A Scottish bonbon for all the couples who thought their nuptials were nightmares.
Just before Robin Dunwoodie was released from prison, his friend Angus Castle happened to receive a misdirected e-mail from a bride asking rates for getting married at Angus Castle. And not just any bride either, but that well-known pop phenom Mona Lisa, who’s secretly planning to wed Hollywood star Craig Arthur. Along with his daughter, Alice Dennison, Dunwoodie plots to turn his knowledge to advantage by replying as if he were in charge of booking Angus Castle, asking for deposits on the site and cash outlays on the food and wine, and running with the money before the secret becomes public knowledge. It’s a nifty plan, fueled by Dunwoodie’s avarice and his daughter’s desire to stick it to the fairy-tale couple, but it’s doomed before it starts by the fact that Dunwoodie isn’t the only person who knows the secret; he isn’t even the only person who knows he knows. Caught in a crossfire of threats between bigger, tougher, greedier criminals, Alice responds in the most unlikely way imaginable, by turning into a more or less bona fide wedding planner, and for a while readers may fear that the wedding will go off without a single felony.
Not to worry: Veteran Hammond (The Snatch, 2003, etc.) provides just enough menace and malice to keep this caper from drifting from the crime rack to the shelves housing Modern Bride.