Bess’ Book Recs: Better Off Wed by Laura Durham

First off, this might be my favorite cozy cover ever. (Opinion open to revision once I get published.)

They’ve updated the covers of the whole series, but I like this version best.

Every so often I go to my (amazing) local library and hit the mystery section. I pick the next letter in the alphabet and pull every title off the shelf that looks interesting. If one book in a series looks good, I grab the whole series. (I often come home with dozens of books this way. It’s a good thing my bike has a basket.) Laura Durham was one of my recent discoveries, and you better believe I’m requesting all the rest of this series from the library.

Annabelle Archer, our intrepid protagonist, is a wedding planner. At her most recent wedding, the mother of the bride dropped dead with a case of the murders. Since her bff Richard is kinda a suspect, it’s up to Annabelle to find the killer.

I love this one because weddings are the perfect setting for drama and chaos. Everything is so much higher stakes than your average day, and it’s all crucially important, especially those napkins, dammit! Annabelle and her friends make for a great push-pull. At first it’s her friends saying “Well OBVIOUSLY you have to solve this. You’re the wedding planner!” Then, once they realize she’s actually taking it seriously, they try to pump the brakes, but it’s too late. Annabelle is on a roll.

If the creative settings and lively cast of characters (please note: the queer characters are all fairly stereotypical, so if you’re exhausted by flamboyant gadfly gay men, put the Annabelle Archer books down) aren’t quite enough to draw you in, just look at those titles. Total cherry on top, right?
For Better or Hearse
Night of the Living Wed
To Love and to Perish
Just try and tell me you don’t love them.

Was your wedding anything like the ones in the Annabelle Archer books? Which title is your favorite? Do you have another wedding planner series I should read? Let me know!

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