How to Host a Killer Party

Penny Warner, Author . Obsidian $6.99 (311p) ISBN 978-0-451-22930-4

Warner, who has penned both mysteries (the Connor Westphal series) and party and activity books, has a wealth of background to inform the career of her amateur sleuth, San Francisco teacher Presley Parker. Recently laid off, Presley opens her own event coordination business, Killer Parties, and is soon offered the chance to plan the mayor's wedding/fund-raiser on Alcatraz. It seems like a great opportunity until someone murders the original party planner and the mayor's bride-to-be. Presley makes good use of her background in psychology and party planning as she investigates, but her scattershot approach to interrogating suspects and what seems like deliberate avoidance of a significant lead will frustrate mystery aficionados. Tidbits of Bay Area history and classic mystery references are overwhelmed by the frantic pace and vast quantities of suspects and albeit interesting supporting characters. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/21/2009
Release date: 02/01/2010
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