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!
In bestseller Clark's fast-paced third Piper Donovan mystery (after 2012's The Look of Love), the wedding cake decorator and sporadic actress pulls double-duty at the Sarasota, Fla., upcoming marriage of her cousin Kathy Leeds by serving as Kathy's maid of honor as well as preparing the cake. Casting a pall on the proceedings is the discovery of the body of one of the bridesmaids on a patch of isolated beach. Piper once again turns amateur sleuth, despite the misgivings of her family and FBI counterterrorist agent boyfriend, Jack Lombardi. Potential suspects include an ex-con, a real estate developer, and a wedding planner with ties to the local Amish community. While Piper shows concern for those close to her, she can also display a callous side (e.g., she uploads photos of a crime scene to her Facebook page). Piper's emotional distance may be off-putting to some cozy readers looking for more heart.
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