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Okay, I did get annoyed when the obvious clues were overlooked but you still get engrossed in the story line. The protagonist is a little bit of a doormat but she's so well written you take it as part of her character rather than a plot device. I think the annoyances add to the book so I will be buying the next book of the series.
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Sophie Winston's sister, Hannah, is getting married for the third time in The Diva Takes the Cake by Krista Davis. As an event planner, Sophie gets handed the job of organizing the event, though she has never liked Craig, the doctor Hannah is about to marry. Then, two days before the wedding, Sophie runs into a woman dressed in sexy clothing and stiletto heels staring at Sophie's house who claims to be an old friend of Craig. So Sophie invites the woman to the dessert party they are holding for out of town guests. A few minutes later, Hannah storms into Sophie's house announcing that the wedding is off because she has just learned that Craig was married before and never told her anything about this fact.
Sophie has a rival named Natasha, who sees herself as a real diva of event planning and the domestic world. Both women write advice columns, but they take very different approaches toward the advice, with Natasha giving high maintenance advice and Sophie giving more practical messages. A couple years earlier, Natasha stole Sophie's then- husband, Mars, who now lives with Natasha down the street from Sophie. When Sophie goes to Natasha's backyard to pick up a topiary for the party that night, she finds the woman who claimed to be Craig's old friend hanging by the neck and dead. The woman turns out to be Emily, Craig's ex-wife. And the only one around who knows her is Craig. Could Hannah be preparing to marry a murderer?
Things get even crazier when Sophie discovers that Hannah has changed all her plans two days before the wedding to follow Natasha's advice against all the plans Hannah made with Sophie. Suddenly, she changes the location, the colors, and decorations, and she expects Sophie to help her personal rival with all the details. Further, with everyone but Hannah certain that Craig murdered his ex-wife, her family and friends do what they can to find evidence against Craig and stop the wedding. And in the meantime, this case pushes apart Sophie and the man who was supposed to be her date and whom she wants to have a real relationship with, Detective Wolf.
The Diva Takes the Cake proved to be very interesting, with a great mystery plot. I loved the fun twists and turns and all the humor from the crazy antics of the details of the wedding.
The major characters in the book have strong personalities that I mostly enjoyed. Sophie comes across as logical and determined to save her sister from marrying a man she is certain oud s murderer. Hannah goes back and forth between despairing at the halt of her wedding and melting into Craig's arms every time he reappears, forcefully demanding that everyone support her plans to hold it no matter what. And Natasha is the kind of woman you feel conflicted about, seeing her as trying to take over everything from Sophie but also having good intentions many times too. But there were so many characters in this book that I found myself losing track of them and getting confused.
One detail I really liked about this book is the way each chapter begins with a letter from the advice columns of either the practical Sophie or the stuffy, snobbish Natasha. It is fun to see the different types of wedding advice given by the two different women, with Natasha's advice creating strong demands of personalized, high maintenance jobs upon the ones asking advice and Sophie's advice trying to help her correspondents cope with real life. This is humorous and helps to illustrate the characters all the more than the rest of the book. It's also interesting that most of the pieces of advice recommend websites that will help the readers locate decorations, rings, and all other types of wedding materials. I checked out one of the links and found that it was a legitimate website, so I assume the rest are, or at least were at the time of writing.
Hillary Huber performs the audio edition of this book. She does great accents for guests from different regions of the country and does good voices for each character. I like her inflections as she narrates the book.
I really enjoyed The Diva Takes the Cake. I didn't go as much for the previous book, but this book kept me listening intently. I also really liked the conclusion to the book, which was really satisfying. I definitely intend to get the next book in the series. Despite my annoyance with the excessive characters that caused confusion, I give the book five stars.