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Better Off Wed

(Annabelle Archer #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  3,874 ratings  ·  382 reviews
The murder of a particularly difficult mother-of-the-bride has cast a pall on wedding planner Annabelle Archer's latest triumph -- and suspicion falls heavily on her sometime-business partner and friend Richard Gerard. Annabelle knows that even her trusted wedding emergency kit won't be able to salvage their careers if she and Richard can't find the real culprit.

It's no ea
Kindle Edition, 234 pages
Published June 27th 2017 by Broadmoor Books, LLC (first published January 25th 2005)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,874 ratings  ·  382 reviews

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Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Holy crap. If I have to start a shelf for "cozy mystery" or "was made into Hallmark movie", and I start using phrases like "he's a hoot and a half", just fucking shoot me. I'm walking the razor's edge here with some of my questionable reading material lately. I blame the internet since I can't blame Obama anymore.

Good times. I miss them.

When you read a book a day, you become like a junkie. I use the library through Overdrive, get daily spam emails from freebie sites, troll the Amazon free offeri
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Since I am pressed for time just going to say that I really enjoyed the first book in this series. It was everything you want a cozy mystery to be. Not gory, funny, and a cast of memorable characters.

The main character is Annabelle Archer, wedding planner. When a demanding mother of the bride ends up murdered on the wedding day (can you imagine) Annabelle starts snooping though everyone tells her to give it up.

Things I loved:

I loved that this took place in Washington D.C. Apparently the author
Dec 29, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: really-disliked
This was a disaster. By the time I got to the 40% mark I just started skimming. The main character Annabelle is just ridiculous. She's supposedly this top wedding planner, but she can't even keep her own hair tidy, feed herself or act like a mature adult. Her apartment is a rubbish tip. Her fridge empty. How does she run a business and be such a complete mess?
Her best friend is gay - he shrieks, he faints, he. talks over her, is completely self-involved with his appearance - just pin a sign to h
Feb 05, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually read this sort of thing, but they're written by a dear friend from highschool. I'm so proud of her & I've just got to give her books a try. ...more
Stephanie Anze
Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Anabelle Archer runs a wedding planning business called Wedding Belles. When a difficult mother-of-the-bride dies amid a wedding planned by Anabelle and the cause is murder, Anabelle worries that her business will be affected. She, along with her assitant Kate and caterer Richard, decide to investigate only to learn that there is no shortage of suspects that had plenty reasons to want this woman dead. As the investigation continues and Anabelle gets closer to the truth, she finds herself in the ...more
Dez Nemec
Apr 26, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, cozy-mysteries, dnf
This is a DNF. At the end of chapter 1, I was ready to throw the book across the room. I lasted to 26%, then quit. The main character, Annabelle, is attempting to be an elite wedding planner, but she's a total mess. Her BFF is the most stereotypical gay man. Her neighbor is the quintessential old nosy bitty, although 1/4 of the way through the book, she was the only thing I liked about it. Everything about it was a mess, and it's wasn't cute in the least. Life is too short for books like this. ...more
LJ (On The Shelf Reviews)
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This has been on my kindle since 2017 and I didn’t realise it, oops!

Annabelle is in the middle of one of the most high profile weddings she’s ever organised when she finds the mother of bride from hell dead at the bottom of a set of stairs. She of course starts to investigate putting herself in danger.

This was such a cute little cozy mystery! Fast paced and fun its perfect if you’re looking for something light hearted.

