Canceling the wedding from hell may turn out to be the best decision a harried lawyer ever made.
Mallory Shepard and her fiance, Keith Pierce, work for different Pittsburgh law firms. Tired of battling her obnoxious mother-in-law-to-be, Mallory’s surrendered control of the wedding to Helene but refuses to live in a McMansion in nearby Port Quincy. When someone sends her photos of Keith in a compromising position with yet another lawyer, Mallory breaks her engagement. She’s shocked when Keith’s grandmother Sylvia, the only family member she liked, passes away after deeding Mallory Thistle Park, her decrepit mansion in Port Quincy. Mallory’s wild-child younger sister, Rachel, arrives from Florida, and after Sylvia’s funeral, the sisters move into the house. Unfortunately, their first visitor, a pushy representative of Lodestar Energy who wants to lease the property for fracking natural gas, turns up dead in their yard the next morning. The Port Quincy police arrive in the form of Chief Truman, Mallory’s neighbor and father of the handsome lawyer who’s handling Sylvia’s estate. Rachel has dreams of turning Thistle Park into a B&B and wedding venue, but Mallory, who’s still paying off student loans, realizes that the cost of refurbishing the place would far exceed her income. Their only hope is to find the valuable paintings that are rumored to be hidden in the house. But searching for them while trying to unmask a ruthless killer puts Mallory in danger.
Blackmoore’s debut, first in a planned series, provides the usual cozy combination of mystery, romance, and recipes, with a little extra bite supplied by the timely fracking controversy.