Read Better Off Wed by Laura Durham Online


**Winner of the Agatha Award for Best First Novel!** Planning weddings can be murder. But stumbling across dead bodies usually isn’t on the itinerary. Can a wedding planner use her skills to discover who’s killing her clients? Society wedding planner Annabelle Archer is no stranger to wedding day stress, but a dead body at her latest fete takes the cake. When suspicion fal**Winner of the Agatha Award for Best First Novel!** Planning weddings can be murder. But stumbling across dead bodies usually isn’t on the itinerary. Can a wedding planner use her skills to discover who’s killing her clients? Society wedding planner Annabelle Archer is no stranger to wedding day stress, but a dead body at her latest fete takes the cake. When suspicion falls on her best friend and caterer Richard Gerard, she knows she must find the real culprit before his career is ruined along with her reputation for solving problems. But it’s no easy feat since the slain mother-of-the-bride was the most hated socialite in the city. As Annabelle navigates DC’s powerful social scene to unmask the culprit, there’s no telling how many more victims the killer will claim or if Annabelle and her friends will be among them. Better Off Wed is the first book in the Annabelle Archer cozy mystery series. If you like charming characters, fast-paced comedy, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the wild world of weddings, then you’ll love Laura Durham’s Agatha award-winning mystery. Get Better Off Wed to discover the award-winning mystery series today!...

Title : Better Off Wed
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 11464078
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Better Off Wed Reviews

  • Jilly
    2019-02-24 02:10

    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 offerings, am a member of bookbub, and may or may not check out some questionable places for books. Like all junkies, I have to whore myself out every once in a while too. New authors love book-whores. All of this is to say, "I read this because it was free!" Don't be thinking I'm turning into a cat-lady in a Snuggie who keeps tissues close in case the Lifetime movie makes me cry. NOT happening!As it should be. This book is cutesy. She's a wedding planner with a gay bff and a dumb/whore, but lovable, assistant. They find a dead body at one of the weddings they planned and enter Mr. Hunky Detective. Of course, sparks fly! But, she is warned to stay out of his investigation, and she keeps playing Miss Marple. She also has a cute old lady who lives downstairs because, well, that's the kind of book this is. Cute Old Lady loves "Murder She Wrote" (for you kids, that was a show where an old lady solves crime each week. If you ask me, SHE was a murderer, but whatever... seems awfully convenient that people kept dying around her. Just sayin'), and wants to help solve the murder by being nosy and trying to set-up our main girl with Detective Hunky.If only Detective Hunky decided to go for Grandma Nosy. THEN, we would have an original story here.Oh, the hijinx and hilarity! Mr. Gay Bestie is hilariously gay! Ms. Whore Assistant is sexy and dumb! Grandma Nosy is always showing up to nose around! Detective Hunky is flirty when he reprimands our Junior Detective Squad.Some things are just expected...If you like the cute chick-lit and cozy mystery thing, this book is for you. Lots of cute/funny going on. And, on that note, I'm going to go and read something either gory, smutty, or dark as a palate cleanse....Aww, that's more like it.

  • Obsidian
    2019-03-13 07:47

    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 has visited or lived in and around D.C. She actually describes Georgetown, the Key Bridge, and Chevy Chase in accurate terms. I always get a kick out of books that take place in a city I commute to every day.Annabelle and her sidekicks (her employee Kate and her friend and caterer Richard) are hilarious. Plus all of the food Richard was supposedly making sounded delicious. Too bad no recipes though.Annabelle being a terrible at times amateur sleuth cracked me up. She definitely has a couple of memorable run-ins with clients and a photographer.The book was short enough that you didn't feel like it went on overly long. The writing was concise and the flow was okay throughout.Things I didn't love:Eh to the detective. I know that all cozy's must have a love interest (so it is written) but the detective was a big snooze to me.The next door neighbor was aggravating and not in a cute way. In a, too bad she didn't end up maimed way to me.There is no real why for why Annabelle starts investigating. In most cozy mysteries the first book (so it is written) the main character always is seen as a suspect. The synopsis says that Annabelle's friend Richard is considered one. However, he really isn't and I forget at what percent when the police arrest someone else.

  • Laura
    2019-03-09 01:53

    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.

