Murder For the Bride, one of four MacDonald novels published in a busy 1951, takes a sharp turn to espionage, a genre that MacDonald did not stick with. The basic outline of the plot is that Dillon Bryant, an oil company geologist, in a whirlwind romance, meets and marries a gorgeous blonde he knew practically nothing about after only a few weeks. They honeymoon and he heads off to Venezuela where he gets word in just a few more weeks that Laura was murdered.
Bryant returns to New Orleans where all the action in the book takes place and, though he has no experience as a detective, swears he will find her killer and bring him to Justice. Of course, as luck would have it, he didn’t know a damn thing about Laura and refuses to believe anything untoward despite all evidence to the contrary and despite his gal pal news reporter warns him about what he’s bound to find.
The truth though is beyond his wildest nightmares and involves Russian spy rings and secret information. To ferret out the truth, Bryant tramps into jazz clubs and perverted sadomasochistic clubs.
This is an action-oriented and far less introspective than other MacDonald novels.