Tag Archives: Joelle Charbonneau

Here Come the Brides

Bridge Wore Size 12 (nook book)

The Bride Wore Size 12: A Novel by Meg Cabot (William Morrow, $14.99, 400 pages)

Heather Mills is used to having her cake and eating it too, but this time her cake just might be cooked. Her wedding cake, that is.

Prolific author Meg Cabot delivers a new and very funny installment to fans of her Heather Wells series with The Bride Wore Size 12. Heather, a former teen pop singer, works at New York College – a fictitious private school in the city, where she is the assistant dorm director. The setting is ripe with possibilities for mayhem and humor.

The dialogue is snarky and remarkably upbeat considering Heather – who narrates the tale, is swamped by unanticipated drama at the beginning of the school year. Back-to-school events for incoming freshmen and a death in the dorm keep getting in the way of a more important matter – planning for her upcoming wedding to private investigator Cooper Cartwright.

The dorm residents include the son of a wealthy Middle Eastern king, numerous students whose helicopter parents insist on changing the room assignments to place their darlings in the best suites, and a core of resident assistants who help Heather manage the chaos – sometimes with cocktails. The politics of her job are enough to drive the average person bonkers; however, Heather has weathered more stressful situations in her prior career as a performer. Her mom ran off with Heather’s money and her manager to Argentina which necessitated the assistant dorm director job. She relies on her boundless energy and help from Cooper – and some alcohol, to solve the murder and get to the altar on time.

Bridge Wore Size 12 drink recipe

Meg Cabot’s audience clearly overlaps with those of writers Lisa Scottoline and Lisa Lutz. Together these three zany writers have provided many happy reading hours for this reviewer. Keep those book rolling off the presses, ladies!

Highly recommended.

Skating Under the Wire

Skating Under the Wire: A Mystery by Joelle Charbonneau (Minotaur Books, $25.99, 304 pages)

For a complete change of pace, but with a wedding theme as well, pick up the latest book in the roller-skating series by Joelle Charbonneau – Skating Under the Wire. Rink owner Rebecca Robbins is making a go of the business she inherited from her mom. The EstroGenocide women’s roller derby team now has a large and enthusiastic fan base. Rather than return to Chicago and the life she had before her mom’s untimely death, Rebecca has decided to stay in Indian Falls. Her grandfather, Pop, the senior citizen Elvis impersonator lives there, as does a rather handsome large animal veterinarian named Lionel whom Rebecca is dating.

Rebecca’s best friend Danielle is about to be married to the local preacher and Thanksgiving will be here soon. Rebecca is determined to be a super maid of honor for Danielle. The wedding shower for Danielle is held at the local senior center. As the presents are being opened, one of the ladies is missing from the festivities. She is found dead in the TV room! That’s mystery number one.

An intimate Thanksgiving dinner at her apartment above the roller-rink is the other obligation that Rebecca has on her literal plate. Thanksgiving has a strange meaning for the folks in Indian Falls due to a ten-year string of burglaries. You can count on Rebecca to create her own extravaganza as she turns a simple holiday dinner into a mass event all the while following clues and odd happenings to solve her most challenging cases yet.

Highly recommended.

Ruta Arellano

Review copies were provided by the publishers.

You can read a review of Joelle Charbonneau’s earlier book, Skating On the Edge: A Mystery, here:



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Four To Go!

The Snow White Christmas Cookie (nook book)Kings of Midnight (nook book)

Here are four exciting mysteries from Minotaur that will easily fill your long winter evenings with entertainment. All four books are well recommended.

Kings of Midnight: A Mystery by Wallace Stroby (Minotaur Books, $24.99, 266 pages)

Fans of edgy and fast-paced stories with a female lead character will tune into the intense plot immersion, quick scene cuts and a strong sense of urgency. Crissa Stone is the main character and she’s a hardened career criminal who does not hesitate to put herself first in a tight situation. There is low-key violence associated with Crissa’s teaming up with Benny Roth, a sometime gangster. Together, they race to stay one step ahead of some truly bad fellas and, of course, the cops. The prize is $5 million stashed away from long ago.

Skating on the Edge: A Mystery by Joelle Charbonneau (Minotaur Books, $25.99, 290 pages)

Here’s a true niche story about the world of women’s roller derby. Charbonneau provides a super quirky behind-the-scenes glimpse of a guilty pleasure for many TV viewers over the years. Her easy writing style includes a little gore with a mix of young and elderly characters, and I do mean characters. Rebecca Robbins is the owner of a skating rink that she inherited from her mom. Her grandfather is the link to the senior citizen crowd in their hometown of Indian Falls. The theme of snack foods runs through the story (popcorn, potato chips and sweet potato fries), so be ready to be hungry while you laugh at the antics in this charming book.

Fire Season: A Frank Coffin Mystery by Jon Loomis (Minotaur Books, $24.99, 306 pages)

A cop’s view of serial arson in Provincetown, Massachusetts forms the core of this mystery. This reviewer had no idea that Provincetown is famous for eccentricities like transgender residents. The city has pageants featuring these folks. The opening of the mystery is pretty gruesome, as a group of retired performing seals is found slaughtered outside a restaurant that sits just below an old hotel. The hotel is the home of many pageant participants. Frank Coffin, the acting chief of police, races all over town from one fire to another in a very short time span. Eventually, all the mayhem is bundled together; however, not before Frank and his team traipse over most of the region seeking the source of their problems.

The Snow White Christmas Cookie: A Berger and Mitry Mystery by David Handler (Minotaur Books, $24.99, 264 pages)

The duo of Mitch Berger and Desiree Mitry are featured in this, the ninth book in a series. The unlikely pair of film critic and state trooper slog through several snow blizzards and too many characters to name in an abbreviated review. The tone of the book is definitely light-hearted even though there are crimes galore, like murder, mail theft and black market drug sales. The small town setting is especially quaint. Author Handler has a way with scene setting and goofy details. Even though we’re past Christmas, don’t let the title put you off. A tale like this is always in season.

Ruta Arellano

Review copies were provided by the publisher.

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