Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: How to Host a Killer Party - 1st in the Party Planning Mystery series
Author: Penny Warner
Release Date: February 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, San Francisco
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Penny's Website/Blog: www.pennywarner.com
A wonderful and fast and funny mystery that takes place mostly on the streets of San Francisco.
Presley Parker is an extremely likeable heroine. She is a former teacher that was downsized by the Governor's Office of California and is now a party planner or event coordinator as she wants to be called. Her mother, who is now in the first stages of Alzheimer’s, was San Francisco's premiere party planner in the past and Presley had grown up around the business. So, now that she has had to change careers she is taking over the reins. She has done some children's parties but nothing as grand as her present job which is a party for the Mayor of San Francisco. The Mayor is newly engaged and is planning to surprise his intended bride with a surprise wedding ceremony in, of all places, Alcatraz. Her mom had written a book about the vocation of party planning called "How to Host a Killer Party. " Unfortunately, that's what this turned out to be literally.
The party thankfully is a triumph until the bride-to-be goes missing and is found the next morning floating in San Francisco Bay. Then to make matters even more complicated, the original party planner for this bash, who was Presley's nearest competitor, is found murdered in a supposed car accident. Presley, of course is suspect number one. She has just met a very attractive gentleman, who says he works as a Crime Scene Cleaner (YUK) but of course has a secret. Said gentleman is helping Presley to solve both murders and in fact has some friends in the San Francisco Police Department.
This book is full of San Francisco characters which include many of Presley’s workers and she also visits with her mother frequently and mom has some really good tidbits about SF society that she remembers. I really liked this book from beginning to end. The characters are funny and also believable. You can be sad one minute and falling off your chair the next as Presley and friends go about trying to find out who killed who and why. I highly recommend this book to all mystery readers whether you like cozy or not. It is very readable and it's no wonder Ms. Warner is a bestselling author.
I'll talk to you soon,
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