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Crescent Blues Book ViewsDell Books (Paperback), ISBN 0-440-23703-3
Deborah Donnelly presents a bouquet of loveable yet flawed characters in Veiled Threats, the premiere romantic mystery in her Carnegie Kincaid series.

Book: Deborah Donnelly, Veiled ThreatsThe scene opens with a plague of wedding day circumstances: "So far on this rainy Sunday night in June, the florist's truck had had a flat, the groom's grandmother had had a fit, I was missing one waiter for the reception and the four-year-old ring bearer had hidden the ring in her underpants. Twice."

Carnegie Kincaid, named after Andrew Carnegie, philanthropic robber baron, brings her romance-tinged vision of life to her work as wedding planner and owner of "Made in Heaven Wedding Designs." She rises to the ill-fated wedding opener, pulling the tricks of her trade from the depths of her bottomless black bag (including the trusty roll of gray duct tape) and saves the wedding.

Her fast thinking earns Carnegie a shot at the big time -- a high society wedding that will showcase her work to all the social mavens of Seattle and beyond. Her faithful companion, Eddy, an elderly accountant, ecstatically encourages her to leap into the hoity toity wedding and balance their account books.

From the deck of her houseboat home, Carnegie plans a wedding of dreamlike proportions for bride-to-be Nickie Parry, financed by Nickie's deep-pocketed and doting father. All too soon, the father's legal woes intrude on the wedding fantasy, forcing Carnegie to not only rescue the wedding, but the wedding party and herself.

Donnelly liberally spices the story with humor, catchy descriptions and fresh dialogue. The book overflows with colorful, unique characters such as Boris the Mad Russian Florist -- "265 pounds of Slavic fury." Balancing the humor and tongue-in-cheek voice, an evil force threatens happily-ever-after, resulting in a suspenseful and well thought out ending.

Veiled Threats showcases Donnelly's writing strengths and offers a beguiling beginning for the new series.

Dawn Goldsmith

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