Wedding planner Jenna Bell doesn’t panic when the groom is a no-show to the ceremony – even though he is her former high school sweetheart and this wedding is the small town’s event of the year. However, when he turns up dead and she is falsely accused… well, yeah, now it’s the time to panic.
Jenna’s mother, Maddie, puts her cozy mystery-writing skills to use to try to clear her daughter’s name, stepping on by-the-book Chief of Police Jackson Bradley’s toes in the process. No matter how enticing he finds her, he doesn’t want this writer-turned-amateur-sleuth interfering with his murder investigation.
With nearly all of Hemlock, North Carolina, picking sides and the town’s own Gossip Brigade churning out the rumors, Maddie discovers the mystery isn’t very cozy when it hits this close to home.
Titles in The Wedding Bell Mysteries series include – Slay Bells Ring –
Title: Slay Bells Ring
Series: The Wedding Bell Mysteries #1
Author: Nancy Robards Thompson
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published: October 7, 2019
Publisher: Tule Publishing
My Rating: 4.5 stars
I love a good Cozy Mystery, and I’m so glad to begin The Wedding Bell Mysteries series with SLAY BELLS RING by Nancy Robards Thompson (who I’ve enjoyed for years). And, come on, Hemlock is such a perfect name (location) for murder(s) to abound and give us some entertaining stories to enjoy as this series continues.
What you’ll need to know about this story is given in the Cover Description. What you won’t find there is the close mother-daughter bond that Maggie and Jenna share that really tips this story over into the “I’ll read this again” category for me. Sure, sometimes you love everything about your mom/daughter, sometimes they drive you nuts, but you’ll always have their back no matter what.
When Jenna’s former boyfriend is a no-show at his upscaled wedding and is discovered murdered Jenna becomes not only the prime suspect but the talk of the town as well. Maggie is a writer, she knows how to plot out a Cozy Mystery but this hits close to home and she’s not going to trust anyone else to clear her daughter’s name and find the real killer. Not even the handsome, annoying Chief of Police. Jackson is getting her help whether he wants it or not – no one is railroading her daughter for a crime she didn’t commit. Not even if she’s tempted to move their at-odds relationship to something more personal.
Because this is a Cozy Mystery I’m not going into any more details, I don’t do spoilers, and I’m especially careful about Mystery stories. Through some twists, a few red herrings tossed in we follow Maggie, Jackson, and Jenna as they ferret out clues to the true killer’s identity. I didn’t try to solve it, I simply went along for the entertaining ride, learning about new characters who will probably be part of the ongoing series, and enjoying every step of this journey.
I had a blast with SLAY BELLS RING. And if you love a really good Cozy Mystery, like to get in on the beginning of a series, or simply enjoy a good story with a close family relationship, then you’ll want to pick up this story and discover “whodunit” yourself. You’ll be entertained, amused, and hooked just like I am. I’m ready for the next story – soon? Please?
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, Tule Publishing. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available for the Kindle