How to Host a Killer Party by Penny Warner is the first book in the new “Party-Planning” mystery series. Publisher: Obsidian, February 2010

Mixing fun and fund-raising seems like the perfect job for Presley Parker, which is why she starts her event-planning business to raise money for charities. But the good times end when she finds herself hosting a killer party.

Pres is happy to get her business off the ground—even is she is beginning with small-time kids’ parties. Then she gets the gig of the year: planning Mayor Davin green’s sumptuous “surprise” wedding for his socialite fiancee, to be held at Alcatraz.

The gig goes off without a hitch—until the bride bolts faster than any of the prison’s past escapees, and is later found dead, floating in the bay. Then the original party planner for the wedding—Presley’s competitor—is found murdered. When Presley becomes a prime suspect, she looks to attractive crime-scene cleaner Brad Matthews to help tidy up her reputation. If she doesn’t, she’ll be exchanging her formal wear for prison stripes.

This is a new book in the series and it started out slow but picked up as the mystery was told. It then became a good read. My rating: 3.5 stars

*new-to-me author

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