Book Review: The Bride Wore Dead, E.M. Kaplan

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The full title of this grouchy, scrappy little book is: The Bride Wore Dead: An Un-Cozy Un-Culinary Josie Tucker Mystery (Josie Tucker Mysteries Book 1).  In this opening salvo to a new (to me) mystery series, The Bride Wore Dead is a great start.

Josie Tucker is a unique protagonist.  She’s in a very tough position in life.  Her father died a long time ago, and her mother, a native of Thailand, is in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.  Josie hails from Arizona, but has somehow landed in Boston, surrounded by a messy apartment, a faithless dog, and three good friends who, for some reason, love her.  But Josie is very tough former juvenile delinquent, currently passing herself off as a food critic despite the fact that her stomach is so sour she can’t keep food down.  Through a series of wacky circumstances, she is asked to do some detective legwork at a luxury spa in her Arizona home town.  Let’s face it; she needs the money and some new career prospects.

Given that this book is a comic mystery, it would have been so easy to make Josie a one-note character with only wisecracks to keep the dialog moving.  The story, though, is well-crafted, and hearing the thoughts in Josie’s head hardly got tiresome.  It would have been nice if the three friends Josie left back in Boston, Susan, her upper-crust best friend; Drew, her doctor and secret crush; and Benjy, a sweet loser who was scarcely represented at all in the book, had had a chapter or two discussing their worries over their absent friend.  I wanted to hear more from them.

So, there’s a murder, and there’s a mystery within a mystery, which is always an engaging vehicle.  And speaking of vehicles, I’m not sure why the cover has a classic Thunderbird instead of a bottle of antacid, but nobody asked me for my opinion.  I’m very happy to have been given the opportunity to read and review this book, and I look forward to continuing with the Josie Tucker Mysteries series.

The Bride Wore Dead: An Un-Cozy Un-Culinary Josie Tucker Mystery

 

Amazon U.S. link

Amazon U.K. Link

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