Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dying on the Vine - Cozy Mystery Review

Dying on the Vine (A Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mystery #2) by Marla Cooper

Rating: Very Good
Source: Publisher

Description:  Spirited wedding planner Kelsey McKenna juggles a sabotaged wedding and a cold-blooded killer in beautiful California wine country in this hilarious follow-up to Terror in Taffeta.
Wedding planner Kelsey McKenna just signed on to a dream gig. She’s going to be the “day-of” coordinator at the beautiful Higgens Estate in California wine country. There’s only one problem: the wedding was originally planned by Babs Norton, the self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings, who the father of the bride has fired.

Kelsey decides to clear the air with Babs and make sure there are no hard feelings, but before she can throw herself into executing the perfect wedding, she discovers Babs dead on the floor of his office. David, Babs’ assistant is quick to point the finger very publicly at Kelsey. Even worse, Kelsey learns that with the big day only weeks away, the bitter little man has sabotaged her new clients’ wedding by canceling all the vendor contracts.

With the help of her friend Brody and assistant Laurel, Kelsey must scramble to salvage the wedding while dodging gossipy wedding planners, grumpy winemakers, and a cold-blooded killer in this smart, funny cozy perfect for fans of Carolyn Haines.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  Books about wedding planners or people involved in the planning part of a wedding have been appealing to me lately and this sounded really fun.

My Impression:  I love a good cozy and this mystery was everything a cozy should be - light, entertaining and with a solid mystery.  For starters I absolutely loved Kelsey.  She's smart and good at her job but isn't an expert on everything or completely perfect.  I felt like she was someone I'd really like to hang out iwth.  I have a feeling her stories about her events would be hilarious!   I also enjoyed her interactions with her friends, Laurel and Brody.  All three have very different personalities but they interacted like actual friends not just like characters the author stuck together to have people with different personalities.  There was a little bit of humor but nothing in the goofy or slapstick range.

I really liked how the author developed the mystery.  Kelsey really doesn't want to get involved in the investigation but once it's clear that it might be the only way to keep her reputation from being destroyed she's all in with office supplies and a murder board.  I liked watching Kelsey, Laurel, and Brody come up with a suspect and then follow up on clues.  I was very satisfied with how the mystery itself wrapped up and the reveal was even a little bit of a surprise.  While Kelsey does stray into busybody territory and occasionally withholds information from the police (usually something that incriminates her) she never strays into TSTL (to stupid to live) territory.

This is the second book in the Destination Wedding series but if I hadn't seen that listed in the title I wouldn't have known.  You can jump in right here with absolutely no problem.  This is a fun cozy mystery with a likable detective and a quick pace.  It did make me glad that I'd chosen the courthouse wedding route over the wedding planner version though!  That seems exhausting and somewhat fatal.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely!  I'm looking forward to the next book in the series and want to go back and read the first book.

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Definitely!  If you enjoy mysteries this is a really fun read.


  1. Oh I love books with weddings/wedding planning them. Plus that cover is super cute. Will have to add this one. Great review!

  2. This sounds good, Katherine. I like cozys that aren't silly and this sounds like that.

  3. I'm adding it to my list. Love your description and that it can stand alone.

  4. This sounds like fun! It has been a while since I read anything that focues on a wedding like this. Great review!

  5. This sounds good and I do love a cozy! Thanks for this great review!

  6. How fun. I always love when I meet a character like her and would totally be friends or hang out with them.

  7. This sounds great Katherine. I love that it will work on its own.

  8. Sounds like the perfect cozy and I like a good wedding planner too. Enjoyed your review.

  9. There's just something about books set around weddings. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Katherine. I think I would too.

  10. This sounds like a fun read. It is time to start finding books again for my next trip. Thank you.