Tastes Like Murder: Cindy McDonald
Cranberry juice can be deadly is someone wants you out of the way and dead. Tatum is Fiona Quinn’s niece and is about to marry her true love Zach at least that is what was supposed to happen. Tatum is a true Bridezilla who is spoiled, bratty and does not know it but someone is out to get her in a unique and wild way. Ordering everyone about and choosing the ugliest orange bridesmaids dresses with ruffles and lace that might make you think you were wearing something right out of a bottle of orange dye or orange juice. Although some of the girls complained Tatum gives the orders and no one dares to defy her. But, Johnny Lynn was not supposed to be invited even though she is her cousin but her mother demanded and insisted so Tatum had to deal with her too. Johnny Lynn is nosy, annoying and pokes her head everywhere she is not wanted. Tatum is her Aunt Diana’s daughter and her dress or lack of a dress created much conversation but since Tatum is the queen and whose opinion hers is the only one that matters to her, no one would dare tell her to get a dress that might cover something more. Fiona is our narrator and she seems to have her own opinions and is at times quite opinionated especially when talking about Aunt Leslies, Johnny Lynn’s mother and Uncle John. Johnny Lynn after being engaged to Tatum’s fiancé should never have been invited to the wedding and why place her in the bridal party? Dresses that are bright orange which I must repeat because I am shocked that no one spoke up louder and the ruffles made of netting I am picture this nightmare in my mind. The plot gets dicey when Tatum instructs Fiona to go to the grocery store for cranberry juice and here’s where things get really juicy. The first event was the wine tasting that her father insisted on but Tatum does not drink and Fiona’s job was to introduce the bridal party before the tasting takes place.
Fiona went to fetch the bottle of juice to find that it was opened but no one knows who opened it and she thought maybe the staff. Meeting Ethan, Zach’s brother on the way and finding the juice, which would be place or poured in what Tatum thought was a special glass left for her by someone unknown. But, imagine a catfight between the two aunts before the main event as Diana and Leslie go at it because of Zach.
Meet the florist, Edith who is nasty, complains about everything, wants it her own way and could care less about the client. The sommelier or the man in charge of the wine seem to have many different personas and names while Phil Cochran the photographer was late and Johnny Lynn seemed to take over that job.
Fiona saw the sommelier extending the microphone to her and she was ready to announce the bridal party. Pouring the juice for Tatum the end result well you guessed it someone decided to rid the world of one bridezilla!
Nathan Landry is Fiona’s boyfriend and is in charge of this case along with his partner Norman who has a habit of falling asleep at the drop of a hat. Narcolepsy is what he has and when he is assigned to question Fiona he’s sleeping soundly on the chair in the room that she has been locked in for too long. Things get nasty as accusations are made and a video goes viral of Fiona handing Tatum the tainted glass with the juice and he own aunt accuses her of killing her niece. Norman Yallowitz might be a detective but he’s not ready for what is about to come and Fiona is worried that she’s going to be arrested for Tatum’s murder.
Asking Fiona questions once he’s aware he wants to know if she had any problems with Tatum or if she had words before she came down the stairs during the pre-wedding events, like the shower or bachelorette party? Intimating to Nathan that she might have done it even if she’s his girlfriend he has to push it to the limits to find the killer. But, investigation brings to light that someone has been killing off brides for some reason and could this one be linked to the others? Someone poisoned not the juice but the class with an exotic poison like plant and one of the members of the wedding party or a guest created a video that was posted on Facebook of the entire event focusing on Fiona handing Tatum the juice. Searching for the sommelier they realize he left because he feels he had nothing to do with the murder yet something about him does not ring true as they realize he uses different names and personas for each wedding event.
When questioning Zach you can see or tell he is devastated and you learn about his relationship with Johnny Lynn but he never did string her along and when meeting Tatum he ended it quickly. With help from Tavia the technology person on the force Nathan hopes to get a clearer picture of what happened on the staircase in the video and learn whose phone is attached to it.
When Yallowitz fills in the captain he learns about the several other brides killed out west and one on a cruise a few months before and she was from Australia. The weapon of choice in these other cases was arsenic. He learned that another was poisoned in Wheeling and now here in his hometown. Ethan, the groom’s brother seems divorced from the situation even though he tries to comfort his mother he does not really seem that upset.
Fiona is a kindergarten teacher and the community school board is thinking about having a meeting to suspend her with pay until the murder case is solved. All the while Johnny Lynn keeps putting down Fiona and claiming that as an older grade teacher in Indiana she is more important and that what kind of lessons could Fiona be doing, she’s not very likeable and a times you want to put a muzzle on her mouth to shut her up.
Author Cindy McDonald created a group of colorful, quirky and distinctly unique and different characters leading the reader to believe that many of these guests including some that worked the wedding and pre-wedding events might be guilty.
Rumors spread and Johnny Lynn can be obnoxious and although someone hired male strippers for the party why does she think Nathan moonlights as one and why does she broadcast it? Why does Johnny Lynn think that Fiona poisoned the juice and wanted to kill Tatum? What’s her motive? When approaching Diana Lane, Zach’s Tatum’s mother her assessment of Fiona is that she’s a goody-good and could never kill anyone. No one seems to really think that much of Fiona. Leslie is Johnny Lynn’s mother who won’t talk about Zach or the other man she was engaged to that was killed in an accident. Something strange about that! But, poor Nancy, her dogs seem to irritate the Charlie Dingle the neighbor who enjoys spying on Fiona and her family. He’s an unhappy man who has nothing better to do than complain.
Tatum is one of the brides that the bride killer targeted but when you learn more about one person connected with the wedding you realize that these Bridezillers just might have had it coming according to someone.
My favorite scenes are with Nancy Quinn and Nathan’s partner who crash a wedding hoping to save a bride from a near death and what happens is right out an Abbot and Costello movie and why Norm goes along with her you won’t believe. The end result well you have to read it for yourself.
Each time Nathan gets involved or nervous he takes out a snickers bar and it calms him down. But, when Johnny Lynn wants one she claims it will hurt her chances or her mother says it will for her modeling career. From an opinionated and annoying florist named Edith who can’t stand anyone she works for and a photographer who never comes on time the author leaves readers wondering just who might be the Bridezilla killer and why?
When Landry has an idea and decides to have Tavia pretend to marry him and Fiona attends as her bridesmaid what happens is outrageous and poor Fiona has to play along. But, when she corners Johnny Lynn and wants to learn more about her past relationships and then this mock wedding takes place the revelations are many and the suspects are coming out of the woodwork. Who killed off Tatum? Who else was targeted? Just how many killers were there and what was the weapon? When Tatum’s killer is revealed family loyalties will be severed. Bridezilla’s are difficult and someone wanted to make sure that taking the victims out spared the poor groom. Weddings are fun. Fiona Quinn: What’s next in her horizon? What about Nathan: Fiona or Tavia learn the truth when you read Tastes Like Murder but I warn you: Don’t Drink the Wine it could be tainted! JUST A WARNING! This book gets FIVE GOLDEN CHOCOLATE SNICKERS BARS FOR NATHAN LANDRY AND HIS GREAT POLICE WORK
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine