I blame the cupcakes. Not the fancy pink ones with the icing that looked like lace. The one with the molten chocolate center that oozed decadent goodness when I bit into it. It had given me an endorphin high that made me overlook the warning signs when I met my latest clients.
Actually, I blame my photographer friend Brody, too, because if he hadn’t asked me to hang out with him at his booth at the Wine Country Wedding Faire, I never would have eaten that cupcake or even met Kayla and Christopher in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, they’re a perfectly lovely couple. But their wedding was just weeks away, and somehow I found myself nodding along in contented agreement when I should have been reminding myself that rush jobs are never as easy as people make them sound.
Everything was already planned, they’d said. I just had to be there to make sure everything ran smoothly. Piece of cake, they assured me.
I have to admit, I was also swayed by the fact that their wedding was going to be up in Napa County. The Northern California wine country is one of the most beautiful spots in the world, with winding roads, rolling hills, and vineyards spreading out in all directions.
And on top of all that endless beauty and the crazy-good views, there’s the wine. Lots and lots of wine. Spicy reds, crisp whites, and sparkling rosés—all there for the tasting. Besides, it’s just a hop-skip-and-an-hour-drive away from my place in San Francisco. What could go wrong?
Plenty, as it turns out.
A rival wedding planner I knew ended up face down in a pile of croissants—I’m telling you, the pastries are out to get us—and another wedding planner started spreading rumors that I’d had something to do with it. Suddenly, I had more to do than plan a wedding. I had to clear my name. Oh, yeah, and still pull off a wedding with just a couple weeks’ notice.
Yeah, next time Brody invites me to a wedding fair, I’m staying home.
You can read more about Kelsey in Dying on the Vine, the second book in the “Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding” mystery series.
When wedding planner Kelsey McKenna goes to the Wine Country Wedding Faire, the last thing she expects to do is take on new clients. After all, she’s just there to help out her friend Brody and maybe score some free cupcakes. But when a young couple in a pinch asks for her help, she just can’t say no.
There’s only one problem: they’d been working with Babs Norton, the self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings―and things did not end well. Kelsey wants to make sure there are no hard feelings, but unfortunately she never gets the chance. When she goes to Babs’ office, she finds the wedding planner dead on the floor.
Babs’ high-strung assistant Stefan knows exactly who killed Babs: Kelsey. At least, that’s what he very publicly accuses her of at Babs’ funeral. When Kelsey decides to do a little sleuthing to clear her name, she uncovers a myriad of secrets and lies. And when a second wedding planner is attacked, Kelsey begins to wonder if she might be next.
Set against the stunning backdrop of California wine country, Marla Cooper’s Dying on the Vine is a mystery brimming with gossip, wine, and, of course. . .murder.
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About the author
Marla Cooper is the author of Terror In Taffeta, an Agatha and Lefty nominee for Best First Mystery and book one in the Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries. Her second book, Dying on the Vine, is set in the California wine country and comes out April 4. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat. Learn more at www.marla-cooper.com.
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Dying on the Vine is available at retail and online booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.