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Terror in Taffeta

(Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  449 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Wedding planner Kelsey McKenna is just a few hours away from wrapping up her latest job: a destination wedding in the charming, colonial Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende. The reception is all set up, the tequila donkey is waiting outside, and the bride and groom are standing on the altar, pledging their eternal love. But just as the priest is about to pronounce them h ...more
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published March 22nd 2016 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Kelsey McKenna is a wedding planner known for her destination weddings. Her latest clients requested to be married in the town of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. Everything is going just as planned with the arrangements until one of the bridesmaids gets sick right before the service.

Kelsey warned the girls not to drink too much at the bachelorette party the night before the wedding. When Dana returns she ushers them off and the service takes place as planned. Just as it's ending and everyone s
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
I would give it 2.5 stars. I liked the premise - wedding planner as protagonist. Bridesmaid faints... wait... drops dead on the spot! Started out cute, and I was looking for an easy summer read.

The premise of the wedding planner being expected to investigate the murder, by order of the mother of the bride, was bizarre. Who would do that? Characters and relationships pretty flat and unrealistic. She doesn't know these people. And her friendship with Brody is flat as well.

I finished it. Eh.
Chelsey Wolford
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This debut novel was pitched for fans of Carolyn Haines; I LOVE everything about Carolyn’s books, so I was sure to request a copy of this book for review. This fast-paced, cozy mystery story was so easy to read and took me no time at all to finish. It was the perfect escape for a rainy afternoon. I was not disappointed with this new mystery series. Kelsey, our leading detective, is a wedding planner, a job I always wanted as a child. So while I was sure some chaos would ensue, I was not sure jus ...more
Mark Baker
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, mystery
Destination wedding planner Kelsey McKenna thinks she’s seen everything at a wedding. That’s why, when one of the bridesmaids collapses at the end of the ceremony she thinks the woman is just hung over. Imagine her surprise when she realizes that Dana is dead. When the police arrest the bride’s sister for the crime, the mother of the bride insists that Kelsey has a duty to free her younger daughter. Can Kelsey figure out who the killer is?

I feel in love with this book in the very first chapter,
Lisa Mathews
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this lighthearted wedding mystery so much I went back and read it again.The fun combo of a destination wedding planner-turned-detective with a cast of colorful characters (loved the tyrannical MOB) and romantic San Miguel setting was already irresistible, but the writing (especially the clever, snarky dialog) and fast-paced mystery kept me flipping pages. I may even read Terror in Taffeta again before the next book in the series come out!
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was very happy when I got this book through NetGalley in exchange of a review, which I am more than happy to provide, because I was in dire need of something good to read. And I found it in this book, I liked the colorful and relatable characters and the plot line was interesting and had me reading way passed my bedtime. I thoroughly enjoyed this cozy murder mystery and I hope that there will be many more to come by this talented Author.
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Terror in Taffeta, the first book in the Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mystery series, author Marla Cooper weaves an intriguing cozy mystery tale that follows the amateur sleuth adventures of wedding planner Kelsey McKenna as she finds herself with the added duty of investigating the murder of a bridesmaid.

Set in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Kelsey has coordinated the destination wedding of Nicole Abernathy and Vince Moreno. The wedding plans are going as expected
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kelsey McKenna is a wedding planner and is dealing with a “momzilla” of the bride. The couple decided on a destination wedding in Mexico much to the mom’s dismay and now she is trailing after Kelsey to make sure the wedding goes as planned. She even seems to blame Kelsey when one of the bridesmaids faints during the service. But the girl didn’t just faint, she died… as in murdered… and the police arrest the bride’s sister. Momzilla places the whole thing firmly on Kelsey’s sho
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 out of 5 stars actually.

For the most part, I enjoyed this book and I think it's a solid start to the Destination Wedding series.