  • Lauren
    2019-03-17 05:01

    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 caterer friend was upset and had a moment saying don't call me again which he quickly apologized for the next morning. The author seems to have forgotten about it and continued the feud a little longer. otherwise great read

  • Claire Matturro
    2019-02-24 06:53

    Better off Wedis 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 Wedback 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 paths. By the way, she’s as delightful as her book. I read and thoroughly enjoyed my autographed copy ofBetter off Wed . Just this month, when I saw that she had revised the book and was putting it out there again, I got the new version via Kindle. I’m glad I did. Of course in the ensuing years I’d forgotten the ins-and-outs of the plot, so I could thoroughly enjoy reading it again. Laura Durham’s main characters—Annabelle the wedding planner and Richard the caterer-- are delights, both fresh, charming, intriguing, energetic. I particularly enjoyed the contradictions in protagonist Annabelle--outwardly organized and efficient, but with an apartment so messy that it borders classic Oscar Madison. She’s protective of her heart and her career and both are at risk as the story develops. Richard the caterer is also a great character, smart, tart-tongued, and capable of great one-liner zingers. He is admittedly self-interested in salvaging his caterer’s reputation, but very protective of Annabelle and a loyal ally as they seek out the truth behind the murder of the mother of the bride at Annabelle’s big, break-through society wedding. The pace is fast, boom boom boom, no long monologues or pointless digressions in this tightly woven story. Durham’s sense of place and world building are excellent and authentic, as well they should be given that she sets her story in her own world of Georgetown and Washington D.C.Definitely a cozy/romantic mystery with a dash of chick lit, but I don't count those as negatives when you want to just enjoy a fun, charming book. A delightful read—or reread.

  • Ted Tayler
    2019-03-17 06:58

    "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.

  • Julie Keller
    2019-03-09 09:07

    Wedding mayhemThe 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".

  • sai profile
    2019-03-02 06:12

    Good book

  • Elizabeth
    2019-02-28 03:15

    An entertaining book, a lot of funny moments and banter among the friends.

  • Lauretta
    2019-02-23 03:12

    This was my first Annabelle Archer Wedding Planner book, and I found it very entertaining. I like the D. C. setting, and the characterizations of brides and their mothers is hilarious. Her faithful team includes her assistant Kate and #1 caterer Richard, both of whom have funny quirks of their own. There's also nosy septuagenarian neighbor Leatrice, who reads lots of mysteries and watches Perry Mason reruns faithfully. The mystery develops slowly, and the guilty party is revealed late in the book. There's the handsome detective/love interest (that romance seems to be developing very slowly) who comes to the rescue, but only after Leatrice has saved Annabelle and Richard has arrive on the scene. Altogether an entertaining and enjoyable cozy mystery.

  • Kat
    2019-03-05 02:55

    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 friends while discovering clues and attempting to solve the mystery. Not a predictable ending- I enjoyed the twists and turns and list of potential suspects. *Spoilers*The ending was slightly disappointing- just ended too fast. I wished the relationship between Annabelle and Reese would have played out a little more after rooting for them throughout the book.

  • Jenifer
    2019-02-27 09:51

    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 were added at the end that had nothing to do with anything else but somehow proves the whole thing, and none of it even made much sense. It was even completed with a version of the famous Scooby Doo line: "if you hadn't been such a busybody I would've gotten away with it." Puh-leeese!I'm irritated at the book, the people, and the time I wasted.

