Thursday, April 12, 2018

Book Review: It's Your Party, Die If You Want To by Vickie Fee (Liv and Di in Dixie #2)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong, enjoyable characters in good mystery
Cons: Party planning takes over mystery at times
The Bottom Line:
Halloween setting
Juggles two parties, murder
Uneven, still fun

Two Parties and a Murder

Halloween seems to be popping up more often in cozy mysteries these days, and it’s no surprise since it’s an obvious time to set a mystery.  It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To is once such book set in the weeks leading up to the holiday, and it’s a lot of fun.

Party planner Liv McKay is extremely busy with two big parties in the days leading up to Halloween.  She’s throwing a riverboat gambling themed engagement party as well as coordinating a huge city-wide fundraiser to take place on Halloween itself.  But first, she has a retreat with other women business owners in the small town of Dixie, Tennessee.  They’ve even brought in a special guest speaker – TV psychic and ghost hunter Lucinda Grable.

The first night of the retreat, Lucinda invites the women out to a nearby cemetery to help film an episode of her TV show.  Things are a little spooky, but they turn really spooky when Liv and a couple other women find Morgan Robison very much dead.  Morgan was the president of their group, but she wasn’t very well liked, if for no other reason, she had a habit of stealing other women’s men.  It appears someone on the retreat is a killer.  Who might it be?

It had been a few months since I read the first in the series, but I was quickly back in the world of Dixie with Liv and her best friend Di.  While Liv is clearly our main character, Di is an important part of the book, and I love their relationship.  I also love Liv’s relationship with her husband, Larry Joe.  So many of the series I read start with a single protagonist, and I enjoy seeing a very happily married protagonist.  Their extended family are still here and fun as well.

The mystery itself could have been a little stronger.  Oh, don’t worry, the suspects are all believable characters and have good motives, and the clues are there so when Liv explains how she figured it out, it was obvious.  But the party planning took over at times, slowing down the pace of the mystery.  Before too long, a twist or event would bring the mystery back to the foreground and confuse me and Liv, however.  There’s another sub-plot in the book as well that adds to the fun.

The book has some party planning tips in the back, and since there were two big parties, we get ideas from both of them.

Obviously, I was reading this book out of the Halloween season, but that’s okay.  No matter when you curl up with It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To, you’ll find an enjoyable cozy mystery.

It's time to party with the rest of the Liv and Di in Dixie series.

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