A Mourning Wedding (Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries, No. 13)

A Mourning Wedding - Carola Dunn Unfortunately, there are so many characters in this book, even with the handy-dandy "who descended from whom" chart in the beginning, it's still almost impossible to tell them all apart. Which is such a shame, because Daisy's former roommate, Lucy, is featured in this book -- it's supposed to be Lucy's wedding at her grandfather's grand estate. Except that her aunt (Lady Eva) who's known for collecting every possible rumor about her family and recording them is hideously strangled the day before the wedding. And not long afterwards, Lady Eva's botanical brother (next in line for the earldom) is also found dead - by Binkie, Lucy's fiancee. And then Binkie is subjected to an almost terminal concussion!Of course, Daisy is Lucy's matron of honor and in the house from the first murder. Lucy's grandfather, the old earl, phones the local gentry constable and asks him to request Alec. And so, rather than a country weekend celebrating a wedding, Daisy and Alec are hot on the trail of a slippery murderer - or is it a conspiracy? But again, with so many relatives who live at the mansion or are present for the wedding... virtually no one liked Lady Eva and everyone knew that she knew their secrets... well, the whole thing is quite puzzling. And the fact that while Alec, Sgt Tring, and Ernie Piper are present investigating Lady Eva's murder, another murder and an attempted take place is almost too much.In the tangle of people, alibis, motives, and general family quarrels, Daisy finally comes upon a thought that might just help them solve the murder: what if Lady Eva wasn't the intended victim?================So confusing! Not much chance to figure this one out ahead of time, which almost puts this book in the "author cheat" category. (By that, I mean the author makes it impossible for the readers to figure it out on their own by withholding vital information until the last minute, so that their detective can resolve the case.) And Daisy's pregnant! Although when the book begins and Lucy asks her to be in her wedding, Daisy remarks that with her morning sickness, Lucy might have to support her down the aisle. When Daisy's at the manse, her morning sickness seems to vanish, so it seems reasonable to think that Daisy's just leaving her 1st trimester. But in the next book (which takes place in the month following this book), Daisy is only 3 months pregnant?! OK, obviously this author has never been pregnant nor been too close to many pregnant women!While the overall story and mystery were good, there were just too many characters and too many possibilities in this book. While Alec and his crew take a lot of grief over how long it takes them to sort it all through, they accomplished quite a lot in a very little amount of time. Unfortunately, until Daisy's brainstorm, they're unable to narrow the suspects down past six!Lucy's moods seem to swing to and fro like the wind. One minute she's marrying Binkie (who now wants to be called Gerald thinking that Lucy cannot take him seriously with such a nickname), and the next she's calling it off. Poor Daisy is trying to be the good friend and sort out Lucy, but of course, the entire house is trying to get Daisy's ear. If Alec spends more than 10 minutes at a time with her through the entire book, it's an accident.A lot of possibility, but a lot of muddy waters make this book not as enjoyable as it could or should be.