I am a fan of Charlotte Douglas’ Maggie Skerritt mystery series, and Wedding Belle Blues continues the series with Maggie sleuthing and continuing her relationship with her P.I. partner, Bill Malcolm. Bill and Maggie are engaged to be married but Maggie is getting cold feet for a couple of different reasons. One, she is nervous about melding her life with Bill’s when they start living under the same roof, and two, Maggie’s mother insists on throwing a huge wedding with 800 guests when all Maggie and Bill want a very simple, small ceremony.
Meanwhile, there is work to be done as crimes are being committed and people are disappearing. Maggie is hired to locate a “runaway bride” who disappears shortly before her pending nuptials. Frankly, Maggie can empathize with the poor girl as she has the “wedding blues,” too. However, the case becomes more complicated when a dead body is involved.
Maggie and Bill are also hired to provide security at– you guessed it – a wedding reception being held at a restaurant. Why would security be necessary under such circumstances? The two families are like the Hatfields and the McCoys, and a Hatfield and a McCoy have decided to marry. The owner of the restaurant wants to make sure that no one winds up hurt and that the establishment remains intact.
All of this stress has Maggie breaking out in hives, which happens whenever there is a murder. The murder and the pre-wedding jitters are exacerbated when she wonders if she is even in the right career. Fortunately, Bill is by her side throughout her ordeals and continues to be a loving, supportive force in her life.
Wedding Bell Blues is a light mystery that has the added entertaining angle of Maggie’s personal life as she goes through her “wedding crisis” while simultaneously being out on the street fighting crime and keeping the peace. I enjoy this series and I look forward to Douglas’ future releases; I am interested in knowing where life takes Maggie next.