Murder Wears White
Stephanie Blackmoore     

Genre: Mystery
Series: A Wedding Planner Mystery
Book: 2

Mallory Shepard’s wedding planning business is off to a shaky start when a member of the bridal family drops dead at a food tasting . . .
Mallory hopes to unveil her new B&B just in time for her first ceremony as a wedding planner. The renovations to Thistle Park—the mansion she inherited in small-town Port Quincy, Pennsylvania—are almost complete. But what Mallory didn’t plan on is the bride’s aunt being poisoned at the wedding tasting and her perfect venue becoming a crime scene.
Adding to the mystery is the discovery that this is not the first murder in the bridal family, and as Mallory becomes engaged in her own investigation she learns the man convicted of the crime may not be guilty. Now she has two crimes to solve before the bride walks down the aisle—but a killer has other plans to ensure that Mallory forever holds her peace . . .

Mallory Shepard already had her hands full making renovations to convert her inherited mansion “Thistle Park” into a Bed and Breakfast, while kicking off her wedding planning business in Port Quincy, Pennsylvania. Mallory has now made her life even more difficult by agreeing to move a wedding up by eight months for one of her first clients to make sure the bride’s seriously ill father can attend the ceremony. However, a series of accidents threaten the completion of the construction project. Added to that, the young bride Whitney’s Aunt Lois dies under suspicious circumstances. Mallory decides to start her own investigation to solve the murder and keep the renovations on track to make sure her new business has the chance to get off the ground.

I enjoyed reading Murder Wears White. It is the second in the Wedding Planner series by author Stephanie Blackmoore, but the first book I have read by this author. Blackmoore does a great job of introducing new readers to all of the important characters, and I like the mix of down-to-earth and quirky characters. Mallory is a former attorney and is well-grounded which makes a nice balance for some of the more colorful characters. The subplots range from the realistic - Mallory fighting small town politics to get the necessary building permits - to the extreme - The Paranormal Society visiting the mansion to look into the construction accidents which have been regularly occurring. However, this makes a good combination and keeps the book believable, but fun.

Mallory is likeable from the beginning and some of the other characters, like Mallory’s strong-willed mother get better as the story goes on. A nice thing I appreciate about the book is how well Mallory gets along with her boyfriend Garrett’s daughter Summer. I’m glad the book doesn’t go the clichéd route of having Summer despise Mallory and causing problems in their relationship. This was a nice surprise and I like the way Mallory relates to the young woman.

The investigation of Lois’s murder takes some confusing turns that interferes with the smooth flow of the story, but overall the book is entertaining and full of humor. Having a wedding planning and bed and breakfast business provides a great way to keep future stories fresh as the series continues. Fans of Carolyn Haines will appreciate the humor of this series. There are a variety of recipes at the end for dishes that were featured in the story. The book also includes an excerpt from the next book in the series which looks to be as fun as this one.

~ Christine