Two stand out characters for me were Richard, Annabelle’s camp caterer friend
This just couldn't hold my interest. There was an eclectic mix of characters but they were stereotypes that quickly became annoying. Annabelle & Kate had many theories on who the killer was based on socialite gossip and each was sometimes quite a stretch. When they were actually presented with a logical next suspect they didn't even bat an eyelash that way. Instead, the worst pet peeve of mysteries happened, the answer had nothing to do with anything they'd speculated or investigated, new facts ...more
May 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
A decent start to a new to me cozy mystery series. I liked Annabelle and Richard the most, Annabelle's neighbor just needs to stop match-making already, and Kate just got on my nerves. I hate characters that get adages mixed up and someone has to constantly correct them (see Lt Eve Dallas, Kate here) - I think the authors think that it is an easy way to inject some humor, but it is just lazy and annoying. Also Kate's less than awesome driving skills sounds harmful, not funny. I could take or lea ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this story to be a real hoot and a half. It is about a woman and her friend who are in The Wedding Bells, her other best friend is a caterer and they tend to work together from wedding to wedding. After disaster strikes and the mother of the bride is killed after reception the three of them decide to take along a detective role as well. it has it's quite funny entertaining moments well they play detective and slowly unravel the clues. The book did need a little editing at one point the c ...more
Jyoti Mundley
The book started off well. The characters were cute and funny. Went downhill rather quickly because the main character is TSTL. She cannot keep a thought in her mind for more than 30 seconds, repeatedly fails at every ‘investigation’ she tries, gets warned off repeatedly to not interfere in police work and DOES NOT STOP. doesn’t even get better at ‘investigation’. She is a bimbo, if you can call a slob a bimbo. I find it hard to believe she could ever run a successful business. Wonder why her bf ...more
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Fun cozy mystery, too fluffy for a higher rating. Annabelle Archer & Kate are wedding planners, Richard is their go to chef, Fern is a wedding photographer. Reese is the hunk of a police detective. After planning a wedding for a year, dealing with the Mother, Mrs. Pierce, she was then killed during the reception....
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super cute story! Love the characters!
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a free book through Bookbub and I have to honestly say I wasn't sure. I love cozies, but a wedding planner theme didn't really sound all that interesting to me. Boy was I wrong.

I was a very fun read, and the characters were interesting and funny. I gave me a look into the world of high end weddings, societies social scene and the craziness wedding planners have to endure.

I very much liked the main characters, Annabelle, Kate and especially Richard.

SA Krishnan
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely light mystery.
Annabelle is a wedding planner and unfortunately the bride’s mother gets murdered. Annabelle plays detective to find the murderer.
The story was a light read and though it was easy to guess the killer, the author still manages to keep the interest of the readers till the very end. Cute read.
Jinx Schwartz
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fun read, nothing serious and my kind of entertainment. Recommended.
Joann Herley
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Better Off Wed (Annabelle Archer, #1) is a cozy mystery full of humor. Annabelle Archer is a wedding planner, and when the Mother of the Bride is found dead, Annabelle, Kate, and Richard try to solve the crime. There are several possible suspects that certainly had their reasons, but only one that did the deed. After a few chapters, I was able to pick the killer but not the reason why. It was a fun read, and I enjoyed the unique characters.
Claire Matturro
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Better off Wed is a charming book, sheer fun to read, light where it needs to be, funny in surprising spots, and well written with a sharp plot and clear, crisp language.

My disclaimer: I read Better off Wed back in its first incarnation in 2005 when I both met Laura and acquired a signed copy of her book at the Malice Domestic Convention. She was at the convention having fun and promoting her debut book, Better off Wed , and I was there with my first and second books. As authors, we crossed p
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FUN Read!

If you like mysteries and want a quick read- this book is for you.

Downloaded this book for free on Amazon and was not disappointed! Annabelle and her friends were an amusing and likable bunch. I was hooked after the first chapter and well throughout the book.

Annabelle is an event planner in DC who runs into a murder and can't turn down an opportunity to play detective and gather clues with her friends Kate and Richard who are also in the wedding industry. I enjoyed the banter between
Ted Tayler
"No spark"

This had all the required ingredients for a thoroughly PC cozy mystery, but it lacked any real fire. The characters were wooden, the dialogue predictable. In the end, I decided the title should have been 'Better Not Read'. There will be thousands who will lap it up, and wax lyrical about it, but it was all too contrived for my taste.
Corrie DeWolfe (Corrie's Book Nook)
Actual rating ... 3.5/5

Murder, Mayhem and possibly romance. At a wedding.

This was freakin' adorable and cute. I love Annabelle as the Type A wedding planner. When she and her assistant Kate (who is the classic young go-getter, with a new "friend" every week) discover their bride's mother at the bottom of the stairs, at the wedding, you know things are gonna get hinky.

I rather enjoyed the twists and turns, and I liked the fact that it was a combo of cozy mystery meets rom com.

Both Kate, and An
2.5 stars...I don't know...I make allowances in cozy mysteries because it is over unrealistic and a little silly at times with what people do, but I grew rather frustrated with our MC here, because she made some really truly awful and stupid decisions. I liked Richard. I even liked her annoying friend, Kate and her neighbor. I liked Reece as well, I guess, but this isn't a romance and there isn't anything of substance here as far as a relationship goes, so maybe in the future it all comes togeth ...more
Listened to this on audio. I chose this book for one of the challenges for #marchmysterymadness a mystery with a wedding involved. I don’t normally read cozy mysteries so it was a change of pace from the graphic violent ones I normally read. It’s a cute story about a wedding planner who stumbles upon a murder and she’s trying to find out who the murderer was. I felt the book was a bit short but I didn’t enjoy it.
Julie Keller
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wedding mayhem

The story was good, with fun characters. The misquotes by Kate were wearing a little thin, but nothing too bad. The book does need some editing, though. Apparently there was some glitch in their spell check program, because many words that should end with "rn" end with "m".
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun start to the Annabelle Archer Mysteries. Annabelle plans weddings and solves mysteries along with her two sidekicks Kate and Richard. Add in hunky detective and you’ve got laughs, mystery, and a hint of romance. Looking for to Annabelle’s next wedding (& murder)!
Riley K.
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Annabelle Archer is a wedding planner in Washington D.C. Apparently being in the wedding business can be murder. This is a perfect whodunit mystery with a wonderful cast of characters and side plots.
Georgiann Hennelly
Better off Wed is a cozy mystery with a touch of suspense. Annabelle Archer is a Wedding Planner her two best friends work with her one is the caterer the other her planning assistant. She jokes with them about wanting to kill the Mother of the Bride. Unfortunately the Women is killed b y a fall down the stairs. Kate and her crew are suspects. Kate decides to help the police investigate the crimes. A good laugh out loud at times read.
I look forward to reading more books by this author.
An entertaining book, a lot of funny moments and banter among the friends.
Srivalli Rekha
It is lighthearted, funny, and easy to read. I didn't have to stress about knowing the murderer or solving the crime. Not my kind of crime but definitely a cozy mystery and hey, it's got food. ...more
Mel Ann
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As if the stresses of planning a wedding are not enough. Annabel, Kate and Richard are put through the ringer when the Bride's Monstrous Mom takes a dive. Wedding Belles is used to being doled out spectacular heaps of senselessness, but murder is a bit extravagant.

Mixed with a skilled amount of unbalanced and the right amount of amusing the characters make the mystery conceivable and worthwhile.

There were a few editing issues, but the writing was well formed and the storyline kept me theorizin
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Nook books: October 4, 2019 1 2 Oct 04, 2019 08:07PM  
Play Book Tag: Better Off Wed by Laura Durham, 4 Stars 5 16 Mar 12, 2018 04:12AM  

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I'm a writer and reformed wedding planner who loves quiet mornings, great books, paddle boarding, and blackberry cobbler.

I write humorous cozy mysteries about a wedding planner because I like books that make me laugh and because, after planning weddings for twenty years, I have a long list of people to kill.

To try my first novel for free, go to

Other books in the series

Annabelle Archer (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • For Better or Hearse (Annabelle Archer, #2)
  • To Love and To Perish (Annabelle Archer, #3)
  • Review To A Kill (Annabelle Archer, #4)
  • Death on the Aisle (Annabelle Archer Wedding Planner Mystery Book 5)
  • Night of the Living Wed (Annabelle Archer, #6)
  • Eat, Prey, Love (Annabelle Archer #7)
  • Groomed for Murder (Annabelle Archer #8)
  • Wed or Alive (Annabelle Archer #9)
  • The Truffle with Weddings (Annabelle Archer #10)
  • Irish Aisles are Smiling (Annabelle Archer #11)

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