Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good mystery, fun characters
Cons: Pacing is off, one sub-plot annoys
The Bottom Line:
Wedding in Vegas
Comes complete with a murder
Fun for series fans
That's Not an Elvis Tribute Artist. That's a Corpse!
I must confess that I don't see the draw of Las Vegas, but then again, I don't like to gamble. I can think of other things to spend my money on - books for example. But that didn't stop me from enjoying Til Death Do Us Party, which takes Liv, Di, and the rest of the gang to Vegas for a wedding.
The happy couple are Liv's mother and her fiance, Earl, who have decided to elope to Vegas for an Elvis themed wedding at the Burning Love Wedding Chapel. They are also happy to reconnect with Liv's cousin, Little Junior, who is living in the city and trying to make his living as an Elvis impersonator (sorry, Elvis tribute artist), even trying to get a job at the chapel where the wedding will take place. Until that happens, he is driving a cab to make a living, and he's acting as a very willing tour guide.
Unfortunately, the wedding hits a major snag when the Elvis performing the ceremony drops dead before he can get to the "I Do." When the police decide that it was murder, they start looking at Little Junior, who had a fight with the dead Elvis a few days before. While already a semi-working vacation, Liv finds herself pressed to clear her cousin of the crime. Las Vegas is bigger than her home town of Dixie. Can she do it?
Since the majority of the book takes place outside the normal setting of Dixie, Tennessee, we don't see as much of a few of the series regulars and locations we've come to love. However, a sub-plot involving a high school reunion that Liv's party planning business is putting on while Liv is out of town gives us a chance to check in with a few of those left behind, which is nice.
The book does have the pacing issues that I have mentioned in earlier books in the series. This time, they are more pronounced since the murder takes place a bit late in the book. Yes, we get some set up, but we also get more of the sub-plots. When Elvis does drop dead, the murder takes center stage and offers us several good suspects and keeps us guessing. The ending was fun, logical, and a surprise.
I need a moment for a rant. There is a sub-plot involving Liv's best friend Di and her boyfriend, Dave, both of whom are on the trip. Both of them acted stupidly here over the course of the book, and both of them were too stubborn to see it. It drove me crazy, especially since I want to root for them to get together. They need to get over their communication issues.
Because of the prominence of the sub-plots, including one that carries over from the last book, I highly recommend this book for fans of the series. With the background of earlier books, you'll best appreciate what happens here. I'm not saying you won't enjoy the book without the background, but it will certainly help.
If this book leaves you in the mood to party, you'll be glad to learn there are some tips for planning a couple of different themed parties at the end of the book as well as a some recipes to help you plan the perfect party.
I've discovered I don't mind visiting Las Vegas through the pages of a book. Til Death Do Us Party offers a fun trip to the famous city that will leave you smiling.
Here are the rest of the Liv and Di in Dixie Mysteries in order.
NOTE: I received a copy of this book.