As far as the characters go, I liked Kelsey's character a lot and Brody, her friend and often the photographer for the weddings she plans/coordinates. They're both complex characters, though we haven't perhaps seen all of their complexity yet given the fact that this is book one in the series! The mother of the bride on the other hand, I just want to slap silly. Som
May 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
The premise of the story/murder had promise, but while reading, I kept coming across so many holes in logic, compounded with the annoyance of one character, that it was just about impossible to enjoy reading this book. Sadly, I couldn't wait to finish it.....and considered tossing it against the wall (my supreme "gosh, this is awful" reaction to some books).
I'm not being more specific on the holes, or the annoying character (although that individual will be clear to anyone who reads the book!),
Ellen Byron
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Delightful protagonist, a great mystery adventure. I love the destination angle. It's like taking a vacation - with murder! ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kelsey McKenna works as a destination wedding planner in Terror in Taffeta by Marla Cooper, and she puts on a wedding in Mexico for a nice couple, Nicole and Vince, with a crazy, obsessive woman, Mrs. Abernathy, for the bride’s mother. The morning of the wedding, the bridesmaids all have major hangovers from the bachelorette party they held the night before against the strong urging of Kelsey, who knows from prior experience that this is no way to spend the night before a wedding. Then, as the w ...more
Ellen Kirschman
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy
I don't usually read light-hearted cozies but I had just returned from San Miguel de Allende (the setting for this book) and was curious. I loved it. Marla Cooper writes with great humor. Her protagonist, destination wedding planner (who knew there was such a career), is delightfully stubborn and self-effacing. The plot moves forward at a brisk pace, suspense building toward a satisfying ending. Marla's writing is strong and she sacrifices nothing in terms of style or quality to give the reader ...more
Sybil Johnson
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book about a destination wedding planner who gets involved in a murder in Mexico. The characters were well done and the plot interesting. Looking forward to reading the next book.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 cute and fun! I'm can't wait to get the 2nd!
Mark Isaak
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
When Kelsey, a wedding planner, turns her skills to solving a murder, the results are, well, probably not much different from what you would expect from a rank amateur playing at being a detective. Kelsey's investigation gradually reveals relevant information, but more often by luck than by skill or persistence. Often she fails to ask obvious questions (such as, "What did he look like?") or make obvious connections. She solved the murder only when the murderer basically came to her and said, "Ye ...more
Ana Manwaring
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Although I planned my own Wine Country destination wedding: our front yard, I do hold a smidgen of destination wedding experience. I’ve attended two weddings in Mexico. I don’t remember any major disasters—no one died, even if a few guests did snore under tables. Everyone had a grand time and the wedding planners went home with excellent recommendations and prospective clients.

That’s how it should have been for San Francisco based wedding planner, Kelsey McKenna who has created a perfect weddin
Jill Tool
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished-reading
5 Star Review. This is the first time I’ve read anything by this author, and I’ll be reading more by her. This li’l cozy was a nice fresh of breath air!

Kelsey McKenna is a wedding planner, but just any wedding planner she plans for destination weddings. One thing I liked about the book was it was funny, I liked the character’s I was supposed to like, namely the main character of the book and Brody her friend that sometimes helps out with weddings. Kelsey is a little complex, but not to complex
Sheryl Booth of Booth Talks Books
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Event planners, future brides, photographers
Kelsey McKenna is a wedding coordinator by most standards. She schedules the church or beach for the big day, destination of the couple’s dreams, helps with the dresses and even dentures some of the drama every wedding party is bound to have. It’s a piece of wedding cake, as she has seen and done and seen it all. Not so fast there. At her most recent ceremony held in the beautiful San Miguel de Allende, Kelsey never imagined she would be responsible for handling the mystery of a death, make that ...more
Marla Cooper combines cozy mystery, exotic wedding locations and fun characters in what is undoubtedly the first in a new series, Terror in Taffeta. Wedding planner Kelsey McKenna normally enjoys planning destination weddings. But, the wedding in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, brings together a demanding mother-of-the-bride, a last minute addition to the wedding party, and a death at the end of the ceremony itself. Not quite as Kelsey pictured the newlyweds starting their new life.

Kelsey warned
First Sentence: The sea-foam green bridesmaids’ dresses had been a mistake.

Wedding planner Kelsey McKenna tries to prepare for all contingencies. Having a bridesmaid die, and the mother-of-the-bride insist Kelsey “do something” about freeing the person arrested, is a bit out of her usual realm. Since the local police won’t let them leave the country, but are convinced they have arrested the killer, it is up to Kelsey and her friend, Brody, to find the evidence and identify the actual killer.

