Book Review: Murder on the Bride’s Side – Tracy Kiely

Title: Murder on the Bride’s Side
Author: Tracy Kiely
ISBN: 9780312537579
Pages: 304
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Mystery
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Elizabeth Parker is attending her best friend’s wedding in Richmond, Virginia and feels right at home.  After all, she grew up with their family and considers them her own.  But when the bride’s universally despised aunt is murdered and Elizabeth has the misfortune to discover the body, she begins to wonder if the family she thought she knew so well is hiding some dark secrets.

Review:

I was thrilled with the novel Murder at Longbourn by Tracy Kiely. It was an adorable cozy mystery, and completely unexpected, as I just randomly happened to pick it up. What I didn’t realize is that Kiely wrote a sequel to that wonderful book, and a third in the series is releasing later this year.  Determined to correct my mistake, I immediately picked up the second book in the series, Murder on the Bride’s Side.

Once again, I was plunged into a world where Austen witticisms abounded. The main character, Elizabeth, is obsessed with Jane Austen, and each book so far has been very loosely based on an Austen novel, this one being Sense and Sensibility.  I don’t want that to turn readers off, though. I personally am very tired of the Austen mash-ups, modernizations, and the like, and if Kiely had overdone it in her novels, I wouldn’t have enjoyed them nearly as much.  She pays homage to Austen’s novels without being too obvious.

The murder in Murder on the Bride’s Side is deliciously fun because the woman who is killed is the person everyone loves to hate.  She’s so despicable, so revolting, that I let out a small cheer when she was found murdered.  It complicates the plot, though, because pretty much every single member of the family had a reason to kill her. I enjoyed the twists and turns, especially Elizabeth’s uncertainty on whether she could really trust those around her, people she’d known her whole life. The ending was a surprise, and I appreciated the way the book turned out.

If you’re looking for a fun cozy mystery series, this one is a great one to pick up. The quirky characters really make the novel, and Kiely does a wonderful job developing each of them and making sure they are distinct. I really enjoyed this novel and can’t wait for the next in the series.

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Comments

  1. Well, you’ve gotten my attention! I am tired of the Austen spin-offs too, but it sounds like she doesn’t hit it too hard…just enough to be cute. I’ll keep this series in mind. I want to cheer when someone is murdered for once!

  2. Well, you’ve gotten my attention! I am tired of the Austen spin-offs too, but it sounds like she doesn’t hit it too hard…just enough to be cute. I’ll keep this series in mind. I want to cheer when someone is murdered for once!

  3. Oh, thanks for reminding me about this author. I meant to read the first book, but didn’t and now #2 and then #3. Story of my life. Chasing the mystery series. I love the sound of a character that rates a cheer when she dies. LOL

  4. Oh, thanks for reminding me about this author. I meant to read the first book, but didn’t and now #2 and then #3. Story of my life. Chasing the mystery series. I love the sound of a character that rates a cheer when she dies. LOL

  5. What a gorgeous cover!!! Can you tell I am a cover person? I am always commenting on the covers, LOL.
    It does sound like a good book too though!

  6. What a gorgeous cover!!! Can you tell I am a cover person? I am always commenting on the covers, LOL.
    It does sound like a good book too though!

  7. I haven’t read a straight mystery in a long while, and it seems like these would be fun. I have sort of stayed away from all the Austen spinoffs, though I have quite a few of them on my Kindle. Great review on this one. I also love the cover!

  8. I haven’t read a straight mystery in a long while, and it seems like these would be fun. I have sort of stayed away from all the Austen spinoffs, though I have quite a few of them on my Kindle. Great review on this one. I also love the cover!

  9. I’m really not an Austen fan, so I tend to stay away from spin-offs but this one sounds really interesting.

  10. I’m really not an Austen fan, so I tend to stay away from spin-offs but this one sounds really interesting.

  11. I really do enjoy Tracey Kiely’s books!!! I’m glad you like this one.

  12. I really do enjoy Tracey Kiely’s books!!! I’m glad you like this one.

  13. relieved to find out i’m not the only one suffering from austen retelling/mashup type books. the one i really enjoyed–because my students LOVED it–was prom and prejudice. i had students who couldn’t put it down and were drawing comparisons between pride & prom left and right. it was so rewarding. but that aside, murder on the bride’s side sounds like perfect summer reading! i’m all about lighter stuff and love books set in the south and enjoy a good mystery, too!

  14. relieved to find out i’m not the only one suffering from austen retelling/mashup type books. the one i really enjoyed–because my students LOVED it–was prom and prejudice. i had students who couldn’t put it down and were drawing comparisons between pride & prom left and right. it was so rewarding. but that aside, murder on the bride’s side sounds like perfect summer reading! i’m all about lighter stuff and love books set in the south and enjoy a good mystery, too!

  15. I don’t usually read cozy mysteries but I like that this series has a Jane Austen twist to it. I also like that this particular book has such an unlikeable character for the murder victim and so many possible suspects. Sounds like a fun read! Thanks for bringing it to my attention with your review :)

  16. I don’t usually read cozy mysteries but I like that this series has a Jane Austen twist to it. I also like that this particular book has such an unlikeable character for the murder victim and so many possible suspects. Sounds like a fun read! Thanks for bringing it to my attention with your review :)

  17. I enjoy cozy mysteries and this one sounds like one I’d love to read. Great review.

  18. I enjoy cozy mysteries and this one sounds like one I’d love to read. Great review.

  19. Thanks for the post. I’ll look out for this one.
    Ann

  20. Thanks for the post. I’ll look out for this one.
    Ann

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