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MAY THE BEST MAN DIE: A Wedding Planner Mystery

By Deborah Donnelly

Dell, 2003
ISBN: 0-440-24129-4

Reviewed by Shirley H. Wetzel

Carnegie Kincaid, proprietor of "Made in Heaven Wedding Design," doesn't do bachelor parties. Ever. Except when a persistent and controlling bride-to-be whom Carnegie dubs "Bridezilla" insists. She dutifully reports to the party scene, a private club on the Seattle Ship Channel, to oversee the party. The already drunken partygoers mistake her for the stripper.

After being rescued from their unwanted attentions by her best friend's brother, Darius James, she packs up the caterer's bin and returns it to his storage room in a building across the harbor. Realizing she has a perfect view of the festivities, she picks up a convenient pair of binoculars and watches part of the performance of the real stripper, dressed, and soon undressed, as Santa Claus. Distracted by a phone call, she resumes her party watching to see two men struggling on the riverbank. One is the very drunk best man, Jason Kraye. The other is Darius James. When Jason turns up dead, Darius is the prime suspect, and Carnegie has to prove his innocence. If, that is, he is innocent.

At the same time she has to continue to work on Bridezilla's New Year's Eve wedding extravaganza, sort out her feelings about Aaron Gold, her best beau until she discovered he was married, deal with a back-stabbing competitor, plan a gala reception in a coffee factory, and correct people who mispronounce her name, among other things.

Donnelly gives the reader a fun look into the lighter, and darker, sides of wedding planning. Her characters come alive on the page, and her descriptions of Seattle are so vivid you almost think you're there.

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