Book 9

My Big Fat Cursed Wedding

Lucy is a human lie detector. Her rescue dog Paco is a ghost whisperer. Together, they solve crime in this laugh-out-loud cozy mystery series! 

Plans for Lucy McGuffin’s big day are circling the drain. Her mother has turned into a momzilla, her wedding dress is too sizes two small, and the rival baker in town is scheming to upstage Lucy with her own wedding cake.

But things quickly go from bad to worse when Lucy discovers her wedding planner stabbed to death, and her fiancé Travis is the prime suspect.

With just a few days left before the wedding, Lucy and her little rescue dog Paco must race against the clock to catch the killer.

Can Lucy solve the murder in time to say “I do” or will her wedding day turn out to be a big fat cursed disaster?

Filled with humor, intrigue, and a ghostly twist that will keep you on the edge of your seat, “My Big Fat Cursed Wedding” is the perfect cozy mystery for anyone who loves a good laugh and a good whodunit.

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Loved this!!! Lucy is a week from her wedding and her mom has turned into Momzilla. Add the fact that nothing seems to be going right and the so called wedding planner, who seems to be out to sabotage her wedding, ends up murdered and poor Travis, Lucy's fiance and chief of police, is the prime suspect. It's an amazing read and thoroughly enjoyed. Love this whole series!!
5 star Amazon Review

Chapter One

“No peeking!” Mom says as I step onto the pedestal in front of the full-length mirror in the private dressing room at Tootsie’s Bridal Salon.

It’s a week before my wedding, and it’s the final fitting for THE dress. I’ve been waiting all my life for this moment. Well, not all twenty-seven years of it. But ever since my boyfriend, excuse me, fiancé, Travis Fontaine, asked me to marry him in front of all my family and friends six months ago, I’ve been dreaming of standing next to him on our big day looking like a vision in white.

I open my eyes, giddy with excitement. I blink. Then I blink again to make sure I’m not in the middle of a dream. Or rather, a nightmare, because I’m a vision, all right. Just not the kind I’d been hoping for.

“I look like the abominable snowman.”

The dressing room fills with protests.

“Oh, stop it, Lucy. You look beautiful,” Mom says, sniffling with happiness.

“You look … nice,” my cousin Anna agrees. She pours herself a glass of the complimentary champagne and gulps it back in one chug.

“Oh, yes,” my friend and business partner, Sarah Powers, says, “just gorgeous.” Her blue eyes flit around the dressing room, meeting everything but my gaze. Sarah and I co-own a café called The Bistro by the Beach. It’s located directly on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s got killer views and the best homemade muffins in the Florida panhandle; some would say even all of Florida (that’s a quote from a Pensacola newspaper).

“You look … well, every bride looks stunning in her special dress,” says my maid of honor and best girlfriend Brittany Kelly.

My heart sinks to my knees.

They’re all lying. Except for my mother, who truly does think I look beautiful. But then I could be wearing a sack and Molly McGuffin would still think I look like a dream because isn’t that what all mothers think when they see their only daughter in her wedding dress?

How do I know they’re all lying? Besides the obvious discomfort in their voices and the undeniable reflection staring back at me in the mirror, I have a special gift. Or curse. Whichever you want to call it. My name is Lucy McGuffin, and I’m a human lie detector.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been able to tell when someone is lying. I even get a physical reaction that clues me in. Most of the time it’s a tingling sensation in the back of my neck or sometimes, even my scalp. The bigger the lie, the bigger the reaction, and right now, I feel like I’ve been tased and left for dead on the side of the road.

“Funny, but I don’t remember my wedding dress having this many ruffles,” I mutter.

Mom sits back in her chair and downs another glass of champagne. “Oh yes, it’s the right one. Tootsie would never order the wrong dress. Her attention to detail is impeccable.”

What Mom says is true. Tootsie’s Bridal Salon, located on Main Street just two doors down from Heidi’s Bakery, might be the only bridal shop in Whispering Bay, but I’d still have picked it over the more bougie shops in the larger nearby towns.

The shop is owned by Teresa Moskowitz, affectionately known as Tootsie, and her daughter, Marlene, both total sweethearts. They carry the most up-to-date styles because Marlene is always going to all the big bridal shows in New York. But most importantly, Tootsie and Marlene have a way of making you feel like a million bucks the second you step into their salon.

“It’s too much,” says a voice from the far corner of the room. Finally! Someone with the guts to tell me the truth. Clarice Faraday, the wedding planner my mother hired last week in a desperate attempt to keep everything together, gives both me and the dress a hard look.

“If your hips weren’t so prominent, the dress would probably look fine, but …” She cocks her head to the side. “Maybe if you tried a liquid diet until the wedding? That might do the trick.”

Brittany’s brown eyes widen. “Lucy looks fine just the way she is.”

Everyone jumps in to agree with Brittany, except Clarice, who’s looking at me with undisguised pity.

