Title: Marry Christmas Murder (Wedding Planner Mystery #5)
Author: Stephanie Blackmoore
Published on: 24th September 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Mallory’s excited about her friend Olivia’s wedding. The families are meeting over at Mallory’s B&B for food tasting. But, the bride and groom seem to be busy. So busy that they arrive late and are eager to leave early. Olivia finds her car vandalized. Someone’s spray painted her windshield with ‘gold digger’.
Carole, Mallory’s mum and Doug, Mallory’s stepdad have decided to move to Port Quincy for good. The paws and poinsettias charity event is in full swing until Lacey drops dead after drinking a blue Hawaiian punch. Later, it is revealed that Lacey was murdered and Carole is one of the suspects.
Meanwhile, not all seems to be well between Mallory and Garrett. With Christmas around the corner, a murder, and Olivia pre-poning her summer wedding to Christmas, things seem to go haywire in Port Quincy.
Marry Christmas Murder is the fifth book in this series but can be read as a standalone.
I really liked the concept. A plot to possibly shoo away the March family from port Quincy, the family of the bride included in the suspect list, a relationship on the verge of a break, and much more, this story is interesting and entertaining.
I am not sure if this could be your ideal Christmas cozy read because it doesn’t have a Christmas-y vibe. Cookies, snow and gifts, yes, but the mystery and murder takes precedence over things that give you a feeling of Christmas.
The characters are well portrayed and likeable. There were so many things happening in the story – the murder, Mallory’s curiosity about the March family, Garrett bringing in some shocking news, Rachel and her ‘marriage material’ boyfriend, Carole and her new found job as a stager and much more. Since this is the fifth book in the series, the baseline of the story and the characters are now strong so I guess it is okay to assume that each character needs to have their own side story.
The second half of the story seemed a tad dragged. There are a couple of red herrings that might push the detective in you off track. The ending is good. The reason for murder and dark family secrets are finally out. The only niggle I had was the drama about Garrett and Mallory’s relationship . Not that they didn’t love each other, but not coming to a decision or not taking the next step was annoying at times. Mallory wants a further commitment but then she has second thoughts…And then some more… Anyways, all’s well that ends well. *shrugs*
Many thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.