Review: It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To by Vickie Fee

October 29, 2016 Mystery, Review 17

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My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Because Reading is Better Than Real Life where at the beginning of the month visitors can choose which book I’ll be reading this month. On the first saturday of a month the poll will be up, then on the second saturday of the month I’ll announce the book that won and on the last saturday of the month I’ll post my review of the book.

It's Your Party, Die If You Want ToIt’s Your Party, Die If You Want To (A Liv And Di In Dixie Mystery #2)
by Vickie Fee

Rating: 3 stars

Blurb:
Between a riverboat gambler-theme engagement party and a murder mystery dinner for charity, Dixie, Tennessee, party planner Liv McKay is far too frenzied to feel festive. Add to the mix her duties at the annual businesswomen’s retreat and the antics of a celebrity ghost-hunting diva, and Liv’s schedule is turning out to be the scariest thing about this Halloween—especially when the ladies stumble across a dead body in a cemetery…

Morgan Robison was a party girl with a penchant for married men and stirring up a cauldron of drama. Any number of scorned wives or frightened philanderers could be behind her death. As Liv and her best friend, Di, set out to dig up the truth, they’ll face the unexpected and find their efforts hampered by a killer with one seriously haunting vendetta…

My Review:
I received a free copy of this book through netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it

I enjoyed the first book well enough and decided to give the second book a try as well. Actually I was on the fence about continuing this series but the cover for the second book and the Halloween theme enticed me to give it a try. I am glad I picked up the second book, but at the same time felt like I ran into some of the same issues I had with book 1. it was a fun read, but it was lacking something to fully pull me into the story. Lots of small things that didn’t fully work for me or annoyed me.

Calling it a cozy mystery almost seems wrong, at times the book reads more like a slice of life or contemporary book. there is a lot fo focus on Liv her daily life, we get to experience what she does each day and I am glad we got more of a view into her party planning business. I am pretty sure the party planning business is one of my favorite parts of the book. I am a planner myself and there was something satisfying reading about Liv planning these parties and seeing it all come together. There were two parties in this book, an engagement party and a mystery dinner at the end. both were fun to read.

With all the focus on Liv on her daily life it feels at times like the mystery doesn’t get enough attention. Also the mystery itself just fell kinda flat for me. There are a lot of suspects but at the same time there is almost no evidence or clues or hints. And everyone, except for the police, seems convinced there is this one person who is the culprit and I still don’t get why. It just annoyed me everyone seemed so convinced she was the culprit. There is no evidence pointing in her direction or at least no more than in anyone else their direction and still everyone seems to be convinced she is the murderer. Except for the police who actually arrest someone else and everyone else is convinced she is innocent.

The mystery just kinda wobbled along without fully pulling me in. Then at the end Liv realizes who the murderer is, but the reader doesn’t get to know it until the last possible moment when it’s revealed to the other characters as well. I rather had known who Liv suspected when she pieced the pieces together and set up her plan. And then there is the police which never seems to get much further into the investigation, in fact it feels like the investigation and mystery mostly stands still until the end.

I do think it’s rather original that this book has Liv actually being in a marriage. In many cozy mysteries there is a bit of a romance element, but it’s usually it’s a couple falling in love, so reading about a married couple was a nice change. I did like them a bit more in this book, they just seem so normal? Which is nice and on the other hand I almost wished for some quirks or to feel their romance a bit more, but these two were so normal it was almost weird. The author does a good job of conveying a bit of the southern feel of this city, not sure if it’s realistic, but it felt realistic to me.

There are a lot of side characters and only a few of them really have a clear personality, so I had some trouble at first remembering who was who. It did get a bit better as the book progressed, but I still find it hard to remember all the characters. Which is also why the reveal fo the murderer fell a bit flat for me as it took me a while before I remembered who the character was. The Halloween theme was a nice touch and I am glad I read it this book around Halloween.

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.

3-stars-rating

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You can also find my review of It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To on Goodreads and Amazon

What are your favorite kind of jobs to read about?

17 Responses to “Review: It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To by Vickie Fee”

  1. Sophia Rose

    Hmm, I can see where you would be torn between liking it and finding it dull. It is refreshing to have a married couple with no big issues to stir up the story and it’s kind of neat to see all the details of her career especially since it is party planning. But with a barely developed mystery and no steady reveal of clues or seeing much police involvement, that would be frustrating. I like that the setting felt just right, too.

    Nice review, Lola!

    I tend to like military or law enforcement jobs the most because they bring some action or suspense to the story, but truthfully, I’m not partial. Cowboy or plumber doesn’t matter as much as how well the story is written.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Review: Of Flame and Light by Cecy Robson #Giveaway #ExcerptMy Profile

    • Lola

      It was a bit of both in this book I liked it and thought it was a bit dull at the same time. It was nice to read about a married couple for a change with no big conflict and issues there. And the arty planning business was fun to read about. I just had hoped for a bit more on the mystery side of things.

