Mary Jane Clark continues her Wedding Cake Mystery series with this latest addition, FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND. Former daytime soap star Piper Donovan is once again the lead character. She has come to Sarasota, Florida, to be the maid of honor in her cousin’s wedding. Of course, there is so much more that is going on.
Shortly after her arrival in the Sunshine State, Piper finds herself in the middle of another murder mystery. This time, the victim is Shelley Hart, a friend of the bride. Shelley is supposed to be a bridesmaid in the wedding, but when she goes missing a few days before the ceremony and is then found dead, Piper can’t help but try to solve the mystery.
"I have enjoyed reading the three books in the Wedding Cake Mystery series and look forward to more installments. If you enjoy murder mysteries that are more light-hearted than dramatic, I suggest you take a look at these books if you haven’t already."
Along with Shelley’s murder, one of her cousin’s neighbors, an elderly lady, is run off the road and nearly killed shortly after reporting that she saw a man walking across the beach carrying a body. The woman is old and her eyesight questionable, but Piper believes that there is a connection between the two incidents. And after meeting some of the other people in town who her cousin knows, Piper starts to suspect everyone --- the quiet Amish teenager who works in town, the ex-con who is the best man in the wedding, even a doctor who is a friend of the bride.
In addition to murder, the author brings several issues into the novel. She touches on homosexuality between two of the characters. The Amish lifestyle figures prominently in the story as the murder takes place in the Pinecraft district of Sarasota, an area that is immensely popular with the Amish for summer vacations. The threatened lifestyle and habitat of the sea turtle are brought into the narrative. And, as usual, a recipe is included at the end of the book, this one for key lime pie.
Mary Jane Clark loves the Sarasota, Florida area, working it into her storylines whenever she can, and writes with a style that is fast-paced, compelling, easy-to-read, and, as mentioned above, full of information about other subjects. I have enjoyed reading the three books in the Wedding Cake Mystery series and look forward to more installments. If you enjoy murder mysteries that are more light-hearted than dramatic, I suggest you take a look at these books if you haven’t already.
Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on January 24, 2013