There’s going to be a wedding on Nantucket. There’s certainly nothing unusual about that during the summer season. But the wedding of Celeste Otis to Benji Winbury will be a lavish affair hosted by Benji’s parents at the Winbury estate. Celeste’s parents, in contrast, come from modest means. Karen, her mother, thought she had beaten breast cancer, but it has metastasized in her bones and she has been advised by her physician that she has only a few months to live. Thus, Benji’s mother, Greer, a best-selling mystery novelist, has orchestrated the whole event to her own demanding specifications.
But on the morning of the wedding, the body of Merritt Monaco, the Maid of Honor, is found floating in Nantucket Harbor by the wedding planner. The wedding cannot proceed as planned, of course. Chief of Police Ed Kapenash, assisted by state police department detective Nicholas Diamantopulos, aka “the Greek,” begins the investigation into what happened the prior evening following the wedding rehearsal and dinner.
Nearly everyone is a suspect, including Celeste, Benji, and Greer. Also on the list of suspects are the groom’s father, brother, and even the Chief’s own teenage niece, Chloe, who is employed by the caterer and was one of the servers during the rehearsal dinner.
Perhaps most interestingly, the Best Man, Shooter Uxley, is missing.
As the investigation proceeds, one thing becomes clear: No couple is perfect.
The Perfect Couple is an engrossing and entertaining mystery. Celeste was swept off her feet by the charming Benji who comes from a wealthy, well-connected family. Celeste is the Assistant Director of the Bronx Zoo, the only child of parents she adores. Her father, Bruce, works in the suit department at Neiman-Marcus. Karen’s medical state has gutted Celeste — and she doesn’t even know that the cancer has spread to Karen’s stomach and liver. In response to Karen’s condition, the wedding was moved up to ensure Karen’s attendance. However, since becoming engaged to Benji, Celeste has developed a troubling stutter that causes her mother to worry about whether Celeste’s decision to marry Benji has been motivated more by a desire to be secure than the dream of being loved and happy. Karen is torn — about to marry the wealthy Benji, her daughter is in a “situation any other young woman would kill to find herself in. Celeste and Benji don’t have to be a perfect couple. Really, there is no such thing.” But is the Winbury family money worth a lifetime of settling?