TO SURVIVE THE WEDDING OF THE SEASON...Wedding planner Carnegie Kincaid can feel the heat when she reunites with an old flame in the wealthy resort community of Sun Valley-but handsome smoke jumper Jack Packard is about to marry Carnegie's former best friend, now a famous TV actress. With a star-studded ceremony to pull off, a noncommittal boyfriend back in Seattle, and a supercilious Frenchman barking orders, Carnegie has no time for carnal urges. Especially once murder joins the party. YOU'VE GOT TO TAKE THE PLUNGE.The victim was a local hero who leapt from planes to fight fire. But was his impromptu skydive a smoke screen for something sinister? With her florist going AWOL, her bride going ballistically Hollywood, and her curiosity running wild, Carnegie may be in over her head: Someone in Sun Valley is a killer-and it's up to Carnegie to grill the guests and unmask the villain...or watch her glitzy job go up in flames.
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April 25, 2005
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Excerpt from Death Takes a Honeymoon by Deborah Donnelly
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, THAT'S WHAT THEY SAY. And whoever they are, they were certainly right this time. When I wished for heat, serious heat, I got what I wished for and then some.
It all started in the middle of a Sunday morning in the middle of June, as I stood in my houseboat sulking up a storm. A rainstorm, to be precise. This was Seattle, after all.
Huddled in sweatshirt and jeans, I leaned my forehead against the sliding-glass porch door and glared outside. Beyond my narrow wooden deck, the surface of Lake Union was the color of pewter. Dull, wet, rain-speckled pewter.
In addition to sulking, I was sipping hot strong coffee and yearning for hot strong sunshine. I wanted clear skies and high temperatures, the higher the better. You call this June?
Even in Seattle, June should bring at least a hint of summer. An arched eyebrow, a mischievous wink, a suggestive nod in the direction of halter tops and sun screened shoulders and watermelon leaking pink through paper plates. Was that so much to ask?
This June we had sunscreen, all right: a coffin lid of cloud that screened the sun like an SPF 30 lotion. For weeks now, the temperature had been just high enough for cotton clothing, just low enough to skip the gin and tonics after all. Day after day after day of Mostly Cloudy, Some Chance of Showers, and I was Pissed Off, No Chance of Smiles.
The phone jangled--the business line. On a Sunday? Business wasn't all that good, so I set down my mug and answered briskly.
"Made in Heaven Wedding Design."
"Relax, it's me. Jeez, Muffy, you sound a hundred and three years old."
Please understand, my name is not now, nor has it ever been, Muffy. It's Carnegie Kincaid, and I'm about seventy years shy of a hundred and three. But this wasn't a wrong number. The familiar voice, as raucous as a magpie and as subtle as an elbow in the ribs, was Brenda Jervis, better known as B.J.
B.J. was my high-school buddy from Boise, Idaho, where I grew up and where my mother still taught school. She and I and a third girl, Tracy Kane, had called each other "Muffy" throughout the long, hilarious, hot-blooded college summer that we spent working at the Sun Valley Lodge. Tracy was younger, a tagalong friend, but B.J. and I were bonded for life.
The resort village of Sun Valley is a two-hour drive from Boise, but just ten minutes up the road from the mountain town of Ketchum. Tracy's mother, Cecilia--"Call me Cissy"--lived in Ketchum, and Cissy Kane wanted to give her teenage daughter a little freedom after her graduation from high school. So she kept a tolerant eye on the three of us--blonde Tracy, brunette B.J., and redheaded me--as we shared a cheap apartment and waited tables at the venerable old Sun Valley Lodge.
The Muffy thing was a private joke that summer, to lightly mock the tanned and pampered ladies who played tennis and rode horses and had pedicures at the resort, while the three of us humped platters and flirted with the line cooks and drank too much beer. B.J. and I still used the silly name in our occasional phone calls and e-mails, but I hadn't heard from Tracy, the junior Muffy, in years.
Not until Tracy's wedding invitation arrived, in the soggy April preceding this soggy June. And it was as stiffly impersonal as an invitation could be. On vellum thick as cream, in the curliest of curly engraving, the honor of my presence was requested on Midsummer's Day--this coming Saturday--at the union of Tracy Marie Kane and John Holland Packard III. Someone even dug up my top-secret middle name, Bernice, to address the envelope. But there was no personal note for Muffy.