Title: Murder on the Bride’s Side
Author: Tracy Kiely
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Rating: 4 out of 5
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.
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.