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How to Dine on Killer Wine: A Party-Planning Mystery Mass Market Paperback – July 3, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Party Planning Mystery (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451237862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451237866
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,221,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for the Party-Planning Mystery Series

“The Killer Party series is delightful!”—Meritorious Mysteries

“A party you don’t want to miss.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Denise Swanson

“The books dish up a banquet of mayhem.”—The Oakland Tribune

About the Author

Penny Warner has published over fifty fiction and nonfiction books for adults and children, including over a dozen party books. Her books have won national awards, been nominated for Agatha Awards, garnered excellent reviews, and been printed in fourteen countries. Known as the Queen of Parties, she’s planned over five hundred parties and events, and published twenty books on party planning. Along with her husband, Tom, she creates interactive murder-mystery fund-raisers for libraries across the country.

Customer Reviews

Pure pleasure to read.
Lori Caswell
I liked the story very much, and will look forward to reading more of Presley's adventures in the future.
Laura Hinds
Unprofessional and just plain CRASS.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By bluesdiva on July 26, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
OK I know we have to take some of these cozies with a grain of salt. We all know that florists, coffeehouse managers, gardeners etc don't get involved in murder after murder after murder in real life. In most of these types of books, though, the florist etc has a reason for getting involved. In the Presley Parker books, not so much. The premise in this series is always the same-someone gets murdered at one of Presley's events and she decides to solve the murder. Why? I don't know. Just BECAUSE. In this book, Presley does not know the victim and yes, the person arrested for the murder is one of her clients but she doesn't know them. They are not friends of hers. In fact she has just met them the day before the murder-which in itself is strange. You would think that if planning a huge event that took months to put together, at some point you would have met the people throwing the party, but when Presley arrives at the hosts' villa the day before the party, introductions are made. SO,she doesn't know these people from Adams's house cat. Why is she so convinced that the person arrested is innocent? Just because. So Presley goes running around making lists, interrogating suspects, snooping in offices. She ,for some reason, thinks the Napa Valley Police should share all their info with her. She doesn't feel the need to reciprocate though. For instance, a second murder victim turns up. When the police come to the scene of the crime, Presley never bothers to tell the cops that the murder victim left her a voice mail message just hours before his death, urging her to meet him. Wouldn't the police have wanted to know that? Why didn't she tell them? WHO does she think she is?
And, I guess, therein lies the problem I have with this series. I just don't particularly like Presley Parker.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CJ-MO VINE VOICE on August 9, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Event planner extraordinaire Presley Parker takes a crash course in wine-testing from her assistant to prepare for an upcoming assignment planning a wine-tasting event at a nearby Napa Valley winery. It promises to be a great weekend for Presley and her team, and everyone is looking forward to working at what should be a fun event. That was before JoAnne Douglas and other protesters from the Green Grape Association threaten to stop the event before it even starts. If there's no event, there's no paycheck for Presley and crew, so she is as anxious as the winery owners for the event to continue as planned. Just when it looks like the wine-tasting at Rob and Marie Christopher's winery is going to continue without a hitch, JoAnne Douglas, the ringleader of the protesters, is found murdered and Presley's client Rob is the prime suspect. Presley doesn't want to get involved, but Rob's wife Marie begs her to stay in Napa and help clear Rob's name. So Presley puts some of her planning skills to use to try to catch a murderer.

The reasoning behind Presley helping the investigation to help a client she hardly knows is a bit thin, but once you get past that, this is a fun mystery. Presley has a great sense of humor, and I like the observations she makes about her event-planning experiences. One distraction in the otherwise excellent writing is the awkward inclusion of product brands. Depending on how they are used, adding a brand can add realism to a book, but when misused, it can take the reader out of a scene. Some of the dialogue seems more like product placement than a way to help the reader visualize the scene, but luckily this didn't occur too frequently.

I like this quick and fun to read book, even though I don't always find Presley likeable!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lori Caswell TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 24, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of my favorite series!

Presley Parker's event planning business is the toast of San Francisco. In this installment she takes her business on the road to Napa Valley for a wine tasting event for the Purple Grape, a boutique winery.

JoAnne Douglas, the head of the Green Grape Association, an environmental group, believes the small local wineries are ruining the local environment and she is determined to shut down the event.

But the corks are popped, the amuse-bouches have been served, and a good time was had by all. Well almost everyone. While Presley and her crew was doing the clean up chores, they were shocked by what they found under one of the tables. The what was a who, and none other than JoAnne Douglas and she was quite dead.

Of course all the evidence points to the hosts of the party, but the victim had several individuals that wouldn't mind seeing her corked. Presley is on the case to find the real culprit even if she has to take some time and taste a lot of wine in the process.

I love this series and all the reoccurring characters. Meeting the winery owners this time was quite a treat, they are as unique as their homes. The wineries are marvelous, picture a medieval castle complete with suits of armor or a Tuscan style mansion. Penny Warner is so descriptive in her writing you almost feel like you are right there in Napa Valley.

Presley just can't stop herself, she just has to do her own investigating and takes her mother along for the ride. Thankfully Brad is there to clean up most the messes she gets herself into. My favorite character in this edition was definitely Presley's mom. She is battling early Alzheimer's but she doesn't let it slow her down.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Penny Warner has published over 60 books for both adults and children. Her first mystery series featuring Connor Westphal, a deaf reporter in the California Gold Country, won a Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, and was nominated for an Agatha and an Anthony Award. Books in the series include, DEAD BODY LANGUAGE, SIGN OF FOUL PLAY, and RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT. All are available on Kindle.

Her other mystery series features event planner, Presley Parker, and is set in the San Francisco Bay Area. HOW TO HOST A KILLER PARTY, offers a wedding on Alcatraz, HOW TO CRASH A KILLER BASH, features a Murder Mystery Party at the de Young Museum, HOW TO SURVIVE A KILLER SÉANCE, presents a Séance Party at the Winchester Mystery House, and HOW TO PARTY WITH A KILLER VAMPIRE is set in Colma, the City of Souls. HOW TO DINE ON KILLER WINE offers a mystery in the Napa Wine Country.

Her middle-grade mystery, CODE BUSTERS CLUB: SECRET OF THE SKELETON KEY, was nominated for an Agatha Best Juvenile Mystery Award. It features four kids who solve a mystery by cracking codes in each chapter. The second book in the series, CODE BUSTERS: THE HAUNTED LIGHTHOUSE, is set on Alcatraz. (Join the Code Busters Club at Her non-fiction book, THE OFFICIAL NANCY DREW HANDBOOK, was nominated for an Agatha Award.

She writes a column for the local newspaper on family life in the Valley, creates fund-raising murder mystery events for libraries across the country, and teaches child development at Diablo Valley College. She can be reached at or

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How to Dine on Killer Wine: A Party-Planning Mystery
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