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How to Dine on Killer Wine
The Party Planning Mystery Series #5
Penny Warner

July 2012/ 978-0-451-23786-6

Reviewed by Laura Hinds

Party planner Presley Parker has landed a great gig. She'll be handling a big event in the heart of Napa Valley. The event, hosted by Rob and Marie Christopher, is held at their winery, the Purple Grape. What should be a fantastic evening is threatened by a neighbor, a green activist, who is adamant that wineries are ruining the environment.

Presley has extra security hired, and her staff and boyfriend, Brad, are on high alert, determined to keep JoAnne Douglas, the upset neighbor, at bay. Joanne's group, the Green Grape Association will stop at nothing to halt the growth of wineries in Napa Valley. What should be the days of wine and roses for the Christophers shortly turns into a nightmare when Joanne's lifeless body is found on their property. This follows a very public confrontation with the Christophers and all signs point to them as the murderers. Presley sets out to find the truth before the real killer can strike again.

This is a well-crafted mystery with an interesting plot. There are realistic characters with their own story lines. I especially like how the illness of Presley's mother is handled. Her mom suffers from Alzheimer's disease and lives at a care facility. Yet she is still able to function and Presley brings her along for the Purple Grape party. My own mother had Alzheimer's disease, and I could relate to the concerns Presley has and recognize the symptoms her mother presented.

I liked the story very much, and will look forward to reading more of Presley's adventures in the future. This series provides lessons about wine without the need to imbibe. Highly recommended. Cheers!

Reviews of other titles in this series

How to Party with a Killer Vampire, No 4

Reviewer Laura Hinds is the author of Are You Gonna Eat That Banana?
Reviewed 2012