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    It's Your Party

    To summarize: while I did enjoy this book, I never felt fully invested in the story or the characters. I did like Liv her party planning business and we get to see a bit more of that in this book with two fun themed parties she pulls off. I also liked the slight Halloween theme of the book. The murder mystery fell a bit flat for me and I never felt particularly invested in it. There aren't enough clues and hints to figure things out for yourself, the characters seem convinced a certain character was the murderer which just made me hope they were wrong as it was a bit much with everyone convinced she was the murderer. And when Liv figures out who the murderer is the reader doesn't get her thoughts and only find out some time later who the murderer is. The book has a bit of a slice of life feel with how we get a good feel for Liv her daily life. It was nice, although it felt like the mystery did get less space because of that. It was interesting to read about a married couple for a change, although they almost felt too normal at times. It was a nice Halloween themed read, but some things didn't fully work for me.
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    Lacking substance!

    It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To by Vickie Fee is the second book in A Liv and Di in Dixie Mystery series. Liv McKay is a party planner in Dixie, Tennessee. Her business is called Liv4Fun. Liv is getting ready for the PWAD (Professional Women’s Alliance of Dixie). Morgan Robison is in charge of the event, but she has managed to push off a lot of work on others (like Liv). Morgan is a vice president at Dixie Savings and Loan (owned by her father). Morgan is the only child of wealthy parents who doted on her (in other words spoiled rotten). Morgan also has a penchant for married men (you can see where this is leading). Liv is in charge of their special guest for the retreat, Lucinda Grable (originally from Dixie). Lucinda has a paranormal reality show titled “P.S. Encounters”. The retreat is behind held at St. Julian’s Retreat Center. The PWAD group is using Lark Lodge. After an enjoyable dinner the guests are invited to the nearby family cemetery. There Lucinda attempts to contact spirits. The event is also being filmed for an episode of Lucinda’s show. While attempting to contact a spirit, Miss Annabelle disappears (Miss Maybelle has to keep a close eye on her). Everyone takes off to find Miss Annabelle which disrupts the event. Miss Annabelle is brought back by a Sister of the Moon. They are a pagan group staying at Sparrow Lodge. Miss Annabelle had wandered over to their outdoor event. Word spreads out to the search teams and everyone heads back to the lodge (it is a weekend event). On the way back Liv comes across Morgan laying on the ground with an odd grin on her face. Morgan is dead! The police are called and everyone gets questioned. This puts a damper on the event and the group decides to head home. Then Liv hears that Jasmine Green is arrested for Morgan’s murder. Jasmine would not hurt a fly. Jasmine is the aging hippie type. Liv sets out to find the real culprit and clear Jasmine’s name. The suspect list is not short. Morgan had been a busy girl. Join Liv as she narrows down the suspects to find the real killer! It's Your Party, Die If You Want To describes the daily life of Liv with her hubby, Larry Joe, her party planning business, lunch with friends, home repairs, Larry Joe’s work, friends, Liv’s nutty mother, etc. There is some investigation as Liv goes around accusing friends and acquaintances of the crime (it is a wonder any of them still speak to her). The murder was simple to solve. One little detail (a very tiny clue) is all you need to solve the crime. You should be able to figure it out before you reach page 50 (if it takes you that long). The novel is easy to read and it can easily be finished in three hours or less. I wish the author had spent as much time on the mystery as she did on creating Liv’s various friends and family as well as the town’s citizens. There are tips for hosting a murder mystery at the end of the novel. While this is the second book in the series, it can be read alone. The author does bring the reader up-to-date on what happened in the first book in the series. I give It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To 3 out of 5 stars. It is an okay book, but I thought it was lacking in content. I will not be continuing with this series. It is just not the right cozy mystery series for me.
8

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