The pseudonymous Cooper’s debut novel introduces Kelsey McKenna, a bright young San Francisco–based wedding planner, whose carefully crafted nuptial in the romantic Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende suffers a few unexpected setbacks. One of the bridesmaids is murdered, the sister of the bride is arrested for the crime, and the bride’s monstrous mother blames Kelsey for everything. The book is smart and witty, and respectable as a whodunit, but theater and television actress Nordlinger turns Kelsey’s self-deprecating narration into something even more delightful, a stand-up routine that is entertaining and often hilarious. Her version of the hapless wedding planner, in which she describes her awkward attempts at amateur detecting with a buoyant optimism, makes the misfortunes funny and charming rather than downbeat. The secondary characters, including a pleasantly snarky photographer named Brody, a couple of ill-tempered Mexican lawmen, a part-time smuggler who is almost a love interest, and the remaining wedding party, are all given distinctive voices. Yet they all sound a bit like Kelsey imitating them, which is appropriate, this being her breezy, amusing, fast-paced recollection of her first (and hopefully not last) planned wedding from hell. A Minotaur hardcover. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 05/30/2016 Release date: 03/01/2016 Genre: Audio
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