"When I think back on everything terrible that happened that autumn
--- the murders, the grim discovery I made, the danger I found
myself in --- I realize I probably could have avoided all of it if
my love life hadn't been so sucky." So begins A BODY TO DIE FOR.
Author Kate White continues this amiable, breezy style throughout
this fast-paced story.
Bailey Weggins lives in New York City and is a freelance writer ---
of crime stories mostly --- with an occasional contracted article
that is meant to expand the horizons of women who read Gloss
magazine. She has an optimistic outlook on life and is immediately
likeable. A friend invites her to spend a weekend at the spa that
she owns and although Bailey is not into most of the "goofy" spa
stuff, she does enjoy a good massage. And besides, her mother has
been worried about her and thinks a vacation could cheer her up. So
she jumps in her Jeep and heads up the Connecticut Turnpike to be
pampered for the weekend.
Amateur detective novels can be implausible at times, what with
psychic cats and stuff, but here the tie-in with her job lends
credibility as Bailey discovers a dead body within hours of
arriving at the Spa and then spends the next few weeks tracking
down clues to discover whodunit. Like a professional detective,
Bailey is methodical in her investigation, constantly reviewing
clues she logs in composition books and following threads of
evidence that she keeps pulling at until the whole mystery
Mysteries are so popular and there are hundreds of good writers out
there, but only a few stand out above the rest. What set them apart
are the additional strengths that go beyond telling a good story.
Top writers create memorable characters, people who readers can
love or hate or identify with. They write dialogue that sounds
realistic, and they put into words insights and observations that
cause the reader to smile in agreement or nod knowingly. For
example, Bailey is thinking about the hunky cop she just met and
she decides "…it was a complete aberration --- like one of
those blinding pains you get in your temple one day that convinces
you (that) you have a brain tumor the size of a beefsteak tomato
but never occurs again…"
A BODY TO DIE FOR, which follows Kate White's successful debut
novel, IF LOOKS COULD KILL, is the second of a great new series for
us fans of Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, and the two Roberts ---
Crais and Parker.