|Deborah Donnelly: May the Best Man Die|
Dell (Paperback), ISBN 0440241294
In this, Donnelly's third of the Carnegie Kincaid mystery series, the best man dies after a night of revelry at the bachelor party.
Donnelly also kills off much of what I enjoy most about the series. She temporarily moves Carnegie out of the house boat, puts her at odds with her best friend Lily and on non-speaking terms with her boyfriend. She sends Carnegie's acerbic accountant, partner and friend, Eddie, on a mysterious vacation, and limits colorful cake-designer Juice and Boris the Mad Russian florist to walk-on parts. She minimizes the major wedding day scene, making it an afterthought that ties up the ends from the previous novel, Died to Match.
The black bag full
of duct tape and other last minute miracle remedies for wedding day fiascos
-- gone. The witty repartee seems one-sided when all of Carnegie's straight
men wait in the wings for the next book.
At least I hope to see the old faithfuls back in future installments of the series.
And I do look forward to reading the next Carnegie Kincaid novel. As much as I grump about what's missing, I enjoyed what she included: Bridezilla (self-explanatory); the self-made, successful entrepreneur and mother-of-the-bride; a famous French wedding designer who moves in on Carnegie's territory and humiliates her on television; and a mysterious murderer who flits in and out of the book, finally coming to light in the final pages.
Donnelly mastered the art of red herrings and well-placed clues in her first novel Veiled Threats and continues to weave her clues deftly throughout May the Best Man Die. She uses Seattle and even Vanna the White Van as additional characters. She introduces readers to a coffee roasting plant and further enriches this mystery with unexpected verbal asides sprinkled along the plot twists and turns.
Amazing how entertaining I found this read, considering the author threw my favorite elements overboard.
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