Goodreads ~ It's the dead of winter and struggling actress and wedding cake decorator Piper Donovan is thrilled to be in warm and romantic Sarasota, Florida, enjoying the powdery white beaches, soothing seas and golden sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. She and her family are there to celebrate her beloved cousin's wedding. Not only is Piper creating the sugar sand dollar-festooned wedding cake, she's also the maid of honor.
But a cloud seems to hover over the whole affair. Shortly after a bridesmaid mysteriously disappears, a kindly neighbor's car is run off the road and a prospective witness, an innocent Amish teenager, is threatened to keep silent. Then a body is found on the wedding beach.
With the nuptials threatened, it falls to Piper to unmask a killer. Could it be the wedding planner with something to hide? A doctor and his wife who collect unusual Japanese figurines? The best man, an ex-drug dealer with lecherous eyes and roving hands? What about her cousin's future stepfather or even the bridegroom himself?
As Piper gets close to figuring out who's been covering his guilty footprints in the sand, the cunning killer has already set his sights on Piper as his next victim!
Piper's cousin, Kathy, in Sarasota is getting married and Piper is her maid of honour. Plus Piper and her mom are making the wedding cake (Piper's mom runs a bakery in New Jersey where Piper helps out). Shelley, Kathy's bridesmaid, has disappeared and Kathy is understandably concerned.
Piper's widowed aunt (Kathy's mother), Nora, is dating Walter, who owns the hotel where Piper's family is staying. He is in the process of trying to convince the surrounding neighbours (including Nora) to sell their places so he can knock them down and expand his hotel.
This is the fourth book I've read by this author and also the fourth I've read in her Wedding Cake Mystery series (I've read the first, second and fourth) ... they all work as
stand alones. I liked the writing style and the short and snappy
chapters but wasn't crazy when it got bogged down with the lectures during the tours.
I thought the storyline was just so-so, though. A body is found buried in the sand, an elderly neighbour is run off the road and almost killed, there is a suicide and then another murder ... and the wedding plans still continue along with boat tours, etc. Everyone is able to move past all this and carry on ... really? There are lots of characters who
could have been the murderer and you don't find out until the end ... I thought the reveal of the killer was weak. There was a huge emphasis on Piper posting EVERYTHING on Facebook in this story, including a shot of the body found on the beach ... in the last book, she just posted updates to her status.
At the end of the book, there is a recipe for Aunt Nora's Easy but Sinfully Delicious Siesta Key Lime Pie.
While not crazy about this book, I look forward to reading others by this author.