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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Agatha Award for Best First Novel!

A guest with an ax to grind. A bridal party full of secrets. This wedding planner is about to turn detective....

Annabelle Archer is a few days away from completing the most elaborate wedding she's ever planned. As she daydreams about the doors her perfect reception could unlock for her business, she stumbles over a dead body at the bottom of the stairs. The planner is horrified to recognize the body lying underfoot as the mother of the bride. When the police determine the victim was poisoned, Annabelle's best friend and caterer becomes the prime suspect. 

As she works to clear her best friend’s name, Annabelle discovers the bride's mother had more enemies and secrets than she could ever fit on the guest list. To save her business and her friend, DC's premiere wedding planner must find the killer. But will getting too close to the action make this wedding day her last?

Better off Wed is the Agatha Award-winning first audiobook in the Annabelle Archer Wedding Planner Mystery series. If you like hilarious yet deadly whodunits, charming characters, and delightfully witty tales, you’ll love Laura Durham’s cozy mystery series.

Buy Better Off Wed today to attend a wedding you’ll never forget!

©2005 Laura Weatherly (P)2018 Broadmoor Books

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Funny mystery with great characters

In <strong>Better Off Wed</strong> by Laura Durham, Annabelle Archer works as a wedding planner and is holding a wedding with a psychotic mother of the bride. Mrs. Pearce (or is it Pierce? You can't tell spellings in audiobooks!) is driving everyone crazy and making notes in the notebook she carries everywhere, even during the wedding, of complaints, such as the fact that Annabelle won't rearrange the seating chart 10 minutes before the reception to move the less well dressed people to the back of the room. So it comes as little surprise to us listeners when Annabelle and her assistant, Kate, go down a stairway and Kate falls over the body of Mrs. Pearce. The police say murder, and it appears that the woman was poisoned, so they shut down the kitchen of Annabelle's best friend, the famous caterer Richard.

Annabelle and a somewhat- grudging Kate set out to investigate this murder and clear Richard's name before his business falls apart. Visiting the homes of the bride, who is under heavy sedation, and the murdered woman, whose friends are throwing a wild party in her honor, they come to the conclusion that they have discovered their murderer, only for him to fall dead of poisoning himself. Annabelle may find the murderer, but will she do so before the murderer finds her?

I had a fun time with <strong>Better Off Wed</strong>. It has a creative setting, as a wedding planner has opportunities to interact with many crazy people, especially mothers of the bride. The plot had some really fun points, and the book was full of humor. However, I was less than satisfied with the conclusion, as it seemed to come out of the blue. I also enjoyed the setting of Washington, D.C. and only wished that there had been more ambiance from the capital city.

The characters in this book are what really make it delightful. Annabelle comes across as loyal to a fault, and once she gets her teeth into something, she can't let go. Kate likes to dress provocatively and use people's reactions to her clothing as a meter by which to gauge them. Richard is an especially fun character, being a very emotional, fashion- conscious man who clearly is gay without our having to be told so. Yet he somehow still doesn't come across as the stereotype of a gay man. Finally, Liatrice, the senior citizen lady who lives four floors beneath Annabelle, is good for a laugh as she is always poking her nose into Annabelle's life and offering advice based upon TV detectives like Jessica Fletcher and Matlock.

Stephanie Spicer performs the audio edition of this book and does a delightful job. She makes Annabelle seem highly realistic and human. However, it is in her fun voicing of Richard that she especially excels. I appreciate the fact that she did not resort to highly stereotypical images of gay men as overly feminine while still portraying him as the flamboyantly gay man he is.

I had a very fun time listening to <strong>Better Off Wed</strong>. The book kept my attention and drew me in right away. It gave me something to laugh at and characters to connect with. I had been seeing people rave about this series without being able to join in until today because the first book is finally on audio! I hope the rest join it soon! I give this book five stars!