of the regular stress of wedding plans. When murder enters the picture, you're drawn in to the mystery and taken on a journey filled with twists and turns. A charming mystery!
Sunshine1006 More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. Mallory is a wedding planner with her sister Rachel. Mallory is putting a wedding together for her for her former boyfriend and the girl he was cheating with while they were engaged. It has been one mess up after the other with Helene, the fiancee's mother. She's running the show. Despite Helene, Keith's mother taking over and upsetting Becca, the wedding should go on as planned. Just throw in a secret marriage, an affair, stolen jewels, a Gone with the Wind fetish, along with two brides fighting over a Scarlett O'Hara wedding dress, several murders and you have a great business plan. It was a thriller mixed with unscrupulous people with some comedy thrown in. Who committed the murders and why? Several surprises in store for readers, including the ending. I loved the book. 5+ definitely. I received this book from Net Galley and Kensington Books for a honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
CozyOnUp More than 1 year ago
Mallory Shepard is planning the wedding of her ex fiancé and his new bride to be, Becca, after a last minute cancellation and boy is she glad she didn’t walk down the aisle with him. While she’s used to drama with the brides as they plan for their big day, this one takes the cake! First the bride’s grandmother, Alma, is found after being strangled by an intruder then her life long frenemy is found dead in her swimming pool, wearing Becca’s . It’s hard to tell who has the strongest motive for murder, but Mallory finds herself in the middle of it. Add to this Alma’s love for all things Gone With the Wind and you’ve got a truly eccentric family and even more motives for murder. Add in a large cast of potential suspects and you’ve got enough red herrings to keep your mind busy as Mallory and her sister Rachel work their way through solving who done it! A delightful read and enjoyable cast of characters.
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Gown With The Wind is the fourth book in the A Wedding Planner Mystery series. After their failed elopement, Keith Pierce and Becca Cunningham again seek out Mallory and her sister, Rachel, to plan their wedding. As Mallory is running through her ideas for their wedding, Keith mother, Helene, a thorn in Mallory’s side, enters the room and once again takes over and informs the bride and groom-to-be of her plans for the wedding. Soon there is a concern for the health of her Grandmother, Alma when she is found in her home having been attacked and strangled. It turns out that she will recover, but decides to gift Becca with her extensive collection of GWTW memorabilia before it’s too late. When Becca goes to Silver Bells to look for her wedding dress, she finds one that could have come from Tara. She immediately decides that her wedding should have a GWTW theme. This leaves Mallory shaking head, but the bride is always right. Before Becca can change her clothes another bride-to-be, Felicity Fournier enters the store and wants the same dress. Soon a real fight ensues and in the melee, the dress becomes torn. A day or two later everyone is to meet at Keith’s house, where there is to be another tasting, and hopefully the last, and repairs to the dress. But as everyone goes out to the patio they find the body of Felicity’s body dressed in the wedding dress, drowned. Grandma Alma, knowing of Mallory’s having solved other mysteries, asks Mallory to investigate who is trying to ruin her granddaughters’ wedding. She has no confidence in police chief Truman Davies, as he has been unable to find the killer of her husband a few years before. A well-written and plotted story with a very interesting and varied cast of characters. Mallory and Rachel are still trying to decide whether they should just do weddings or to expand there into other areas. Recipes are also included in with the book. I will be watching for the next book in this interesting series.