      I like reading about characters who have their own business, probably because I can relate to that. And as a planner myself I always like reading about the planning jobs too. But most jobs are interesting to read about and indeed like you said how well the story is written is more important than the job of the characters.

  2. Michelle @Because Reading

    Sorry this wasn’t what you were hoping for. The cover looks so cute and I can see why the halloween feel might have been perfect for this time.
    I would probably feel the same as you with needing more detail on the murder. I like figuring things out for myself. Glad you enjoyed it but sorry it wasn’t what you expected.

    Awesome review as always, Lola! 🙂
    Michelle @Because Reading recently posted…#Review ~ A Stolen Kiss (Stolen Royals #1) by Kelsey KeatingMy Profile

    • Lola

      The Halloween feel was perfect for this time and it was fun, just not as much as I hoped. I like if it’s at least possible to figure things out myself as well, here that wasn’t really possible in my opinion.

    • Lola

      I like reading a bit about other jobs in a book, it’s a fun way to learn more about other jobs. I’ve seen a few unusual jobs in paranormal books, although bar jobs do seem to be common, lol.

  3. Greg

    Ha I love the title of this one! Sorry to hear it was missing a little something though… sounds like the planning aspects were done well and maybe the mystery could have used a little more attention. And side characters are so important in cozies- if they don’t entirely work that can be a problem. I would like clues too.

    Nice review though, and I wish I had read more Halloween themed mysteries this month.
    Greg recently posted…Sunday Post #166My Profile

    • Lola

      The planning aspect and the parties were fun, the mystery just could’ve used a bit more attention and details. It was nice to read a Halloween themed book this Halloween.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #202My Profile

    • Lola

      It was nice to have a married couple instead of a new romance for a change, I wish more books would do that. I already picked the three books for next month’s poll and they are all books i really want to read, so I have high hopes for those 🙂

  4. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    I can definitely see why you wouldn’t want to pass up this book in the month of October! Such a perfect time to read it. And that’s cool about the party planning. I almost majored in hospitality in college. Kind of random, I know, but I took a few classes in it though when I was deciding and instead decided to minor in it. Something like event planning seemed fun. And oh! I’ve had a couple of those mystery dinner parties with my friends lol. I mean, I don’t know exactly what is was in the story, mine were just like eight people dressing up in costume and reading scripts and things, but they were both so much fun. I’m getting way off topic lol.

    I can see why you had some issues. You read cozy mystery because you want the mystery, so it would be a bummer if that part didn’t work for you. Reading about a character who’s married does sound kind of nice and different, I can’t recall if I’ve ever read any books with married characters, but “these two were so normal it was almost weird” is really cracking me up.
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Cover Characteristics: Book Covers featuring Haunted HousesMy Profile

    • Lola

      It was nice timing to read this one. I think I would enjoy the planning part of the party planning, but the actual party not so much. That’s interesting you took a few classes in hospitality. Event planning does seem like a fun job and as I do a job with planning as well I could relate to that part.

      The mystery dinner was a dinner where there was a play/ drama performance as well and the guests had to guess the murder in the play. It was kinda fun to read about and I can imagine ti would add a fun touch to a dinner. The guest all were dressed up as clues characters and the play was clue themed as well.

      I love the mix of mystery and the daily life aspect in cozy mysteries, but this series seems to tilt a bit too far to the daily life side for me.
      It was different to read about a married couple. They seemed like the kind of people you could have as your neighbor, they seemed so normal. They both had a job, worked hard, loved each other and the had some small arguments sometimes. He was renovating the house, but it takes forever and he liked good food. She got annoyed the renovations took too long, but didn’t mind too much. They just seemed so normal, you never read about people this normal.

  5. Lorna

    Not sure, but I think I voted for a different one. I think I would have had the same problems you did. If there isn’t a way to figure out the mystery(like clues)than what’s the fun in that? I might have DNF’ed this one since no romance element, no clues to the mystery and not that much about the mystery. If there’s a marriage than I want it to be a super fun and exciting marriage like Eve and Roark from the In Death books by Nora Roberts. Have you read any of those? Super fun but you have to read them in order. Thanks for your very honest review!

    • Lola

      I still enjoyed it, but I would’ve liked to see more clues for the mystery. I thought it was fun to read about a married couple for a chance, but most cozies don’t have a good romance usually, so I don’t really expect a good romance from them. And yes I definitely prefer an exciting/ fun marriage or couple, those can be done well. I haven’t read any of the In Death books, but I have the first on on my wishlist. It sounds like a good series and one I might enjoy.

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