A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder

To me it feels like A Fiancée’s Guide to First Wives and Murder just released, but things are already in motion at my publisher for the next book, A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder! I just finished copy edits and–I have a cover! 

Yes, Frances and George will be walking down the aisle in this book. But honestly, they should have known they couldn’t have a quiet, simple wedding. Here’s a little bit about the book:

On the eve of her marriage to George Hazelton, Frances has a great deal more on her mind than flowers and seating arrangements. The Connors and the Bainbridges, two families of American robber barons, have taken up residence in London, and their bitter rivalry is spilling over into the highest social circles. At the request of her brother, Alonzo, who is quite taken with Miss Madeline Connor, Frances has invited the Connor family to her wedding. Meanwhile, Frances’s mother has invited Mr. Bainbridge, and Frances fears the wedding may end up being newspaper-worthy for all the wrong reasons.

On the day itself, Frances is relieved to note that Madeline’s father is not among the guests assembled at the church. The reason for his absence, however, turns out to be most unfortunate: Mr. Connor is found murdered in his home. More shocking still, Alonzo is caught at the scene, holding the murder weapon.

Powerful and ruthless, Connor appears to have amassed a wealth of enemies alongside his fortune. Frances and George agree to put their wedding trip on hold to try and clear Alonzo’s name. But there are secrets to sift through, not just in the Bainbridge and Connor families, but also in their own. And with a killer determined to evade discovery at any cost—even if it means taking another life—Frances’s first days as a newlywed will be perilous indeed . .

Are you intrigued? I hope so! The book releases June 28, 2022, but you can pre-order from your favorite bookstore right here.

Since George and Frances were to get married in this book, I had to learn a bit more about late Victorian wedding ceremonies and receptions, which, surprisingly, weren’t that much different than today. Here are a few Victorian wedding details that I found interesting.

According to Goodey’s Lady’s Book the reasonable cost of a wedding gown in 1850 was $500! By 1861 the more elaborate gowns could cost as much as $1,500. This was when a furnished house in London’s west end could cost 5 – 25 pounds a week.

A bride who is marrying for a second time could wear a shade of white, but no orange blossoms, which were intended to signify purity. She was also not expected to have attendants.

In the late Victorian era, black was suggested as an appropriate color for the mother of the bride.

Weddings were held in the morning and a wedding breakfast followed usually at the home of the bride’s parents. Unless there was room in the house for tables to be set up, the guests were served standing. There was no entertainment as the honor was in attending the wedding itself.

The wedding cake was very different from what we have today. It was usually a rum-soaked fruitcake, covered in white icing and heavily decorated. Because of the high fruit content, the cakes were very heavy. Because of the high alcohol content, they could last for a remarkably long time. Queen Victoria’s wedding cake was 14 inches tall with a 10-foot circumference.

It is reported to weigh in at 300 pounds! All the guests were given a slice in a decorative box. Boxed slices of her cake have come up for auction as recently as 2018! (Above images are from Royal.UK)

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4 Responses to A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder

  1. Ros xt says:

    So looking forward to this book.


  2. sandieherron says:

    I am also looking forward to Frances and George’s wedding! I can’t wait to read the description of her gown. My goodness, though, the price of the gown was incredible, even back then. I guess this is where the tradition of saving the top tier of the cake for the first anniversary must have started. I do so hope there will be an audiobook version. Sarah Zimmerman does a lovely job as narrator.


    • Hi Sandie. Yes, those prices are shocking! The cover artist actually depicted Frances’ dress almost perfectly! There will be an audiobook and they promised me Sarah Zimmerman. I also think she does a beautiful job.


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