The Bride Wore Dead, by E. M. Kaplan

The subtitle of this is “An Un-Cozy, Un-Culinary” mystery, and it is truly refreshing and original. Josie Tucker is a food critic, desperately struggling with her finances and her health when she gets roped into being a last minute stand-in bridesmaid, only to later learn the bride ends up dead on the honeymoon—was it an accident or murder? The bride’s mother enlists Josie and sends her on a quest for the truth.

Josie is a smart, bitingly funny, flawed but engaging protagonist, and the book is full of fantastic, memorable characters who feel real. I finished this first book and immediately bought the next book in the series!