3.5 out of 5 stars
Today, I’m reviewing Terror in Taffeta by Marla Cooper. Terror in Taffeta is the first book in the Destination Weddings series. It’s a solid beginning to the series and I’m looking forward to reading more from the author.
Wedding planner Kelsey McKenna is just a few hours away from wrapping up her latest job: a destination wedding in the charming, colonial Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende. The reception is all set up, the tequila donkey is waiting outside, and the bride and groom are standing on the altar, pledging their eternal love. But just as the priest is about to pronounce them husband and wife, one of the bridesmaids upstages the couple by collapsing into a floral arrangement. Worst of all, Kelsey discovers that she hasn’t just fainted – she’s dead. The demanding mother of the bride, Mrs. Abernathy, insists Kelsey not tell the wedding party; she paid for a wedding after all, not a funeral.
Losing a bridesmaid is bad enough, but when the bride’s sister is arrested for murder, Mrs. Abernathy demands that Kelsey fix the matter at once. And although she’s pretty sure investigating a murder isn’t in her contract, crossing the well-connected mother of the bride could be a career-killer. Before she can leave Mexico and get back to planning weddings, Kelsey must deal with stubborn detectives, another dead body, and a rekindled romance in this smart, funny cozy debut perfect for fans of Carolyn Haines.
Sun/Cactus line © Country Clipart by Lisa
For the most part, I enjoyed this book.
As far as the characters go, I liked Kelsey’s character a lot and Brody, her friend and often the photographer for the weddings she plans/coordinates. They’re both complex characters, though we haven’t perhaps seen all of their complexity yet given the fact that this is book one in the series! The mother of the bride on the other hand, I just want to slap silly. Some of that I believe is by design. She’s supposed to be obnoxious and overbearing. However, there were times when she seemed a bit over the top to me and I really just wanted to give her a “Gibbs’ slap” (NCIS) to the back of the head!
I enjoyed the Mexican setting. I perhaps would’ve liked a little bit more description of the setting and the foods they were eating, but it wasn’t like it was overly sparse. It’s actually rare for me to say there’s not enough setting description, but I felt like that quite often in this book. I just couldn’t quite get the scenes to be vivid in my imagination as I usually can.
The story line, in my opinion, moved just a bit too slowly. Now that I’ve finished the book, I see why a particular character was so important, but up until the end of the book I just kept thinking, “What the heck has this character have to do with anything?!”. I was tempted to skip to the end a couple of times, but I managed to resist the temptation.
Overall, I did enjoy the story. I’m looking forward to reading the second one in the series, Dying on the Vine. I’ll be hosting a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for it on March 28th!
** I received an ARC of this title from the author. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. **
All three images are © Graphic Garden
About the Author
MARLA COOPER is the author of the Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries. As a freelance writer, Marla has written all sorts of things, from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku, and it was while ghostwriting a guide to destination weddings that she found inspiration for her series. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat.