Here comes the bride, but where’s the groom?
Once more to the wedding chapel for chic Elaine Cody, this time with chemist Philip Chambers, a consultant to Dorman Industries. On hand for the Berkeley nuptials is Elaine’s best friend Gloria Lamerino, Bay State scientist and wildly impassioned snoop, and her lover Matt Gennaro, a cop recovering from prostate cancer. But the wedding plans go belly up when a gunshot victim the groom’s daughter Dana, an EMT, is transporting to the hospital dies and her EMT partner Tanisha is shot and killed in the parking lot. Dana’s apartment is ransacked, and clues tie the first victim, Lokesh Patel, to one of Dana’s roommates, secretive Robin, and to her dad, who suddenly disappears. The puzzle deepens when someone fiddles with Dana’s Valley Med work-assignment sheets, local cops find pilfered drugs in Tanisha’s belongings, a briefcase containing secret nitrogen files is emptied, and bullets whiz past Gloria during a B&E at Patel’s supposedly empty house. Could the missing Philip be not just a bridegroom with cold feet, as Elaine fears, but a killer on the lam? It’s up to Gloria and Matt (The Carbon Murder, 2004, etc.) to set matters straight as they eye their own nuptials.
Minichino’s latest spin through the periodic table is a charmingly wry look at marriage the second, third and fourth time around. If only the plot didn’t combust at the end.