The worst part is that I only have myself to blame. When I had the dress fitted a few months ago, I foolishly told Marlene, who does all the alterations for the shop, that I planned to lose ten pounds before the wedding. Why I told her that, I have no idea, because I really do like myself just the way I am.

I think it was looking at all those wedding magazines featuring beautiful ultra-thin models with clavicles you could see from a mile away that messed with my head. Because right now, I’m looking at a dress that’s not only too tight, it’s too much of everything. And with my wedding exactly one week away, the last thing I need is a bunch of yes women telling me I look fine.

What I need is some tough love, and obviously, Clarice is the only one willing to give it to me. There’s someone else who specializes in brutal honesty, but so far, he’s kept his yap shut.

I glance over at my little dog Paco, who’s sitting on my cousin Anna’s lap. Paco is a tan chihuahua-terrier mix with a lot of attitude, all of which is merited, because Paco isn’t just any ordinary dog. He’s a ghost whisperer. Together, we make quite the team.

Besides co-owning the most successful café in Whispering Bay, Florida, I’m also something of an amateur detective. Over the past year and a half, Paco and I have solved numerous murders, including a cold case that had the FBI stumped for decades. Thankfully, however, things around town have gotten dreadfully dull. It’s been six months since Paco and I solved our last murder, and since I have a wedding to plan, I’d like to keep it that way.

Tootsie pops her head into the dressing room. Shoulder-length brown hair streaked with lavender highlights and wire-rim glasses give her a cool, older hippie vibe. Think Diane Keaton. “Everything okay?” She catches sight of my reflection in the mirror, and her nose twitches. “You look wonderful.”


“Doesn’t she?” Mom says. She glances around like she’s suddenly noticed something. “Where’s Marlene? I haven’t seen her today.”

“She’s running errands. She’s so excited about the wedding!” Tootsie’s voice lowers. “She’s bringing a date!”

Mom and Tootsie squeal like a couple of twelve-year-olds. “Did you hear that, Lucy? Marlene is bringing a date to your wedding!” Either Mom has had too much champagne or she thinks I’ve gone deaf.

You’d think Marlene was some troll who sits home every night knitting in front of the TV (not that there’s anything wrong with that). She was a few years ahead of me in high school, so she must be around thirty. Like her mother, she’s attractive in a high energy sort of way and more than capable of finding a man, if that’s on her agenda.

“That’s great,” I say. “Where did she meet him?”

Tootsie makes a face. “Online. Like all the young people nowadays.”

“Whatever happened to meeting the old-fashioned way?” Mom says. “Like church?”

“Or a bar?” Anna says, grinning.

“Where did you meet your fiancé, Lucy?” Clarice asks.

“Oh, we met at a murder scene.”

Clarice raises a brow. “Really? That’s unusual.”

“It’s a long story,” I say.

“Tell me more about Marlene’s boyfriend,” Mom says to Tootsie. “Is he a local?”

“He’s new to town.” Tootsie whips out her cell phone and passes it around so we can all take a look at the screenshot featuring a radiant-looking Marlene standing next to a tall, good-looking man with brown hair and a closely cropped beard.

“His name is Kirk Bonner,” Tootsie says, “and even though they’ve only been dating a couple of months, things are looking very promising, if you ask me.”

Sarah studies the photo. “He looks like that guy from the Fifty Shades movie.”

“Jamie Dornan?” I take the phone from Sarah. “You’re right. Didn’t he also play a serial killer on some BBC series?”

Tootsie snatches the phone away. “Kirk is not a serial killer. He’s a perfectly respectable podiatrist.”

“Of course he’s not a serial killer,” I say soothingly. “I just meant that he looks a lot like that actor. I meant it as a compliment.”

Mom takes another swig of champagne. “Lucy thinks there’s a serial killer lurking behind every bush. It’s that show America’s Most Vicious Criminals she insists on watching every Friday night. My goodness! It’s enough to give you nightmares.”

Brittany clears her throat. “Maybe we should get back to Lucy’s dress.”

Tootsie nods. “Yes, good idea. If you need me, I’ll be right outside.” She steals another glance at me on her way out of the room, and this time she can’t hide her worried look.

Time for The Big Kahuna to weigh in with his opinion. “What do you think of the dress, Paco?”

He lifts his head off Anna’s lap. You really want to know?

Welp. I guess that answers my question.

Did I mention my dog and I can read each other’s thoughts?

I’m not sure when that happened exactly, but ever since I’ve gotten Paco, our odd form of ESP has only grown stronger. Sure, it can be annoying at times, especially when he starts chanting BISCUIT—BISCUIT—BISCUIT over and over in his head until I think my own head is going to explode. But having my dog read my mind sure does come in handy when a crazed killer decides to point a gun at me. Paco has saved my bacon more times than I can count over the past year, and despite his snarky attitude, I’m crazy about the little mutt.

