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Friday, August 28, 2015

Death of a Bride and Groom: A Honeymoon Falls Mystery By Allan J. Emerson

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

The closure of Winslow’s shingle mill would have doomed the tiny Canadian town—were it not for the ingenious inspiration to rebrand itself as Honeymoon Falls. The self-declared “Romantic Capital of the World” hosts a series of themed events that begins with Parade Day and over-the-top floats. When one of these makes an ill-advised detour onto the freeway, damaged semis and rear-ended police car are the least of the problems: strapped to the float like morbid cake toppers are the bodies of Iris Morland and Connor Tarlech, posed ironically in wedding attire.

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The list of those who didn’t have reasons for wanting the couple dead is shorter than the suspect list: Iris Morland was much-despised for her affairs with other women’s husbands, while Connor’s bankruptcy was the reason for the mill’s closure.

The end of his own marriage was the reason police chief William Halsey retreated from Vancouver to the town of his youth—though attempting to mediate between his two battling deputies is probably not giving him the peace he’d imagined. Neither is this new murder investigation that has him questioning powerful and wealthy residents, dodging headline-hungry news reporters, and corralling two rookie officers who lack experience—but not attitude. Alternating chapters reveal the viewpoints of various characters, and it is through these all-too-brief moments that readers can glimpse their complicated and fascinating personalities.

Image source: Five Star Gale

Although the concept of a series based in a town devoted to weddings would seem to relegate it to cozy status, this feels far more like a small-town police procedural. Fans of Craig Johnson and Bill Crider will find themselves at home with this debut series that has the police chief attempting to guide his own staff while navigating the politics of an affluent, tourist-driven town. As Halsey confronts both wealthy visitors and working-class residents, he learns one thing; they are all liars. This is an immensely fun novel inundated with witty dialogue, and by its conclusion readers will be ready to book their next visit to Honeymoon Falls.

To enter to win a copy of Death of a Bride and Groom (reader’s choice of Hardcover or Kindle version in the U.S. or Canada. Kindle version only in other countries), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[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 5, 2015. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Use this link to purchase this book and a portion goes to help support KRL & it supports an indie bookstore:

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).


  1. Honeymoon Falls sounds like a fascinating place. I love murder mysteries.

  2. We have w winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher