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by Leann Sweeney
Signet, January 2005
272 pages
ISBN: 0451210328

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

In PICK YOUR POISON, Sweeney pointed a finger at the overdressed, underbred, snobbish nouveau riche group that makes up Texas society. In A WEDDING TO DIE FOR, Houston socialite Abby Rose has moved out of her father's mansion into a smaller, more comfortable house and has set herself up as a private investigator specializing in finding the natural parents of adopted children.

Megan Beadford, of Galveston, has hired Abby to find her birth mother. Megan is marrying Travis Crane and wants her birth mother at the wedding. Abby is being passed off as an old friend of Megan's, so when the wedding planner falls ill on the eve of the wedding, Abby is asked to substitute.

Abby works with her twin, Kate, a licensed psychiatrist, who checks out the clients to make sure they are suitably stable to find out about their birth parents. Both Abby and Kate have steady partners. Kate's is another shrink and Abby's is Jeff Kline, a Houston detective who Abby met when he was assigned to the case of the murder of Abby's gardener, shortly after the death of the Rose twins' father.

Things go pear-shaped at the reception. Megan is found sitting on the floor, cradling the bleeding head of her father, James, who has been hit on the head with a large Waterford crystal vase, and is dead. James' alcoholic brother has been coming on to Abby, now he suggests he has information for her. A strange woman was seen at the church, but Abby doesn't notice her at the reception. She does turn up at the funeral, however.

Sweeney has a deft hand with characterization. The story moves forward rapidly and, if you like cozies, this is a good series to get stuck into.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, January 2005

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