  • Chelsea Johnson
    2019-03-10 08:55

    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 easy task since the slain matron was perhaps the most hated socialite in D.C., but Annabelle navigates through the city's colorful wedding industry and powerful social scene on the deadly trail of a killer. Always the bridal consultant and never the bride, she's seen her fair share of bouquet tosses. But there's no telling what surprises a ruthless killer will throw her way if she gets too close.Ok, so this was...well, to be completely honest, I'm not too sure exactly how I feel about it. There's definitely potential here, but at the same time I got really frustrated and annoyed with several of the characters.I really liked how Annabelle was trying to solve this, if only to clear Richard's name. Richard was mildly hilarious in all his minor freakouts, but some of them I was kind of confused about why he was having a meltdown. It was interesting the way that Annabelle got most of her information and I did like how she'd think through her actions. Oftentimes it was either as she was about to get caught by someone or after the fact, but at least she was considering a course of action. And I do kind of want her to contact Reese. There's definitely potential for something there. At least if certain people don't drive him away...Leatrice was nice, but I really wished she'd just butt out. I mean really, she butts into Annabelle's apartment without notice, invites herself over for food, claims that Annabelle gave her a key (not too sure I fully believe that...based on other things her character did, I wouldn't put it past her to have somehow managed to nab a key from the super) and then wouldn't stop trying to set Annabelle up with Reese. Now, on it's own, that part isn't so bad, Annabelle clearly does need help in that department, but the fact that she glares at anyone else who so much as smiles at Reese just didn't work for me.Kate was a little too much stereotypical hookup girl. Plus, what was with her mangled sayings? I mean, some of them I'll give you. But the way she mangled others felt almost physically impossible for someone with half a brain. And while Kate admittedly appears willing to sleep with anything male, she also seems to have a decent head on her shoulders. Although, she really can't drive, so maybe that's part of it.I also had an issue with some of the editing. There were a few different spelling errors and also at the end Fern suddenly became Fem. Not sure if that was something to do with my NOOK or something that's throughout all the books, but it was a little frustrating.All in all, this was a cute story and interesting way to start the series. I will likely be checking out the rest of the books eventually.

  • Toni
    2019-02-27 04:55

    A slightly charming, though somewhat poorly executed first novel. Better Off Wed introduces readers to Annabelle Archer, wedding planner and amateur sleuth (with extra emphasis on the "amateur" part). When the overbearing mother of one of her high society brides suspiciously dies at the wedding reception, Annabelle's curiosity is piqued and she immediately starts asking questions. She is accompanied by her assistant, Kate, who has an annoying (and unconvincing) habit of messing up idioms, and Richard, her go-to caterer and best friend. The synopsis on the back of the book states that Richard becomes the prime suspect in the murder investigation, which is what prompts Annabelle to take action, but that is not the case; Richard is barely considered as the murderer, even when a second death occurs. Annabelle just wants to get involved in something that is way out of her depth. And it is; throughout the entire book, Annabelle goes bumbling around, trying to find clues, and generally just causing problems that highlight her own ineptitude. Why the investigating detective, Reese, seemed to like her, I have no idea.The supporting characters were pretty distinct, I will give the author that. However, not many of them were very likable; I mentioned Kate earlier, but Leatrice, Annabelle's elderly neighbor, would have been cute if she didn't butt in literally every time I turned around. She had no concept of minding her own business, and it got annoying very quickly. Detective Reese was okay, but his character kept jumping back and forth between a serious, no-nonsense policeman and a complete flirt, all within the same conversation! I wasn't convinced by him, either.As for the mystery itself, it was interesting enough to hold my attention, but towards the end, it just became obnoxious as Annabelle and co. danced around the same two suspects. By the time the killer was revealed, I was just glad to be done with the constant conversational circling. Also, the way in which Annabelle figured out who did it was a bit of a reach; pulling some obscure fact out of her head after sustaining a concussion, even if it was a mild one, wasn't very realistic. And then, all of a sudden, it was over. The final showdown, the arrest, and the "resolution" took place in about four pages, leaving things feeling a bit unsettled after such an abrupt end. The story as a whole has a certain charm to it that kept me reading, but it's not enough to encourage any continuation in the series, at least for me.

  • Danielle Urban
    2019-03-19 05:15

    Better Off Wed by Laura Durham is a hilarious yet deadly cozy mystery. I haven't read too many novels featuring the wedding planner as a woman sleuth. Annabelle Archer is a wedding planner who hates the current MOB (mother of bride). With her best friends as the caterer and planning assistant, Annabelle hopes to make it through the wedding. The MOB is one of the nastiest ones to deal with...Annabelle jokes with her two friends about killing the MOB. And as fate has it...that's the one person who turned up dead...and guess who found her...the trio. Detective shows up and questions the friends as well as the rest of the wedding party. Apparently, Richard, Annabelle's caterer friend, is being suspected of murder! That's when Annabelle and her friends go about solving who did it. Only as they question more leads...others die and Annabelle's apartment is trashed. But that isn't the worst part. The killer is after her...not knowing why until it's almost too late. The police arrest one killer but is that the real killer? Annabelle doesn't think so...her gut says otherwise. The Detective on the case shows interest in Annabelle yet she's not interested in romance yet...her blushes say it all. From an older woman as a nosy neighbor that is trying to set her up with men to her friends encouraging her to date...Annabelle will have her hands full of trouble.Better Off Wed is sweet, funny, and sexy. The mysterious plot hooked me instantly. The web of danger and intrigue kept me interested. I couldn't put the novel down...Laura Durham is a talented writer. I loved her cast of characters. I didn't know who the killer was until it was revealed to me later. I can't wait to read the rest of the books in this exciting series. Definitely, a page-turning read. Overall, I highly recommend this book to readers everywhere.

