Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Deadly Vows (A Britton Bay Mystery Book 2)

Author:  Jody Holford
Genre:   Mystery

Trade Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781516108701
Kensington Publishing
172 Pages
$15.95; $4.99 Amazon
April 9, 2019

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Britton Bay is buzzing with preparations for a wedding at the bed and breakfast where Molly rents a small carriage home.  Molly is even helping out and plans to interview the rising star caterer - until the woman is found dead.  And then the bride-to-be goes missing.  To make matters worse, the venue is owned by Molly's new boyfriend's mother - and Molly was among the last people to see the victim alive.  All of which makes solving the crime her top priority...

With the nuptials indefinitely on hold, Molly will have to sift through a sticky mix of suspects, including a rival caterer with a short fuse, a groom with an illicit secret, and a wedding party riddled with personal drama.  And if she doesn't discover the truth soon, Molly might be her own front page news...

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Molly Owens is editor in chief of the Britton Bay Bulletin, their newspaper, and she also lives in a cottage behind the B&B her boyfriend Sam's mother Katherine owns.  She's watching the tents being erected for a huge wedding at the B&B, and it's quite a spectacle.  On her way to work one morning she talks with the owner of the local bakery, Bella, and discovers that the wedding party has brought in their own caterer, which means that Bella, who provides the B&B with baked goods, won't be supplying them during their stay.  She also discovers that the owner of the paper, Alan Benedict, knows the bride's mother and is going to run a feature.  But when Patricia Lovenly (MOB) arrives at the paper she's not alone.  She's brought with her the caterer, Skyler Friessen, who doesn't seem to want to be there, and comes off as thinking she's better than anyone in the town. 

Later on, when Molly returns home she hopes to have an interview with Skyler, but needs to figure out a way to approach her.  Reluctantly, Skyler agrees on one the next morning, but when Molly arrives at the hotel where she's staying, she finds out that Skyler is dead, and it's not long before her inquisitive nature leads her to the fact that she was poisoned. 

While she insists she's not investigating the crime, she can't help but wonder who hated the woman enough to want to kill her.  Why would anyone want to murder a woman who, though unpleasant at best, didn't seem to be horrible enough to kill.  But someone did, and Molly, who's in a perfect place to watch the wedding guests - since they aren't allowed to leave until the murderer is caught - starts putting the clues together.  But will it be in time to save herself from being the next person to get iced?

This is the second book in the series, following Deadly News, and I am happy to say that I found it to be just as good as the first one.  This time out, Molly is secure in the fact that she's doing well as Editor in Chief at her job, and navigating her new relationship with Sam.  She's still having trouble after her disastrous breakup with her ex, but Sam is winding himself into her life so easily that she's learning how to trust again.

But then there's the murder.  And the killer is more than likely someone the bride brought with her when they arrived in Britton Bay.  The only clues she has are the ramblings of a local who isn't all there mentally, and the fact that the last thing she drank came from Bella's bakery - but she does know that Bella's not a murderer.  Which leaves her back to square one, trying to figure out who is, even though she's telling herself she's not investigating.

Molly is a great character; she's independent, strong, yet still scarred inside and is flawed, just like the rest of the world.  She cares about the people around her, and it shows.  Sam is a truly decent guy with a great sense of humor; although he's in for a surprise himself with something regarding his mother.  The rest of the characters feed the story well, and even though we don't see as much of the people who work at the newspaper, their presence is still known.

The mystery was done very well.  The clues are there, but they're thrown in by bits and pieces, and you just have to look for them.  There are a couple of red herring that lead you to believe other people just might be guilty, but that's exactly as it is supposed to be.

In the end, when Molly discovers the identity of the killer, it all comes together nicely, giving us a tale that was entertaining and interesting; which also made Molly do some thinking of her own in the process on where her life is going.  A very enjoyable book and I look forward to the next in the series.  Recommended.

https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Vows-Britton-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07FLP2PKJ/ref

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2749384100

More on Jody Holford's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/h/jody-holford/

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