11 January 2012

Review: The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna

The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna

Published: 3 October 2011 by Bell Bridge Books

Pages: 254 pages (Kindle version)

Genre/s: Adult contemporary, mystery

Source: Kindly provided by Bell Bridge Books via NetGalley

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository


It is a spine-electrifying supernatural tale where a huge Southern States mansion contains one of the most terrifying, violent and indeed psychopathic ghosts to haunt any town. It is also a murder mystery - why did Robina Willets apparently kill all five of her young children, and her husband, before stabbing herself to death? And, if you are in the camp of believing that 'justice .... just is not', then this will have you frothing at the mouth with righteous social fury. Add to that the vision of two exceptionally beautiful girls lying on a landing stage in the middle of a secluded lake, sleeping naked in the sun .... .... and then see if you can find any consecutive ten minutes in this book when you don't at least snicker at the heroine Leeann's sly, caustic, sometimes-knowing sometimes 'too stupid to live' commentary.

My Thoughts

The Wedding Gift starts with a prologue of newspaper reports on the murders committed in Willets House which sets the scene of the murder mystery perfectly, and then jumps straight into the head of Leeann, the beautiful, ‘‘dumb as a box of hair’’ girl who has recently become engaged to the only son of the Willets Petroleum dynasty.

For me, Leeann was by far the best part of this book – she had me laughing out loud several times, moved almost to tears at others, and occasionally had me scratching my head at how she came up with some of her thoughts and actions. Definitely not your typical heroine, there was nothing I didn’t like about Leeann – ditzy, easily distracted by shiny things but with a heart of gold, as a character she will stay with me for a long time. The other characters are also well constructed, and I could easily imagine just how they looked and acted, and could hear their voices in my head.

Without spoiling it for anyone else, there is a relationship between two key characters that evolved quite suddenly, and it would have rung a little more true with some more background and tension-building.

There are some creepy (ok, very creepy) parts of this book, but although the story is based around a haunted house, I found The Wedding Gift was more mystery than horror which was not what I had expected, but in the best kind of way – as a horror story it would not have been as good as it was as a mystery.

And the ending? It’s a pretty darn good one – it wasn’t what I was expecting, and it left me feeling decidedly unsettled. Now I just have to try and get to sleep….


  1. I absolutely enjoyed myself with this book too in december. I wasn't sure what to expect but I agree with you, the dizzy blonde is really the best of it. i thought that was one of of the most entertaining books I've read in a while. I should get to doing my review too.

  2. Ooh, now I will HAVE to read this book. Thanks. :)

  3. I can understand where you are coming from with Leanne but I just wasn't feeling it with this book. Leanne annoyed me. She just seemed to unworthy of anything and got everything she wanted.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...