Title: How to Host a Killer Party
Series: Party Planning Mystery, Book #1
Author: Penny Warner
Release Date: February 2nd, 2010
Publisher: Penguin Group
ISBN: 0451229304 (ISBN13: 9780451229304)
Synopsis from goodreads.com:
Don't let murder crash your party.
Presley Parker was just happy to get her party planning business off the ground. Now she's gotten the gig of the year, planning Mayor Davin Green's sumptuous "surprise" wedding for his socialite fiancée, to be held on Alcatraz.
But when the bride is found floating in the bay and the original party planner is found murdered, Presley becomes the prime suspect. If the attractive crime scene cleaner, Brad Matthews, doesn't help her tidy her reputation, she'll be exchanging her formal wear for prison stripes...
A surprise party, Alcatraz and a murder...
Presley is just starting as a party planner and all of the sudden she's planning one of the most important parties ever, Mayor David Green's surprise wedding. If this party goes as planned, she will be the most famous party planner in the city! But of course, parties never goes as planned.
The bride is dead, and everyone thinks she did it. When the Detective doesn't believe her, she starts her own investigation, looking for the murderer. After all, this may be just like one of those Murder-Mystery Parties.
Presley. the protagonist, is fun and fresh. I'm not sure about her age, but she sounds young and happy with herself. I liked that even being a suspect, she didn't get depressed or "I'm too stupid to think". She is independent, intelligent and sometimes acts a little immature. She's also a psychologist and likes to evaluate everyone, even herself and her cats. It was easy to relate with her, mainly because of the lack of description about her, but also because she loves chocolates and cats, and who doesn't love at least one of them?
The secondary characters were acceptable. Maybe a little bit more about them could have been better, but they were nice. My favorites were the mother, and Brad, the cute guy/maybe a cop/maybe a suspect. I'm hoping more of these two in the next book, and a little bit more romance. They would be a cute couple.
It was fun and easy to read; and I was suspicious of everyone. They all seemed to have a possible motive, and even while sometimes I was very sure about who was the murderer, I didn't have a clue of why or how. Of course the cops didn't seem to be doing a good work finding this murderer, and I could have thought about a couple of other characters besides Presley to be the principal suspect...but it worked for the plot.
I also enjoyed the Party Planning tips you can find at the beginning of every chapter, and at the end of the book.
As my first cozy mystery, I loved it. I'm going to keep reading this series...but maybe you can recommend me another one?