Title: Wedding Cake and Woes (A Peridale Café Cozy Mystery #15)
Author: Agatha Frost
Published on: 27 November 2018
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Wedding Cake and Woes is the 15th book in Peridale Café Cozy Mystery series. I have been following this series for quite some time now and so far, the books of this series has either been a hit or a miss. Unfortunately, Wedding Cake and Woes fall into the latter category.
It’s been a year since Julia and Barker are engaged and it’s finally the D-Day. Julia wakes up late and finds the refrigerator not working. Her wedding cake is now spoiled – she had been working on it for two weeks and the fridge had to go kaput on the night before her wedding. The flower delivery comes through and the flowers are of the wrong color. The hired Rolls Royce that was supposed to pick up the bride and bridesmaids are stuck in the flood.
Wait, I am not done yet! Julia finally reaches the church and the celebrations start. The choirmaster Gloria is in the middle of a solo when she starts to cough. The cough gets worse and worse and finally she drops dead.
With the wedding ruined, Julia, Barker and others return to Julia’s cottage. Gloria’s friend Flora asks Julia to investigate and bring her friend’s killer to justice.
The idea of a murder in the middle of a wedding ceremony sounds interesting. It’s no ordinary wedding, mind. The main character of the story is getting married. As an amateur sleuth who has solved more crimes than the local police, the last thing Julia expected was a murder in the church, on her wedding day.
There’s not much of baking or sleuthing in this story. We have Grandma Dot’s affair with Percy – this was a little annoying at times as the duo were acting like teenagers. Jessie hardly plays any prominent role in the story. Barker is busy with his second book while Alfie is dating a suspect.
In the first half of the story, we have Rita as the main suspect. She and Gloria had fought a lot of times in the past and it is quite possible Rita killed Gloria in a fit of rage. But as the story proceeds, we see there’s more to the murder mystery than rage or revenge.
Then we have the angle of the missing wedding rings and few articles. Is the killer a thief too? So many things going on in the story and I kept my expectations high on the denouement. I was certainly disappointed.
It was easy for me to identify the killer. Keep the murder mystery aside and the only other clue that is mentioned throughout the story is the theft. Petty articles gone missing, jewelry gone missing and much more. Also, the victim(s) were nasty and not loved by the villagers. So, murder(s) for revenge is also a possibility.
Having read the first 14 books of this series, I felt the mystery element was very low in this book. Maybe the concept of murder, wedding and ‘red herrings’ worked for the rest of the readers but it definitely didn’t for me. (I am one of the three who’s rated this book a 3 on GR). There is so much of chaos in the story – but not chaotic enough to grab my attention.