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Wedding planner extraordinaire Annabelle Archer is used to dealing with difficult personalities -- neurotic brides, despotic mothers, and prima donna bridesmaids. However, being chased from a swank hotel kitchen at knifepoint by a shrieking Chef Henri takes the cake. Soon after, Washington's most thoroughly despised culinary artist is discovered dead, impaled on an ice sculpture -- a crime which surprises no one, since revenge is, after all, a dish best served cold.
Unfortunately, the police think the hotel's sometimes temperamental but always stylish catering exec (and Annabelle's good friend) Georgia Rhodes did Henri in -- so the planner and her posse set out to put the real murderer on ice. But when the corpse of a rival culinarian turns up in a walk-in freezer -- and more nasty chef-deaths quickly follow -- the suspect list suddenly shrinks . . . as do Annabelle and her cronies' chances for survival, if they get caught poking around in a killer's kitchen.
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Laura Durham has been named Washington, D.C.'s top wedding planner for the past three years by Washingtonian magazine, has been featured in numerous national wedding magazines, and is the author of a wedding planning guide. After graduating from Duke University and stumbling into wedding planning nearly ten years ago, she's lost count of the number of weddings she's planned. So far, though, no one has been murdered at any of them. She is the author of two previous mysteries featuring Annabelle Archer: Better Off Wed, which won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel, and For Better or Hearse.From Publishers Weekly:
The weddings and woundings continue in Durham's second slapstick romp (after Better Off Wed) starring Annabelle Archer, owner of Wedding Belles wedding planning service in Washington, D.C. A posh reception at the Fairmont Hotel is abruptly preempted when Annabelle finds the head chef skewered on one of the event's enormous ice sculptures. Enter Detective Reese, the handsome police officer from Annabelle's first murder 'n' matrimony, and his new competition, Ian, leader of the band scheduled to play the reception. Kate, Annabelle's assistant, heads a long list of wild associates who want to help Annabelle clear the name of her friend Georgia, prime suspect in the murder. As more chefs drop dead of unnatural causes and an array of hellacious brides and mothers-of-the-bride pile up in Wedding Belle's appointment book, Annabelle and company juggle the resulting pandemonium and glean clues from every direction. The final pages bring the entire puzzle into focus, and the answer to whodunit is clever enough to keep most readers guessing. Durham's band of merry miscreants makes up a crackpot—as opposed to crackerjack—team, but the combination works superbly. (Mar.)
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