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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Engaged in Murder (Perfect Proposals, #1)

Engaged in Murder - Nancy J. Parra

A good concept, likeable characters and pretty good plotting, but some incredible moments of bad writing, including most of chapter 17.  Also, what is up with MC's with wild, red, frizzy hair?  3 books out of the last 5...


Recently made redundant from her event-planning job, Pepper sets the stage for a perfect marriage proposal as a favor to her soon-to-be brother-in-law and he's impressed enough to suggest she start her own business planning proposals and engagement parties.  But after the happy couple fly off for a romantic weekend, Pepper finds a dead body in the bathroom and her sister's finance is the prime suspect.


Pepper comes within a hair of sledgehammer investigative tactics and I don't know if the author wants us to think Pepper has the naïveté of a 5 year old, or just dropped the ball with the dialogue but there were quite a few moments about half-way in that were just...I don't know - dumb.  This is when I envy e-books, because I'd be able to highlight the passages that had me saying "are you kidding me?!?" out loud and I could paste them here.  Instead I'll just point out that I don't like Pepper's mother, and Pepper herself needs to learn that police investigators do not get their badges from the bottom of a Cracker Jack box.



It's easy to rattle on about things that didn't work, but mostly the book did work for me - much more than I thought it would (I'm not a fan of engagement "productions" or, actually, weddings) and a lot of the book is very readable.  The murder plot itself was really well done too - the author was steering me one way while she was taking the murder another way entirely.  It's because of the 75% of the story that is good that the other 25% stand out so starkly.


I'll read the second one - hopefully the kinks are worked out by then.