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Friday, September 6, 2013

The Bride Wore Black: A Cinnamon Greene Adventure Mystery By Bonnie J. Cardone

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Cynthia Chow

Check out details on how to enter to win an e-book copy of this book at the end of the review.

The Bride Wore Black follows the disastrous but hilarious events that occurred in the author’s short story caper “The Last of the Recycled Cycads,” featured in the Sisters in Crime collection Last Exit to Murder.

After witnessing her celebrity photographer husband canoodling with a supermodel on The Tonight Show, Cinnamon Greene finally decides to end her eight-year marriage with the philandering Ted Quiero, packing her few belongings to leave Hollywood and return to her hometown of Cliffview, California. Working for her father at Greene’s One Stop Camera and Photo Shop at the local mall is not the best remedy for her faltering self-esteem, but it does get her out of her best friend’s house and the well of depression Cinnamon has fallen into. Having followed a path in life that seemed laid out, rather than planned, Cinnamon feels as though she has to start her life over and her first assignment, photographing the wedding of the mayor’s unlikable daughter, doesn’t bode well, considering that Cat Callahan left her previous fiancĂ©e at the altar.

The only person who is liked less than Cat is her impending groom, Chip Forester, who himself jilted the town hair stylist in favor of the runaway bride. However, it is Cat who drops dead after being fed a piece of her wedding cake laced with peanuts, which induces a fatal allergic reaction in the bride. Police suspicion falls on Cat’s aunt and cousin, owners of The Bakery that created the tiered wedding cake, and Cousin Georgia’s sudden disappearance is definitely not a good indicator of her innocence.

Image source: Sea Scenes

In the small coastal California town of eight-thousand people, everyone knows everyone, gossip flies and it seems that all of the residents had some relationship with or reason to kill Cat. Even Cinnamon’s father’s new and very young girlfriend had her previous relationship destroyed by the predatory Cat. Faced with the challenge of forging a new life in a town that remembers her previous one, Cinnamon is given a boost when she meets Danny Decker, a diving instructor who accompanies her, her father and his new girlfriend on their Wednesday Warriors dives. That Danny’s own marriage was torn apart by his brief affair with Cat is a stumbling block, but hopefully not a fatal one. As Cinnamon begins to question the events at the wedding she places herself and her father at risk, as their studio and even their homes become targets for a relentless killer.

A devoted scuba diver and a former writer and photographer for Skin Diver Magazine, author Bonnie J. Cardone incorporates alluring but never overwhelming details of diving and photography that add fascinating details to the story and make it entirely unique. The attacks upon Cinnamon seem a little extreme, but the emotions behind the violence are entirely too real and human. At this point in her life Cinnamon has regained some of her confidence and it is refreshing to see her take a mature approach to her ex-husband, neither vengeful nor gullible to his charms. Her relationships with her father and Danny are also realistically played out in a manner which makes them all very likable and sympathetic. The charm of this quickly moving story lies with its characters who are never too over-the-top, and scenery that is beautiful and serene.

To enter to win an e-book copy of The Bride Wore Black, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Bride”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 14, 2013. U.S. residents only.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

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