It's the dead of winter and struggling actress and wedding-cake decorator Piper Donovan is thrilled to be in warm and romantic Sarasota, Florida, enjoying the powdery white beaches, soothing seas, and golden sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. She and her family are there to celebrate her beloved cousin's wedding. Not only is Piper creating the sugar-sand-dollar-festooned wedding cake, she's also the maid of honor.
But a cloud seems to be hovering over the whole affair. Shortly after a bridesmaid mysteriously disappears, a kindly neighbor's car is run off the road and a prospective witness, an innocent Amish teenager, is threatened to keep silent. Then a body is found on the beach where the wedding will take place. With the nuptials threatened, it falls to Piper to unmask a killer. Could it be the wedding planner with something to hide? A doctor and his wife who collect unusual Japanese figurines? The best man, an ex–drug dealer with lecherous eyes and roving hands? What about her cousin's future stepfather—or even the bridegroom himself?
As Piper gets close to figuring out who's been covering his guilty footprints in the sand, the cunning killer has already set his sights on Piper as his next victim!
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Mary Jane Clark worked at CBS News for nearly three decades. Her twelve KEY News media thrillers were inspired by that experience. Envisioning the Piper Donovan/Wedding Cake mystery series, Mary Jane enrolled in cake-decorating classes and researched unique wedding locations. The daughter of an FBI agent and a mother who customized cakes for the neighborhood kids when she was growing up, Mary Jane has two grown children and splits her time between New Jersey and Florida.From Booklist:
Aspiring actress Piper Donovan and her parents are in Sarasota for the wedding of Piper’s cousin Kathy. Not only will Piper be the maid of honor, but she and her mother are also making the wedding cake, to be decorated with sugar sand dollars as befits the beachfront setting. Kathy and her fiancé, Dan, have planned a number of activities for the wedding party, including a visit to the aquarium where Dan works. But one of the bridesmaids is missing. Before the week is out, the celebration is marred with the discovery of her body, a hit-and-run accident injuring a kindly neighbor, and another murder. Piper, who has done some amateur sleuthing, is warned off by her boyfriend, an FBI agent, but she persists, listening carefully to what other guests are saying and intrigued by what she learns from the owner of the hotel and by the reactions of some members of the local Amish community. The result is an engrossing and textured mystery sure to delight Piper’s fans. --Karen Muller
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