Cosmopolitan editor Kate White has put her main character Bailey Weggins through a lot in her three previous books. As a freelance crime reporter for Gloss, Bailey has been put in some sticky—and dangerous—situations, many times barely escaping with her life. In White’s newest Weggins mystery, Over Her Dead Body, Bailey is up against a whole new set of challenges. Not only is Bailey trying to recover from a recent breakup, but she also has discovered that her employment with Gloss is coming to an end. In need of a new job, Bailey finds her way to Buzz magazine, a celebrity gossip weekly that wants to add celebrity crime reporting to their repertoire. The only problem is that the boss at Buzz—Mona Hodges—is a tyrannical despot who makes everyone she works with miserable. Bailey doesn’t have to deal with her behavior for long, though. One night when she visits the office after hours to pick up some papers, she finds Mona bludgeoned to death in her office.
Scared for her safety and driven to find the killer (not only for herself, but also because she’s been given the job of writing up Mona’s murder for the magazine), Bailey begins interviewing the staff at Buzz and anyone else who might have a motive for murder. These suspects include the hot singer of the moment, a reality star who Mona dubbed “Fat Chance” due to her weight problems, and one of Bailey’s friends who Mona recently fired. As if she didn’t have enough on her plate, a new man enters Bailey’s life shortly after Mona’s murder and does a pretty good job of distracting her from the task at hand. Will she be able to discover the murderer’s identity before the next issue hits—and before she herself becomes a target?
White has come up with a winning formula with her Bailey Weggins’ mysteries. Bailey is feisty and just flawed enough to allow readers to put themselves in her shoes. The mysteries are full of red herrings, twists and turns, and it is nearly impossible to guess who the culprit is until the last few pages when Bailey herself discovers it. Unfortunately, White’s mysteries may be becoming too formulaic, and this shows up in Over Her Dead Body. Sometimes it feels like Bailey is just going through the motions, and it gets a bit stale. To make matters worse, White has an annoying tendency to recap everything that has happened every few pages with a paragraph or more of Bailey asking herself questions about the case. Either White is trying to pad the length of her book a little or she assumes the reader isn’t smart enough to follow the twists and turns without constant reminders of what’s going on.
However, even with these issues, Over Her Dead Body is an enjoyable mystery and those who have followed Bailey’s adventures so far will want to keep up by picking up White’s newest novel.