Click here to read reviewer Mary B. Stuart's take on If Looks Could Kill.
Real-life Cosmopolitan editor Kate White takes her fast-paced, glamorous and sometimes cutthroat experiences and infuses them into her first novel, If Looks Could Kill. In it, the nanny of Gloss magazine editor Cat Jones is found murdered, apparently having ingested poisoned chocolate truffles. In her time of despair, Cat calls upon crime reporter Bailey Weggins to investigate the circumstances surrounding the murder and to determine who would want to harm the caretaker of her child.
The reader becomes intimately involved in the investigation process as Bailey speaks with friends and acquaintances of the nanny, develops theories, discredits them, and tries to piece together all that has occurred. The investigation leads her through the murkiness of the publishing world and, of course, what murder mystery would be complete without the discovery of at least one extramarital affair to muddy the waters. Bailey soon comes to realization that the deceased nanny’s life may have had elements of glamour and adventure one would more likely expect from someone like Gloss editor Cat Jones.
Bailey’s search for answers takes an unexpected turn as she begins to suspect the intended target was Cat Jones and not her nanny. This revelation leads to a revamped suspect list that includes many A-listers in the publishing industry — and some new leads for Bailey to pursue. This change in direction also results in the delivery of mysterious messages to Bailey suggesting that she may be getting too close the truth and should back away for her own good.
This smart first novel is a quick read that allows the reader to theorize about the murder against the backdrop of the so-called glamorous world of magazine publishing. The book airs loads of dirty laundry that does not necessarily make someone a murderer, but does provide a few hours of solid entertainment.