  • Philip
    2019-03-23 02:57

    Well I have finally found a cozy mystery that actually lives up to it's fanfare from the jacket blurbs and most other reviews. I like to read a light mystery with some humour to unwind after reading a more serious, dark, gritty or violent crime novel such as I just had with Sean Chercover's "The Devil's Game" and this one sure provided me with the laughs I needed from some really quirky characters. Richard is an absolute hoot! Katie's messing up the favourite sayings didn't annoy me too much but maybe it is kind of stretched out too far even if many times Katie's version fit right into the situation at hand. I guessed the murderer well before the big reveal and for a change I was right but that took nothing away from Annabelle's investigation. I will definitely read more of this series when I need another light come down read although, as I do favour Canadian authors, I have the first of another series to try to see if it fits it's advertisements now that I have just finished Anthony Bidulka's "Set Free".

  • Lagniappe
    2019-02-23 03:07

    An adequate cozy that had its moments. I liked the setting (Washington DC) and the profession of the protagonist (wedding planner). Our heroine was likeable, and her efforts to solve a murder committed at one of her wedding receptions was appropriately clumsy, the way a real amateur detective would proceed. The secondary cast of characters were hit-and-miss - Richard the caterer was great, Leatrice the eccentric neighbor was annoying, and assistant Kate's constant mangling of the English language was unbelievable. The mystery itself was adequate although I wish there had been more mystery and less banter amongst the wedding planners. I figured out who the murderer was fairly early along, but didn't understand the motive until the end of the book. Although this was a perfectly nice way to spend a couple of hours, I'm not sure if I will read another in the series.

  • Karen
    2019-03-13 07:14

    How did this get an Agatha? Woman builds a successful wedding planning business by the time she's 30, and then runs around forgetting appointments and behaving utterly unprofessionally (lets a guest with a nut allergy eat an item without verifying whether the item has nuts in it--seriously?) while playing Nancy Drew. The police are somehow unable to obtain common gossip. The assistant is a terrible driver AND misspeaks phrases AND is man-crazy. I decided to give the book up at the 1/4 mark, but it was already on my eReader so I read another 1/4. The cozy mystery rhythm seems to be alright, and Durham generates no end of charming wackiness. The wedding planning hook has appeal. But the incompetence of all these characters is maddening.

  • Nia Ireland
    2019-02-25 04:14

    Is there anything more comforting for a Friday night read than a cosy mystery with a fun theme? No. No there is not.This is the first book in a series of murder mystery novels, investigated by Annabelle, intrepid wedding planner and her assistant and talented caterer. Anyone brave enough to work alongside brides and their crazy relatives shouldn’t have any problems dealing with murderers and criminals. The writing style is friendly and fun, stopping just short of being infuriatingly twee and perky (thank goodness). This is a book I’d recommend for anyone trying to get through the stress of wedding planning or recovering from their big day and the madness that inevitably comes with it.

  • Tex Texas
    2019-03-08 06:47

    I truly enjoyed ready Better Off Wed. It is a light-hearted cozy mystery centered on the wedding industry. The chief propagandist, Annabelle, is a wedding planner and lead sleuth in this “nutty” crew. It is evident that the author, Laura Durham put a lot of thought into the structure of this storyline for continuity now and for those in the future. Likewise, the sidekicks are also a reflection about the structure of the storyline ensuring strong character development and thoughtful interactions making them the perfect pieces to make a perfect team. If you’re interested in a classic whodunit with chuckles? Then I RECOMMEND Better Off Dead. -Tex.

  • Sandee
    2019-03-10 08:07

    A fun first book in a series. The main characters, Annabelle, her usual caterer Richard and employee Kate are complete characters. Their relationships are realistic and likeable. Some of the other characters are not as complete, leaving lots of room for further development and growth in the series. I didn’t enjoy the quirk created for Kate. She has an inability to get favourite sayings correct. The errors were not cute misunderstandings but forced rhymes that quickly became annoying. However, her quirk is a very tiny part of the story. Overall, I found the book to be a fun cozy mystery and I look forward to reading more in this series.

