The premise for this story is what makes it worth reading: Carole Seddon's son, Stephen, is marrying into a rather odd family. Pascale's (Gaby's) parents don't even want there to be a wedding announcement . . . and they definitely don't want to be involved in the wedding planning. Stephen has also let drop that there's a history of murder in the family.
Most authors would stop at this point by having chilled us a bit with thoughts about whom our children might marry. Simon Brett charges gleefully forward by making the wedding preparations into a murderers' playground. As a result, you'll find yourself much more emotionally involved than in the typical Fethering mystery.
The mystery itself isn't all that hard to unravel, but the book's premise will keep your attention throughout. It's a dandy way to overturn the conventions of wedding stories.
With the wedding plans taking center stage, there's less than the usual byplay and interaction between Carole and Jude. They operate pretty independently of one another in this book, in part because Jude has a depressed friend (Gita) visiting who is pressed into the investigation.
I thought that many of the wedding preparation sequences were pretty funny, especially the engagement party hosted by Gaby's parents. If you've ever felt awkward at such an event, you'll roar when you read some of these scenes.