Dec 112010

Another Riveting and Fascinating Mystery from Tracy Kiely

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

It’s the day before her best friend’s wedding and there’s a heap of chaos and commotion surrounding maid-of-honor Elizabeth Parker. With the grandmother-of-the-bride having premonitions about death, the bride’s (Bridget) contentious family all living under the same roof, and a wedding planner who is after her boyfriend, Elizabeth is just hoping to make it through the weekend alive!

Well, the good news is that Elizabeth does make it through the weekend alive, the bad news is that Bridget’s Aunt Roni does not. Found dead the morning after the nuptials, Roni Matthews, the much younger, narcissistic, conniving, and artificially enhanced wife of Bridget’s Uncle Avery, was not very popular with the Matthews’ clan. In fact, Avery seems to be the only one who isn’t celebrating the death of this vile and vindictive person. The Matthews’ lack of grief and sorrow leads Detective Grant, who is called to investigate this case, to suspect one of the family members of this heinous act of murder.

In this case, the question isn’t “who would want to kill Roni?” but “who DIDN’T want to kill Roni?” Was it her daughter Meg, whom she constantly belittled and ridiculed? Or maybe it was her stepson Harry, who had a drunken altercation with her the night of the murder? Perhaps it was her brother by marriage, David Cook, who is known to possess a violent and unrestrained temper? Other suspects include: Avery’s live-in nurse, Bridget’s grandmother, and our very own Elizabeth Parker! Since the gruff and narrow-minded Detective Grant seems to be making little progress with this case, Elizabeth is asked to once again step in and help solve the mystery…

I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to be back in the world of a Tracy Kiely mystery! I fell in love with Ms. Kiely’s writing when I read her incredible debut novel Murder at Longbourn last year. I just adore her heroine, Elizabeth Parker, who reminds me a little of Bridget Jones, but with a few less neuroses and vices. While she is not the most sophisticated, witty, or put-together heroine, she is one most people can empathize with. Elizabeth is a heroine after any Janeite’s heart! In Murder at Longbourn Elizabeth and her Aunt Winnie were constantly spouting quotes from Pride and Prejudice, similarly in Murder on the Bride’s Side, Elizabeth and Bridget are often engaged in quote battles from Sense and Sensibility.

What I love most about Tracy Kiely’s writing is her characters. Similar to Jane Austen, Tracy Kiely creates some of the most quirky, accessible, entertaining, and endearingly flawed characters. I was engaged and invested with these characters from page one! Another part I loved was discovering the subtle nods and allusions to Sense and Sensibility scattered through the novel. What I wasn’t too fond of was this story’s conclusion. It felt like the pace of the story started to accelerate towards the end and the resolution just didn’t feel as satisfying. In addition, I would have loved for more about the Chloe-Peter-Elizabeth love triangle. It felt a little unresolved.

In Murder on the Bride’s Side, Ms. Kiely delivers another diverting and engrossing mystery for us Janeites to enjoy! I eagerly await her third installment in this magnificent series, which is rumored to have some parallels with Jane Austen’s Persuasion!


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  One Response to “Murder on the Bride’s Side – Tracy Kiely”


    Great review — you reminded me I want to start reading Ms Kiely.

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