Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Til Death Do Us Party (A Liv and Di in Dixie Mystery)

Author:  Vickie Fee
Genre:  Mystery

Mass Market Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781496715982
Kensington Publishing
288 Pages
$7.99; $5.99 Amazon
March 27, 2018

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Las Vegas knows how to party, and for once, event planner Liv McKay won’t be entirely behind the scenes. The Dixie gang is in Sin City to celebrate Mama and Earl’s rockin’ Elvis-themed wedding. And between juggling the botched bachelorette party and a problem-plagued soirĂ©e back home, Liv’s ready to double down on some fun.

Mama & Earl’s happily-ever-after seems like a sure thing, but all bets (and nuptials) are off when they get to the Burning Love Wedding Chapel. Their Elvis-impersonating minister has left the building . . . permanently. And even worse, Liv’s cousin, Little Junior, is suspected of his murder.

With Mama’s happy ending on the table and Little Junior about to lose it all, the stakes are higher than ever. Liv and her best friend, Di, must hit the Strip to find the real killer before he finally plays his ace...

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Liv McKay is on her way to Las Vegas with her mama, her mama's fiancé Earl, husband Larry Joe, his parents, and best friend Di and her boyfriend Dave.  They're traveling because her mama wants to get married there by an Elvis impersonator, and since Earl is paying for almost everything, they couldn't say no.

But no sooner do they arrive when Di sees her ex-husband at the hotel where they're staying, and it puts her and Dave on the outs when she starts spending time with Jimmy Souther.  Then Liv sees someone she also knows who moved to Las Vegas several years ago - Jana - who wasn't such a nice person but has volunteered to get a nice venue for Liv to have a bachelorette dinner for her mama.

They've also managed to meet up with Liv's cousin Little Junior, who lives in Vegas and is a cab driver and Elvis impersonator.  He offers to drive them anywhere they want to go, and when they wind up at the chapel where mama and Earl are getting married, he has a sort-of run-in with the chapel's resident Elvis.

While the dinner isn't exactly what Liv had planned, her mama and mother-in-law both seemed to enjoy it, and so with that behind them they arrive at the chapel for the wedding.  But during the middle of the ceremony, 'Elvis' drops dead, and the wedding is off.  But when it's found out that he was murdered, the only suspect is Little Junior and he's arrested.

While Dave, a sheriff back in Tennessee, is using what connections he has to keep abreast of the case, mama begs Liv and Di to find the real killer, since they know it just couldn't be Little Junior.  But while they're subtly investigating, his daddy Junior hightails it from Phoenix to be near his son, and it causes health problems for him.

Not to mention that now Di and Dave are on the outs because of Jimmy, and Di won't talk about it or have anything to do with Dave.  This is not the wedding/vacation that Liv planned for, but it's the one she's got, and if she doesn't figure things out, not only will her mama not be married, she may be visiting her cousin in a Nevada prison doing his own jailhouse rock...

First off, let me state that I live in Las Vegas and as such was really looking forward to reading this book.  I will also say that while I was preparing myself for a little fantasy - since a lot of authors take way too much liberty with our lovely town - I was pleasantly surprised (aside from the fact that there are no 'early bird specials' at buffets - it's a set price; those specials are at the cafés and restaurants, but no big deal).  This was nice to see and made me enjoy the book more.

Liv and Di are again involved in a murder, and this one hits close to home again when Liv's cousin, who wouldn't hurt a fly and is nice as can be, is accused of the crime.  (Even I will say the evidence was flimsy, and he probably would have been let out on bail because of it, but it makes for a nice story anyway).

It doesn't help that back home Liv's assistant Holly is having trouble with a fiftieth class reunion group that also includes a group of Elvis and Priscilla lookalikes for a contest, and things don't look good, then they do, then they don't...well, you get the picture.

What ensues is poor Liv completely out of her element in Las Vegas trying to stay under the radar of the LVMPD (which she doesn't completely succeed in doing but is lucky that Dave is there to help her out) questioning people who don't take kindly to her intrusion, and hope she can figure things out before she has to catch a plane back home.

It's a delightful ride into the vision most people have of our town, and is more fun than the roller coaster at New York-New York hotel.  Liv manages to do what she does best, which is putting everything together before it all falls apart - which is also why she's so good at her job.

This is the fourth book in the series but can be read as a stand alone.  We are given enough information to garner the background of everyone involved, and an engaging group of people they are; from her laid-back husband Larry Joe (who manages to have a small adventure of his own) to her stubborn friend Di, to her determined Mama.  These are people who are genuinely fond of each other and accept each others' quirks without judgment.

In the end, the plot was written well and when the murderer was found out it was a bit of a surprise but believable.  A truly fun read that is well worth the time to do so.  Highly recommended and I look forward to the next in the series.

https://www.amazon.com/Til-Death-Party-Dixie-Mystery/dp/1496715985/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2319918453

More on Vickie Fee's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/f/vickie-fee/

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