Review: Wedding Bel Blues by Maggie McConnon

Wedding Bel Blues is the first book in the new Bel McGrath Mysteries Series (Available today!).

Belfast McGrath, known to every one as Bel, had built a career as an award winning chef in a famous New York restaurant and was widely praised for her eclectic touches in the kitchen. Who else would dare make a shepherd’s pie with foie gras?

And then, the unthinkable happened. Well, I’ll let Bel share the thoughts that were running through her head as she was carefully choosing the words to explain her job loss to someone she had recently met:

Even if he was from Ireland, he might have heard about the one-star Michelin restaurant where a former president of the United States had nearly choked to death on a fish bone that inexplicably remained in his red snapper. And how the actor who owned the restaurant—a curmudgeon in his own right—had fired the chef on the spot.

So there Bel is—back home in Foster’s Landing, surrounded by her boisterous and highly entertaining Irish family, and living in the family mansion, Shamrock Manor, which is also an exclusive wedding venue. In the blink of an eye, Bel is pressed into service as Maid of Honor at her cousin Caleigh’s wedding, being held at Shamrock Manor. Of course, Caleigh has always been a troublemaker, as far as Bel is concerned, and this whole wedding business is just one more annoyance. Annoyance turns into pure chaos when a wedding guest takes a header off the second floor balcony and it turns out someone “helped” him fall.

Could things get any worse? Well, yes—they could when the handsome, young detective assigned to the case turns out to be Bel’s ex-boyfriend, Kevin Hanson, who is not only a smart, clever cop, but also has a gorgeous, accomplished girlfriend, who Bel has never been able to dislike. Kevin’s relationship is quite the contrast to Bel’s recently broken engagement.

The murder investigation moves along slowly, and Bel turns her attention to a presentable young man, who is clearly interested in her, but when they meet for a drink at the Grand Mill, she feels as though her New York City life could be hurtling its way to overtake rustic Foster’s Landing.

The Grand Mill had changed even more than I thought, judging from the drink list that was put in front of me. French Kiss? Pometini? And the dreaded Green Apple Martini, the bane of every bartender in New York. It was as if I had left the city only to have the city follow me right here. Was that what Foster’s Landing was becoming? 

With her life upside down and murder on the menu, along with the shenanigans of her large and feisty Irish family, Bel manages to triumph, which pleased me to no end because I was rooting for her all the way.

I loved this book, and I promise you will have as much fun hanging around with Bel and her wild Irish family as I did. Wedding Bel Blues has everything to keep you turning pages, a fascinating murder that must be solved, delightful humor that is alternatingly raucous and warm, and an emphasis on the importance of family and friendship. I cannot wait for more books to be released in this series so I can spend more time with Belfast McGrath, her family and friends.

Read an excerpt from Wedding Bel Blues here!


To learn more or order a copy, visit:

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Terrie Farley Moran, an Agatha Award winner, is the author of the bestselling Read ’Em and Eat cozy mystery series, filled with testy book club members, tempting food, and the occasional murder. Next in the series, Read to Death will be released July 5, 2016. Find out more by visiting


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