Death by Chick Lit is a spoof on the genre that was made popular a number of years ago with Bridget Jones’ Diary. Lola Somerville is a writer, and for some reason her chick lit book isn't catching on. All around her, other women are writing chick lit books and making the bestseller list, but not Lola. For some reason, her book is being overlooked.
Then, at a book-signing party for Mimi McKee, Lola accidentally opens up a door thinking it's the bathroom, and finds Mimi dead, her throat slashed with a broken martini glass. As the novel progresses, one by one her fellow chick lit author friends are being murdered, and she is almost insulted that she is not on the possible murder victim list. It seems that the connection among the murdered women is that these authors have appeared on the chick lit bestseller list. What's a girl to do to get that type of attention?
Lola is soon asked to help solve the crimes and is immersed in the murder mystery of the chick lit authors. She hopes that maybe solving the crime will lead to another book deal. Still, her chick lit book isn't on the bestseller list, at least not yet. It irks Lola to find that almost everyone under the sun has a book deal going. Even best friend Annabel has been asked to pen a novel! Lola already has her book published, but why won’t the public buy her books? Lola secretly wishes that Jodie Foster will pick up the book and option it for film rights.
Death by Chick Lit is a funny murder mystery that satirizes the chick lit genre. It takes place in New York, of course, and centers on Lola and the world of chick lit writers. I had a problem with parts of the book, where it appeared the author wanted to change viewpoint from third to first-person narrative and back again, but it has more to do with the main character thinking speculatively throughout the story. This would have read even better had it been narrated in the first person throughout, giving it a more immediate sense to the story.
Other than that, this is a fast read, the chapters being super short, and the bulk of the novel is filled with sharp dialog. Enough goes on in the novel for the reader not to lose interest, and there were plenty of characters to meet. Best friend Annabel makes for a good sidekick when she's around. Supporting characters such as Quentin (boyfriend to the first murder victim and ex-lover to Lola), Leo (wanna-be boyfriend to Annabel), Doug (Lola’s nerdy husband), Lola’s supportive mother, and a mystery man who follows her around (whom Lola nicknames “Reader guy”) help add to the comedy. While I don't recommend this book to just anyone, I think readers who have enjoyed genre Harris satirizes here will appreciate the humor in Death by Chick Lit.