  • Sharon M. Turner
    2019-03-02 04:49

    This one is funny and well written!I laughed out loud throughout most of this book. Even though it deals with a murder and the miseries of a Mother-of-the Bride this book has a very humorous bent. The ending will be a surprise. I thought I had it all figured out but was I wrong! You will love the main characters. Annabelle is fun with a great way of putting things, Richard is a hoot, and you will spend most of the book trying to figure out Katie's mixed up sayings. I've already bought the next book, 'For Better or Hearse'

  • AK Smith
    2019-03-02 05:13

    This was so mind numbing. The plot is thinner than the air at the top of K2. The “heroine” seems to have a social life populated entirely by trashy women and bitchy queens who do nothing but insult her. The trope of the misogynistic gay guy taking snide jabs at the women around him is beyond overdone. I was a hundred pages in and still didn’t really know why she was hustling all over town to solve a murder on the excuse of protecting her “friend”. There are books that bore you and then there are those that leave you disgusted with the time you wasted in reading them. Hard pass.

  • Bette
    2019-02-28 06:54

    Wedding Planner Annabelle Archer and her assistant Kate fall over the Motherzilla of the bride, Clara Pierce, at the wedding reception. Since she was at the bottom of the stairs they assumed she tripped and fell, it was only when the police informed them that she was poisoned did they realize it was murder. And, they began snooping when the police began examining the caterer, Richard, their friend.The snooping is a bit tedious and lacks logic. They seem to be grasping for anyone other than Richard to have opportunity. Then they guess at the motive. It was an okay read.294

  • Cissa
    2019-03-24 07:12

    Lots of fun! Fancy weddings are a hairs-breadth from disaster anyway, and add in bridezillas, motherzillas-of-brides, and other craziness, and it's a great atmosphere for a cozy murder mystery.The characters and dialog all popped here, and the plot was pretty good- not all that obscure, but the whole ride was enough fun that I didn't mind.At this writing, it's available for free for Kindle, and I recommend it to people who like light, silly mysteries. I will likely read more in the series.

  • Lisa Denn
    2019-02-23 09:48

    Better Off Wed, book 1 in Laura Durham's Annabelle Archer Wedding Planner Mystery series, was both entertaining and challenging to solve!The characters - Annabelle, her assistant Kate, caterer and close friend Richard Gerard and nosy first floor neighbor Leatrice Butters - brought Better Off Wed to life with their comedic mayhem from the first page to the last.Didn't see the ending coming until it smacked me in the face! Highly recommend.

  • Gina Lorax
    2019-03-12 06:10

    The book was amusing and fast paced. I enjoyed it and will read more by the author. Four stars and not five as there were a lot of characters to keep straight. It didn't help that the hairdresser's name apparently changed from Fem to Fern at some point in the edits. When he reappeared at the funeral as Fem, I was completely lost and confused as to who he was. Then when Annabelle remembered him saying he was doing the victim's hair for the funeral, it clicked.

  • Larry Sells
    2019-03-01 08:52

    Better off WedBy Laura DurhamReviewBy Larry SellsBetter Off Wed is a funny and suspense filled novel. Laura Durham created creators that the reader can fall in love and can relate with. The main characters; Annabelle, Kate, and Richard belong to a wedding planning organization and a nose-buddy, Leatrice, as they walked through murder and murder. Durham wrote a book that is both character driven and suspense driven. I feel it’s a great read and recommend it.

  • Tonya Hernandez
    2019-03-23 09:14

    A fun, quick read I really enjoyed this. Annabelle is quite likeable, sweet & smart. Richard & Kate regularly steal the show. Annabelle's neighbor is a hoot. The plot hung together well and while I did have the who figured out well before the end; I didn't know the why.The romance felt like an afterthought. I didn't hate it, but it seemed unnecessary. I would read more in the series.

  • Eirlys
    2019-03-14 06:50

    Planning a Disaster I liked Annabelle and her attraction to trouble, especially murder. She is a wedding planner and finds a dead body during the reception. Not a good advert for her business and worse follows. I liked Richard who does the catering as well as Kate her friend and helper. I want to read more about Annabelle and the dishy detective who solves the case, thanks to her. It was an amusing read.