Publication Date: October 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 320pp
(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mysteries)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Penny Warner on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter
Mixing fun and fund-raising seems like the perfect job for Presley Parker, which is why she started her event planning business to raise money for charities. But when a film soiree goes awry, it could mean The End of her business...
Presley Parker's event-planning business is really rolling. Her newest gig is a film wrap party for big time producer Lucas Cruz. He's celebrating his latest release - a vampire parody - by throwing a lavish party in a graveyard. It's a pretty gloomy venue for Presley, but she's hoping to make it so much fun that partygoers won't even notice there are more dead than living guests...
And the number of dead grows when an entertainment reporter crashes the party, trying to dig up dirt on an actor, and winds up digging his own grave. Presley's reputation is seriously on the line if she doesn't unearth the killer soon. But with a growing list of shady characters and suspect crew members, someone has to fill the role of murderer, or it's going to be Presley who won't make the cut...
How to Party With a Killer Vampire is the fourth book in Penny Warner's Party Planning mystery series. Party planner extraordinaire, Parker Presley finds herself in hot water once again as she plans a wrap party for a movie crew. Warner fans will love the latest adventure from Treasure Island, as Parker plans the ultimate graveyard party. Just in time for the Halloween season, this one might not be bloodcurdling or too scary but it's full of murder and mayhem, with a dash of romance and hint of humor added in for good measure. It's a recipe for one great cozy mystery!
In Penny Warner's latest addition to the Party Planning mystery series, readers will find interesting party ideas at the beginning of each chapter as well as at the end of the book. Warner's background as a party planner really serves her well in this series, and I think readers will find How to Party With a Killer Vampire to be the best book in the series so far. I loved the fact that Warner uses a movie crew and the paparazzi to bring about the scene for murder this time. I think a lot of readers will love the overall premise of this one and find the party in the graveyard chillingly cool. (We just wrapped a Halloween party here at our house, where we had our own make-shift graveyard, complete with tombstones and epitaphs for all the guests!)
Though isn't exactly Halloween themed, this book has a lot of great ideas and themes for the season. The mystery aspect of the book was engaging and readers will be on the edge of their seats trying to figure out who, out of this huge list of suspects had the perfect motive for murder. I always finds myself trying to figure out the clues to see if I had the murder pegged or not. I'll admit that it's fun to be surprised, but there is also that thrill of getting it right. I didn't figure this one out completely until close to the end, but it was really gratifying when I got it right! The clues were both interesting and challenging. The list of suspects was long, including the entire movie crew, some paparazzi and others, but each motive was well thought out and plausible.
There is quite a bit of humor in this one as Warner surrounds Presley with an excellent secondary character cast. Brad, Presley's love interest in the series, continues to surprise and Warner does a wonderful job of giving the reader just enough information about Presley's personal life to keep the interest high. Readers will love Presley's patience with her mom and her overall zeal for life in general. This is a great series, with just enough of a supernatural feel to appeal to readers from a lot of different reading backgrounds. I look forward to more great books in the series and the preview of the next un-named book was a nice sneak peek at the end.
I recommend this one to cozy fans and readers who love a good party. I liked this one a lot. I thought it was appropriately themed for the season and had just enough humor and romance. They mystery was fun to try to solve and readers will love all the twists, turns and red herrings that Warner adds to the mix.
How to Party With a Killer Vampire is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Penny Warner has published more than fifty fiction and nonfiction books for adults and children, including more than a dozen party books. Her books have won national awards, been nominated for Agatha Awards, garnered excellent reviews, and been printed in fourteen countries. Known as the Queen of Parties, she's planned more than five hundred parties and events, and published twenty books on party planning. Along with her husband, Tom, she creates interactive murder mystery fund-raisers for libraries across the country. She lives in Danville, California.
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