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Wedding Day Murder: 01/05/23
Wedding Day Murder by Leslie Meier and Karen White (Narrator) (2001) is the eighth Lucy Stone mystery. Sue Finch's daughter, Sidra, is engaged to an up and coming internet mogul. Sue wants to host the wedding in the Stones' new gazebo but the fiancé's mother has other, more grandiose plans. All that, though, ends up moot when the groom dies during the wedding shower.
The good of this series is how it continues to move along in real time. The time that passes between publication dates is reflected fairly closely in how time passes for Tinker's Cove. This makes the sudden rise of the internet start up and their fleeting wealth all the more real and raw. Reading this mystery with a twenty-one year case of hindsight, it's clear from the get go that this start up isn't what the groom claims it is.
The fair to middling is the mystery itself. This volume suffers from the same pitfalls of some of Kate Carlisle's mysteries — the almost comically bad villain or foil. Despite all the red herrings politely trying to steer Lucy and the reader to different conclusions, there's only one person who is bombastic and volatile enough and in the right place to actually have done the murder. But given how clueless Lucy remains to this fact, the murderer could have kept quiet and gotten away with the crime. There was no need (beyond having a dramatic climax) for them to confront Lucy.
The bad: the wedding. There's something about weddings in books that makes some authors go stupid and get distracted from the majority of their plot. The first fifty-one percent of this novel is nothing but wedding planning. The groom's murder doesn't happen until just past the half way point. The mystery solving takes the next forty-five percent (if I'm generous) of the novel. The remaining time at the end is for more wedding stuff as a completely unnecessary coda.
The seventh book is Birthday Party Murder (2002).