Beautiful brides, eternal love and fidelity and … murder? Yes! I made a whole list of thrillers about weddings: destination wedding thrillers, bachelorette party thrillers, even honeymoon thrillers. Is nothing sacred? Apparently not among mystery and thriller writer and readers. Check out my list of Thrillers About Weddings!
10 Thrillers About Weddings: Murder and Matrimony
You are cordially invited to … a murder!
A thriller set at a wedding might seem like an odd idea, but let’s think about it.
Weddings are filled with drama! Bridezillas and groomzillas. Bitter exes. Quarreling family members. Frenemies. Add an open bar, and things can get way out of hand.
I think that The Guest List by Lucy Foley might have kicked off this wedding thriller trend, and it’s still going strong.
Check out my list of Thrillers About Weddings, and let me know in comments about any books I might have missed.
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Let’s start with the pre-wedding festivities:
Murder at the Bachelorette Party (or Hen Party)
In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
In a dark, dark wood.
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house.
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room….
Some things can’t stay secret for ever.
The Bachelorette Party by Carissa Ann Lynch
New Orleans: live music, endless drinks, brightly-coloured attractions, the perfect place for a party…
The best friend
The groom’s friend
The bachelorette begins on a Friday night; all six women are excited for a chance to escape their everyday lives. But then friendly rivalries turn vicious, and a game of truth or dare turns deadly.
By the end of the weekend one of them will be dead…
One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke
It was supposed to be the perfect weekend away.
Six very different women travel to a sun-soaked Greek island for a bachelorette trip, to celebrate Lexi’s upcoming wedding. From the glorious ocean views to the quaint tavernas and whitewashed streets, the vacation seems too good to be true.
But dangerous undercurrents run beneath the sunset swims and midnight cocktails – because each of the women is hiding a secret.
Someone is determined to make sure that Lexi’s marriage never happens – and that one of them doesn’t leave the island alive.
Murder at a Destination Wedding or Wedding Ceremony
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one.
The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher.
It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.
But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes.
The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.
And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?
If you’ve read this, come join the Spoiler Discussion for the Guest List!
You’re Invited by Amanda Jayatissa
Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner
Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask.
Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.
Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends.
Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer.
Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but when Drue begs and pleads, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.
If you’ve read this, come join The Spoiler Discussion for Big Summer!
The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones
Rachel and Noah have been friends since they met at university. While they once thought that they might be something more, twenty years later they are each happily married to other people, Jack and Paige respectively.
Jack’s brother Will is getting married, to the dazzling, impulsive Ali, and the group of six travel to Portugal for their destination weekend.
As they arrive at a gorgeous villa perched on a cliff-edge, overlooking towering waves that crash on the famous surfing beaches below at Nazaré, they try to settle into a weekend of fun.
While Rachel is looking forward to getting to know her future sister-in-law better, Ali can’t help but rub many of the group up the wrong way.
Rachel’s best friend Paige thinks Ali is attention-seeking and childish, and while Jack is trying to support his brother Will’s choice of wife, he is also finding plenty to disagree with Noah about.
One fatal misunderstanding . . .
But when Rachel discovers something about Ali that she can hardly believe, everything changes.
As the wedding weekend unfolds, the secrets each of them hold begin to spill, and friendships and marriages threaten to unravel. Soon, jumping to conclusions becomes the difference between life and death.
If you’ve read this, come join The Spoiler Discussion for The Guilt Trip!
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body.
Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline.
It’s the biggest job yet for the family wedding business and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream flowers.
But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos.
Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?
If you’ve read this, come join my Spoiler Discussion for Dial A for Aunties!
Til Death Do Us Part by Kate White
Bailey gets a call from Ashley Hanes on a frigid January night. Ashley tells her friend that two of Peyton Cross’s bridesmaids have recently died in freak accidents, and Ashley’s terrified she’ll be next.
Bailey’s interest is definitely piqued—she was Peyton’s college roommate and a bridesmaid in her wedding as well.
Leaving her latest boyfriend behind in Manhattan, Bailey bundles up for the cold, scenic drive to Ivy Hill Farm in Greenwich, Connecticut. She’s barely begun asking questions when Ashley becomes Bridesmaid Casualty #3.
After Bailey is attacked, she realizes she’s been targeted by a well-heeled killer who knows how to dress for the weather—which narrows the list of suspects to most of the population of Greenwich, including Peyton’s employees and intimate friends.
Before Bailey knows it, she is following a dangerous trail of clues that will take her from the elegant suburbs of Connecticut to New York’s trendy Lower East Side to a fabulous oceanfront hotel room in Miami.
You’re Invited by Amanda Jayatissa
A big Sri Lankan wedding. Two former friends. One guy. What could possibly go wrong? Read my review of You’re Invited!
When Amaya is invited to Kaavi’s over-the-top wedding in Sri Lanka, she is surprised and a little hurt to hear from her former best friend after so many years of radio silence.
But when Amaya learns that the groom is her very own ex-boyfriend, she is consumed by a single thought: She must stop the wedding from happening, no matter the cost.
But as the weeklong wedding celebrations begin and rumors about Amaya’s past begin to swirl, she can’t help but feel like she also has a target on her back. When Kaavi goes missing and is presumed dead, all evidence points to Amaya.
However, nothing is as it seems as Jayatissa expertly unravels that each wedding guest has their own dark secret and agenda, and Amaya may not be the only one with a plan to keep the bride from getting her happily ever after…
Murder on the Honeymoon
Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson
Abigail Baskin never thought she’d fall in love with a millionaire. Then she met Bruce Lamb. But right before the wedding, Abigail has a drunken one-night stand on her bachelorette weekend.
She puts the incident—and the sexy guy who wouldn’t give her his real name—out of her mind, and now believes she wants to be with Bruce for the rest of her life.
Then the mysterious stranger suddenly appears—and Abigail’s future life and happiness are turned upside down. He insists that their passionate night was the beginning of something special and he’s tracked her down to prove it.
Does she tell Bruce and ruin their idyllic honeymoon—and possibly their marriage? Or should she handle this psychopathic stalker on her own?
To make the situation worse, strange things begin to happen. She sees a terrified woman in the night shadows, and no one at the resort seems to believe anything is amiss… including her perfect new husband.
If you’re read this, come join our Spoiler Discussion for Every Vow You Break!
Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers
Murder is hardly the best way for Lord Peter and his bride, the famous mystery writer Harriet Vane, to start their honeymoon. It all begins when the former owner of their newly acquired estate is found quite nastily dead in the cellar.
All too quickly, what Lord Peter had hoped would be a very private and romantic stay in the country has turned into a most baffling case, with a misspelled “notise” to the milkman at its center and a dead man who’s been discovered in a most intriguing condition: with not a spot of blood on his smashed skull and not a penny less than six hundred pounds in his pocket.
What is the most popular month to get married? According to The Knot, 13% of couples get married in June, and 13% in August, making those two months the most popular!