Monday, April 3, 2017

Dying on the Vine by Marla Cooper - #review #giveaway

When wedding planner Kelsey McKenna goes to the Wine Country Wedding Faire, the last thing she expects to do is take on new clients. After all, she’s just there to help out her friend Brody and maybe score some free cupcakes. But when a young couple in a pinch asks for her help, she just can’t say no.

There’s only one problem: they’d been working with Babs Norton, the self-proclaimed Queen of Wine Country Weddings—and things did not end well. Kelsey wants to make sure there are no hard feelings, but unfortunately she never gets the chance. When she goes to Babs’ office, she finds the wedding planner dead on the floor.

Babs’ high-strung assistant Stefan knows exactly who killed Babs: Kelsey. At least, that’s what he very publicly accuses her of at Babs’ funeral. When Kelsey decides to do a little sleuthing to clear her name, she uncovers a myriad of secrets and lies. And when a second wedding planner is attacked, Kelsey begins to wonder if she might be next.

Set against the stunning backdrop of California wine country, Marla Cooper’s Dying on the Vine is a mystery brimming with gossip, wine, and, of course…murder.



Kelsey McKenna goes above and beyond for her friends.  She is snarky, likes cupcakes, and speaks with a Scottish accent (when bored).  She is quite possibly my favorite cozy heroine EVER!  Kelsey is also an aces wedding planner, works well with her associates and has great business ethics.

As it happens, a couple who had been working with Kelsey's rival asked her to take over their wedding, and she went to Babs (the rival) to make sure it was ok with her first.  You just don't see that too much in the business world these days.  I was uber-impressed with that even before I knew she even had investigative chops as well.  And she would have to have, because when Babs turns up toes up (dead), her assistant Stefan declares that Kelsey was the murderer!  (Because I was already firmly in Kelsey's corner before that happened, Stefan's actions made me immediately suspicious.)

I was very impressed by Ms. Cooper's writing style.  The characters are clearly and completely drawn without resorting to caricatures.  The pacing is great, and the action ratchets up well as the story progresses, interspersed with 'rests' to allow us to catch our breaths.  And there was a fair amount of humor in and amongst the danger.

In fact, all the elements were blended together with a hand worthy of the tastiest Napa vintage.  So add this one to your wine cellar - and your bookshelf.



Please visit the tour site to enter the giveaway for a hardback copy of Dying on the Vine and a "Keep Calm and Read a Cozy" coffee mug!



As a freelance writer, MARLA COOPER has written all sorts of things, from advertising copy to travel guidebooks to the occasional haiku. But it was while ghostwriting a nonfiction guide to destination weddings that she found inspiration for her current series starring destination wedding planner Kelsey McKenna. Originally hailing from Texas, Marla lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and her polydactyl tuxedo cat.


Click on the banner above to go to the tour page, where you can find links to more reviews, several guest posts and an interview with the author!  You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)


  1. Terror in Taffeta is such a good book, and I can't wait to read Dying on the Vine to see all that can go wrong with what should be a dreamy destination wedding in Wine Country. Thanks for featuring Marla and Dying on the Vine on your blog ~

  2. Love the wedding planner storyline and I'm looking forward to reading "Dying on the Vine".

  3. Your book looks good! Thanks for the chance

  4. ... and this might be my favorite review ever!! Thank you so much, LuAnn!