Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
It is my pleasure to feature Stephanie Blackmoore’s new book, Marry Christmas Murder today!
Marry Christmas Murder (A Wedding Planner Mystery)
5th in Series
Setting – Pennsylvania
Kensington (September 24, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07MR9VLH8
As professional wedding planner Mallory Shepard organizes a Christmas Eve gala for her best friend, Olivia, the obstacles are starting to outnumber Santa’s reindeer . . .
Olivia’s dreaming of a white Christmas—as in a white wedding gown and all the trimmings. But that’s not the only event that’s keeping everyone busy. Olivia’s family are in real estate development, and they’re sponsoring Paws and Poinsettias—a benefit for the Port Quincy animal shelter. Meanwhile, Mallory’s mom wants to use her daughter’s connection to snag a job staging homes for the company . . . and the current stager is not filled with holiday cheer at the news that she might be replaced.
When the endangered employee downs some antifreeze-spiked punch at a party, Mallory has a murder to solve—among other mysteries including a missing cat, a toy-drive heist, and a baby found in a manger thirty years earlier . . .
Wedding Planner Mallory Shepard is working with the March family on a few events including Olivia March’s wedding and a Paws and Poinsettias fundraiser for the Port Quincy Animal Shelter. Olivia is Mallory’s best friend and her family has recently come to town to do a large real estate development.
Mallory’s mom and step-dad have returned to Port Quincy too and her mom can’t wait to go back to work. She decides she wants to work for the March development group staging their new homes and wants Mallory to help her get the job. The problem is they already have a stager. Carole doesn’t back down, in fact, she works with just one member of the March family and changes all the decorations for the Paws and Poinsettias event without letting Mallory or the rest of the family know. The company’s current stager and Mallory had work hard to create the perfect theme and they are not happy.
When the stager dies suddenly at the party, the punch is suspect and so is Carole. Again, Mallory’s juggling talents come into play as she tries to solve the murder, put on a wedding, find a missing cat, locate some missing toys, handle unexpected guests, and find how a baby left in a manger 30 years ago ties into everything else happening this holiday season in Port Quincy.
Let me just start by saying I now see Blue Hawaiian Punch and my favorite Blue Hawaiian Cocktail in a completely different way now that I know how easily they can become a weapon of murder!
I continue to be amazed by Mallory Shepard. Within this story, it seems everything is thrown at her but the kitchen sink but she handles it all with just a bit of assistance from her sister Rachel. Mallory is a strong protagonist. Working with family is tough but she and Rachel are pulling it off. It is made difficult this time when their mother and step-dad move into the B&B while they look for a new home. All these characters are well-written and are constantly evolving. The family dynamics are believable and fluid, especially when more unexpected guests need a place to stay.
Ms. Blackmoore fills these pages with drama and excitement. I loved the holiday theme and all the holiday events taking place. She blends mystery with family, friendship, romance, and humor in an entertaining way. We get to know the new characters a bit before the murder takes place. Then author serves up twist after twist and assorted clues that are sure to keep all readers guessing. I really thought I was on the right trail only to have another clue explained to show me I was totally wrong. Driven to get the family under one roof for the holidays really drove the key character to solve the case.
Marry Christmas Murder is a fast-paced story that entangles several threads but Blackmoore unites them all by the end and just in time for a Merry Christmas!
The Wedding Planner Mysteries can all be read on their own, but I encourage you to read them all for maximum enjoyment.
About the Author
A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie Blackmoore now lives in Missouri, with her husband, son and two-spirited cats. She was an attorney in Pittsburgh and a librarian in Florida before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of everything black-and-yellow. She is hard at work on her next Wedding Planner mystery. Connect with Stephanie at the links below.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”