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Engaged in Death_MM.indd

Engaged in Death

A Wedding Planner Mystery #1

By Stephanie Blackmoore


July 28, 2016 published

Cozy paperback 347 pages…….Spoiler alert


Nothing Mallory Shepard planned for her wedding was going her way. An overbearing future mother-in-law changes every detail of Mallory and Kevin’s wedding plans, everything from the style of her dress to the reception menu.  One thing Mommy-in-law didn’t plan was that her perfect lawyer son would have an affair with a young woman in his office. When Mallory learns the truth, and I’m not going to tell you how, she calls off the wedding and puts an end to their relationship before her life goes spiraling out of control.

There was one good thing that came out of that relationship and that was Kevin’s grandmother Sylvia. She is the one member of their upper-class family that actually had a heart.  Mallory loved her and visited her often in the nursing home. Sadly, Sylvia dies. Now there are two losses. Heartbreak morphs into shock when Mallory learns that Thistle Park, Sylvia’s home, was left to her in Sylvia’s will. This causes another round of trouble for Mallory as Sylvia’s heirs don’t accept it. Neither Kevin or Sylvia feel she’s entitled to the inheritance.  What they don’t inform Mallory was they were eager to sign a contract to allow a company permission to do what Sylvia would never agree to. Mallory owning the property is a big obstacle in her way.

Shortly after Mallory and her sister move in, they find a familiar body on the lawn. The same man Mallory told to leave the night before. That she wasn’t going to sign a contract to allow them do what Sylvia was totally against. The sisters were sleeping and didn’t hear a thing. Not only do they have to deal with Sylvia pressuring them to leave, but a new find…a diary deepens the plot. It mentions that three items in an expensive art collection may still be on the property. The question now is could they have been destroyed, sold, or are they still hidden? Is that what Sylvia and Kevin are looking for?  Who killed Shane Hartley, the energy representative and why? Will Mallory be able to solve the mystery and get her life back on track? Read the book to find out.

With the very first line of Engaged to Death, I could understand Mallory’s situation of trying to co-exist with an interfering future mother-in-law. One who literally took over all her wedding plans. Red flags flashed before my eyes. Mallory recognized the signs, but it took someone else far wiser to push her in the right direction. Maybe love blinds us all. The book also takes on some serious issues, for one, fracking, “the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc., so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.”   Read this when you have a free moment: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/global-warming/issues/fracking/environmental-impacts-water/ Another issue Blackmoore addresses is infidelity. I’m not going to name the guilty party, but feeling guilty isn’t enough. One word says it all “commitment.” Inheritance, there’s another powerful word. Engaged focuses on Sylvia leaving Mallory her home. “Of sound mind,” she knew exactly what she was doing as Mallory is a good hearted individual more in line with Sylvia’s beliefs and wishes then Sylvia’s grandson and daughter-in-law. “Trust” is another human and animal intuitive understanding. One which is very difficult to determine in any time period. Who do we trust?  Blackmoore has my attention and I’m eager to read “Murder Wears White,” which should be available at the end of Jan. 2017.

Four and a half homes worth saving out of five

Denise Fleischer


November 19, 2016