Kristine (The Writer's Inkwell)
Posted originally on my blog:
The Writer's Inkwell

As a fan of cozy mysteries, I have to say this book was a very entertaining start to a new series. From the first chapter I found myself hooked. Not only did I find Kelsey to be a likeable character, but I admired her willingness to go above and beyond for her clients.

After one of the bridesmaids collapses and dies during the ceremony, Kelsey finds herself in a whirlwind of stress and confusion. As the wedding planner, her pain in the neck client
Andrea Guy
I just read a romance about a wedding planner. I don't know how I manage to do stuff like that. Suffice to say I liked this cozy mystery a whole lot better than the romance. OK, I loved this book. It was amazing

This is Marla's debut novel and this is the first book in a new series. You really don't want to miss it. Kelsey does destination weddings. I have to admit I loved the crime. Imagine your bridesmaid cocking up her toes into a floral arrangement at the ceremony! It really doesn't get much
Joyce Brown
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Readers of Nora Roberts, Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, Joanna Fluke, and Sally Goldenbaum mysteries will love Marla Cooper’s new cozy heroine, Kelsey McKenna. Kelsey is a wedding planner at a destination wedding she’s planned in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Everything is going well until the temperamental bridesmaidzilla collapses just as the village priest pronounces the newlyweds husband and wife.
Most of the wedding party flies home the next morning, and Kelsey is set to leave, too. Too bad
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terror in Taffeta by Marla Cooper is a fast paced fun mystery, that keeps you guessing until the end. This is my first book by this author, but I hope she plans on writing more books involving Kelsey McKenna a wedding planner.

This book starts out with Kelsey in the middle of keeping the wedding moving along in beautiful San Miguel,Mexico. The brides mother is very difficult, the bride and her bridal party are all hung over, and one of the bridesmaids dies during the ceremony. In order to get bac
Once Upon a Romance Reviews

4.5 Stars
Sexual Content: None/Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content: Mild
Violent Content: Moderate

She was a wedding planner. A good one. Not an investigator! Kelsey, however, was not only railroaded into non-wedding planner-like duties by the mother of the bride, such as poking her nose into a police investigation, she also felt a bit of guilt settle on her shoulders. This was the first time she’d lost, as in dead, a bridesmaid.

I enjoyed the set up of Kelsey and her friend Brody; their busine
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
I chose to read this book because of the location, San Miguel, because I have a friend that owns a house there. And of course because it is a cozy!

So we have a couple that decides to get married in Mexico and one of the bridesmaids ends of dead right after the ceremony on the altar at the church. The bride's mother (who is VERY pushy and not very likeable) seems to think it is the wedding planner's job to solve the crime. Why, I'm not quite sure, but like I said, Mrs. Abernathy is not a very lik
Doward Wilson
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Awesome! An entertaining mystery with a complex murder plot. Well written characters, crisp narration and descriptive backgrounds make this a must read. Kelsey McKenna is a wedding planner wrapping up a destination wedding in a colorful, colonial Mexican town. The mother of the bride needs her tongue cut out and a last minute bridesmaid is almost as snarky. When the bridesmaid drops dead before she can exit the wedding chapel, the fun starts! When it turns out to be murder and the bride's sister ...more
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
3.5 stars

This debut cozy introduces Kelsey McKenna, wedding planner extraordinaire. Kelsey has almost pulled off a challenging destination wedding in picturesque San Miguel de Allende in Mexico despite the ongoing interference of the hellish mother of the bride. But when one of the bridesmaids is poisoned and doesn't make it out of the wedding alive, things begin to get crazy despite Kelsey's best efforts. And then the police arrest the bride's sister.

This was a light-hearted and clever read wit
K.A. Davis
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
TERROR IN TAFFETA is a well plotted, humorous mystery with an exotic location that adds to the panache of this debut novel! The protagonist, Kelsey, is fun-loving, but takes her job very seriously and at heart, believes it is her job to fix any problem that comes along. I enjoyed the dashes of humor and the situations that arise from the mixture of personalities the characters exhibit, but there is still a kindness in the concern Kelsey shows towards her clients, no matter how irritating they ma ...more
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MARLA COOPER is the author of the Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries. As a freelance writer, Marla has written all sorts of things, from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku, and it was while ghostwriting a guide to destination weddings that she found inspiration for her series. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband a ...more

Other books in the series

Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries (2 books)
  • Dying on the Vine (Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries, #2)

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