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Engaged in Murder
A Perfect Proposals Mystery #1
Nancy J Parra

Berkley Prime Crime
June 2014 / ISBN-10: 0425270351
Mystery - cozy

Reviewed by Cheryl Green


Pepper Pomeroy has been let go at her job. So now the unemployed event planner is helping her sister Felicity have the perfect proposal. Warren Evans, Felicity's boyfriend has asked Pepper to make it the romantic proposal that Felicity has always dreamed about. That is why Pepper is at Executive Airport looking for Hanger 4. Warren has hired a small private plane that will whisk him and Felicity away after the perfect proposal has been accepted. Pepper will decorate the inside of the plane with photos, candles, music and objects that are meaningful to the couple. She also has champagne on ice and some delicious nibbles for the happy couple. The happy event will be filmed by a videographer from the moment Felicity arrives.

Daniel Frazier, the pilot, shows Pepper the safe areas of the hanger. After everything is set up, Pepper goes looking for the flight attendant to give her some last minute instructions. She checks the ladies room and sees men's shoes underneath. Opening the stall door, Pepper sees a man that is dead drunk. She decides to put off telling anyone until after the proposal. She does not want to ruin Felicity's special day. The proposal is beautiful and Felicity says yes. Pepper heads off the plane and calls the police to report the drunken man. She also phones airport security. Pepper fears that the drunk may have left during the time she was on the plane. So she heads back to the ladies room. Only this time - he doesn't look dead drunk - just dead. Pepper had better be careful or the next bottle of champagne might be missing the cork.

Things to ponder: Where did flight attendant Laura Snow go before the flight took off? Where did Warren Evans get the money to pay Pepper and rent a private plane? Just who is the dead man?

This book was so refreshing. I believe this is the first cozy mystery where the protagonist did not realize she had discovered a dead body. When a body is discovered, everything stops. There would be no proposal. No idea of a new job - just a dead body. Since, I have never seen a dead body I might do the exact same thing as Pepper. Why ruin the moment because a guy got drunk? This book is well-plotted and soon became a page-turner for me. I just had to know whodunit. I am looking forward to reading more in this delightful new series. So if you like your mystery with a sparkling feel, then you should be reading Engaged in Murder.

Reviewed 2014