Hi, I’m Pepper Pomaroy and I own and run Perfect Proposals a proposal and engagement party event planning business. Wow is that a mouthful. Anyway, getting my events to turn out perfectly is a talent. Too bad I’m not as perfect as my events. I’m a redhead, you see, and we tend to stick out in awkward ways. Today my mother and sister and I were out wedding dress shopping. The problem was that my gorgeous baby sister is petite and curvy and all the dresses pictured online and in magazines are on very tall, lanky girls. The more dresses she tried on, the more depressed Felicity got. The last store we were in, the consultant actually tried to convince us that my bride’s maid dress should be made out of a plaid taffeta. For that fact alone, I made sure we left early.
We’d been at this shopping thing for hours. Mom kept suggesting Grandma’s 19 40’s satin gown, but Felicity wanted to look like a royal princess. My job as maid of honor was to keep Felicity from giving in to mom just because she couldn’t find the dress of her dreams. We had one dress shop left to check out and I suggested we take fifteen minutes to get some coffee and cupcakes and breathe in and out for a moment. What did it matter if we were a few minutes late for our appointment? We were the customer and the customer is always right.
Beside Mom had a run in with a policeman over an empty parking meter and none of us were really in the mood to continue shopping. But-there was no way I was going to let Felicity give up and wear Grandma’s mothball-scented satin. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad dress. Grandma and Grandpa had been married 65 years. But Felicity was marrying Warren Evans – one of the richest men in Chicagoland. That meant her wedding would be in all the society pages. Her dress needed to reflect that and it was my job to ensure that it did.
So off we went to the last dress shop of the day. Only when we got there, no one came to greet us. I found that a little odd and so I searched the store only to find the back door slightly open and in the alley was a dead woman in classic shop girl uniform of white blouse and black skirt.
There is nothing like finding a dead body to put a real damper on the day, especially when it turned out to be our consultant. Detective Murphy was on the case and after we were all properly interviewed Dad came to take us home. Felicity was in tears and Mom was unnaturally silent. I on the other hand began to wonder who would kill a dress shop owner and why?
There was a murder to be investigated, more proposals to plan and the most important thing of all—finding the perfect wedding dress for Felicity.
Before I do that, let’s talk about bride’s maid dresses. What was the worst or the best bridesmaid dress you ever had to wear or witness being worn? Tell us below and be entered to win a copy of Bodice of Evidence the second in the Perfect Proposal mystery series.
You can read more about Pepper in Bodice of Evidence, the second book in the “Perfect Proposals” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is Engaged in Murder.
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About the author
Nancy J Parra also writes the “Baker’s Treat” series for Berkley Prime Crime and the “Candy Coated” mystery series for Kensington Books. Nancy lives on the West coast with her plucky Bichonpoo known affectionately on line as Little Dog. Visit Nancy at www.nancyjparra.com.