Mary Alice has spared nothing for her only daughter's wedding -- from seventy-five yards of bridal train to gourmet food for over three hundred guests and enough glittering elegance to make Mary Alice think about finding herself a fourth rich husband to pay for it all.
Practical Patricia Anne has put away her aunt-of-the-bride blue chiffon and settled back into domesticity when fun-loving Mary Alice calls to say they have a post-wedding date with a genealogist from the groom's side of the family. Lunch is a fascinating lesson on the hazards of finding dirty linens in ancestral boudoirs that ends abruptly when their guest scurries off with the local judge, leaving the sisters with their mouths open -- and finishing their luncheon companion's cheesecake -- when the police arrive.
Their mysterious guest has taken a plunge from the ninth floor of the courthouse building -- an apparent suicide. But given the scandals a nosy genealogist might have uncovered, the sisters are betting that some proud Southern family is making sure their shameful secrets stay buried. . .along with anyone who tries to dig them up.
Retired Alabama schoolteacher Patricia Anne Hollowell and her sister Mary Alice (heroines of Murder on a Girls' Night Out and Murder on a Bad Hair Day) befriend genealogist Meg Ryan at the wedding of Mary Alice's daughter. Afterward, inexplicably, Meg commits suicide by jumping out of the courthouse window, an event witnessed by a judge. It's all too much for Patricia Anne and Mary Alice, and once again they are drawn into playing amateur sleuths. Along the way, the sisters find out that the sweet elderly lady was not above tampering with courthouse records, and perhaps even worse. With wonderful dialogue and descriptions of the guests, the opening wedding scene is truly entertaining, but then the plot spins out of control. The book remains a clever first half of a mystery that unfortunately doesn't hold up.