There are only a handful of people who know about my gift and Paco’s talents—my immediate family; my fiancé, Travis; his father, Jim; my two best friends, Brittany and Will; and my friend and business partner, Sarah. Everyone else is on a need-to-know basis, and frankly, no one else needs to know.

Not even my cousin Anna, whom I’ve always liked a lot, but we’ve never been close. Mainly because she’s thirteen years older than I am and grew up in South Florida, so we only saw one another on the occasional holiday and the even more infrequent McGuffin family reunion.

Anna is forty, has an eighteen-year-old son named Theo, and is recently divorced. Which means my mother prays a daily rosary for her soul. Like a lot of the women on my dad’s side of the family, Anna has red hair. Behind her librarian’s glasses are sparkly brown eyes filled with good humor.

Personally, I think she did herself a huge favor getting rid of her no-good cheating husband (my dad’s very apt description of Anna’s ex). She’s been staying with my parents for the past week and will be here until the wedding, which has been great for me because she’s been keeping my mom from hurling herself into the Gulf of Mexico, and while that might sound dramatic, believe me, it’s not.

You’ve heard of bridezillas, right? Well, Molly McGuffin is a Momzilla with a capital M. She’s overthought every tiny detail of my wedding to the point that it’s consumed her every waking moment. I can hardly wait for the whole thing to be over with.

“Anyone up for more champagne?” Mom asks, glancing around for a fresh bottle.

“I’d love some,” says Brittany, “but I can’t. I have to go back to work after this.” Brittany is the PR person for the Whispering Bay Chamber of Commerce, and she does a bang-up job promoting the businesses in our little beachside town.

“I should probably get going too,” says Sarah wistfully. “I need to whip up a few batches of mac and cheese to get ahead for next week’s lunch crowd.”

“You can’t both leave!” Mom wails. “Not when we’re having so much fun!”

“Uh, I can probably stay. If you really need me,” Brittany says. Behind Mom’s back, she uses her thumb and makes a chugging motion down her mouth to indicate Mom’s had too much to drink.

I discreetly nod, signaling that I understand. “Thanks, but I know you need to get back to work. Besides, there’s not much anyone can do about … this,” I say, waving a hand in front of my dress. I glance at myself in the mirror again. I take it back. I don’t look like the abominable snowman. I look more like the big puffy marshmallow character from the Ghostbusters movie. Ugh.

Brittany and Sarah give me a quick hug and make an even quicker exit. Not that I blame them. If I were in their shoes, I’d want to run away too.

Mom looks to Clarice for advice. “What do you think?”

Clarice puts a red-manicured fingernail up to her lips. “I have a few ideas, but it would require Lucy to try on some more dresses.”

“More dresses?” Mom looks stunned. “But what’s wrong with this one?”

Anna catches my eye and winks as if to say I’ve got this. “You know, Aunt Molly, I was thinking we should hit the outlet malls in Destin and look for shoes to match your dress.”

“For the wedding? But I already have a pair.”

“Yes, but wouldn’t it be wise to have a backup pair? Just in case. You never know when you might break a heel. We should be prepared for any disaster that comes along.”

“You’re so right,” I say, playing along with Anna’s ploy to get my mother out of here. “I won’t feel safe until you have an extra pair of shoes, Mom.”

“Really? You think I need an extra pair?” she asks Clarice.

“All the really prepared mothers of the brides have a backup pair,” she says.

That’s all it takes to spur Mom into action. She places her empty champagne flute on a tray. “Let’s go. We don’t have a minute to waste. Oh, but if Lucy is trying on more dresses, shouldn’t I stay to give my opinion?”

No,” Anna and I both say at the same time.

Once again, Clarice steps in to save the day. “Molly, you’re the mother of the bride! Your ensemble is almost as important as Lucy’s.”

“True,” Mom muses. “In some ways, this is my big day too.”

“Exactly!” Clarice agrees. “Just think how horrible it would be if you couldn’t dance the night away on your only daughter’s wedding day.”

Mom grabs her purse. “You’re right. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before.” She turns around with hesitation in her eyes. “You’re sure you won’t need me?”

“Go!” I tell her. “Don’t worry about me. I’m in good hands.”

Paco jumps down from Anna’s lap and starts to follow her out of the dressing room. “You’re going too?” I ask my dog.

He meets my gaze. This wedding dress thing is boring.

My eyes narrow. Well, excuse me for taking up your precious time.

Paco makes a pfft sound.

Anna clips the leash to Paco’s collar. “I don’t mind taking him with us. He’s such a sweet little guy. I always wanted a dog, but He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named thought they were too much trouble.” And yet another excellent reason for Anna to have gotten rid of the ex!

“Paco really likes you, too,” I say, and I mean it. Sure, my little dog is super friendly, but normally he’s glued to my side. He’s taken a real shine to Anna, and if I didn’t have so much on my plate right now, I might even be jealous.

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Books in This Series

Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
Book 4
Book 5
Book 6
Book 7
Book 8
Book 9
Book 10

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