Engaged in Death

Engaged in Death - Stephanie Blackmoore Mallory Shepard and her fiance, Keith Pierce, are lawyers who work at different law firms in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Mallory's trying to keep her cool as Keith's mother, Helene Pierce takes over the wedding planning and suddenly it’s no longer the wedding that Mallory wanted or even wants. When Mallory receives an envelope with compromising photographs of Keith and co-worker, Becca Cunningham she dumps Keith and packs an overnight bag. She is devastated and angry, she hides out in a hotel and calls off the wedding with her sister Rachel's help they call the guests and anyone hired for wedding to let them know the wedding is canceled, and dodges phone calls from Keith and Helene. Mallory learns that Keith’s grandmother, Sylvia, whom she adored, had recently changed her will, and had deeded her home, Thistle Park, in Port Quincy, Pennsylvania to her with the request that she never allow fracking anywhere on the property. Even though the house has been vacant since Sylvia was put in the nursing home and the property and mansion are in disrepair, Mallory and Rachel decide to move in. On the first day there, Shane Hartley, a representative for Lonestar Energy, approaches Mallory about letting Lonestar lease some of her land for fracking, an argument ensues between the two of them, and Mallory pushes Shane. The following morning, Rachel finds Shane's dead body laying in the front yard. At first, the sisters plan on cleaning up the mansion and selling it, but soon they start to fantasize about fixing the mansion up, opening a B&B, and hosting special events and weddings, the only problem is they don’t have the funds to make that happen. Helene and Keith are angry that they didn’t inherit the house as they had planned on, since Helene had already agreed to let Lonestar lease the property from her for the purpose of fracking. Believing that the police aren’t moving fast enough to find out who killed Shane, Mallory starts investigating on her own. Someone is tries to scare Mallory and Rachel away from the house, by leaving threatening messages on their walls, sabotaging their car, and the senior partners at the law firm Mallory works at try to intimate her.

The mystery has several twists and turns with a few interesting red herrings thrown in to keep you guessing about who the killer is until the surprising reveal at the end of the book. The characters are well developed and well rounded which makes them seem lifelike. The subplots of the story were woven nicely together so that they were all tied up at the end of the book. The way the author described the town and people made it possible to picture them in your head. I did like the relationship between Mallory and Rachel the way they interacted with each other. I did like that Mallory decided to give a relationship with Garret )who was Sylvia's lawyer, Mallory's new neighbor, and Summer's dad) a chance since there were some sparks between the two of them. I really didn't like Keith or Helene and how they treated Mallory, so I was glad that the plans for Thistle Park didn't go as planned.