Size 14 Is Not Fat Either
When last we left Heather Wells, former pop star turned assistant dorm director, she had just solved a murder mystery and was a size 12. Now she has put on a few --- well, okay, 10 --- pounds over the holidays. But believe me, that is the least of her worries.
A wee bit higher on the priority scale just might be the discovery by the kitchen staff of cheerleader Lindsay Combs's head simmering in a pot on the stove. (This prompts many cringe-worthy puns.) Since Magda, Heather's cafeteria worker friend, shows Heather the head first, and because Heather knew and liked Lindsay, Heather feels compelled to investigate. Plus, there's her knowledge that whoever beheaded Lindsay has a cafeteria key --- and so must work on the housing staff. However, Heather is adamantly warned off the case by everyone. So she won't be acting as detective, right? Hardly.
Heather can't help wondering where exactly Lindsay's body might be. Her urge to get to the bottom of the case is reinforced when Magda begs Heather to investigate. Even while Heather is telling Magda that she can't act as detective, she (and we) knows she will. For one thing, she must protect Lindsay's reputation as others feel free to besmirch the murdered girl's name.
Meanwhile, Heather is trying to break in her new boss, Tom, while avoiding the calls of her ex-fiancé Jordan. She also continues to lust for her ex-fiancé's brother, Cooper, who happens to be her platonic but hot landlord/roommate.
When Jordan catches up to Heather, he pleads with her to come to his wedding. Heather refuses, but she must fend off another offer when her friend Frank urges her to sing with his band. And then the most bizarre thing of all happens: Heather's father calls to tell her he's just been released from federal prison where he had been doing time for tax evasion. He just happens to be in town and needs a place to stay.
Of course, Heather continues to insist that she's not investigating Lindsay's murder, even as she asks the dead cheerleader's boyfriend and friends a few brief questions. When she just happens to grill the despicable wealthy guy whom Lindsay's best friend has been seeing, Cooper and the police detective rather forcefully encourage her to butt out (again). In fact, Cooper is so angry with Heather that she is worried about her upcoming request to have her father move in temporarily.
When Heather stumbles across someone who has been stabbed, that person admits to giving something to Lindsay. But when Heather discovers what was given, the mystery only deepens. The cryptic clues keep on gathering while Heather continues to deny that she's trying to solve the case.
There are a couple of truly surprising twists in the tale, plus tons of LOL moments (not to mention some really bad song lyrics). As always, Heather is an endearing character; trying to solve the case alongside her makes the reader feel like a partner in a hilarious buddy detective movie. SIZE 14 IS NOT FAT EITHER is yet another example of Meg Cabot's enjoyable storytelling.
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon on January 23, 2011