If Nancy Drew were a real girl, she would have grown up to be the heroine of Kate White's current summer beach mystery A Body to Die For, reincarnated as the irreverent Bailey Weggins, a hip sleuth who wise cracks through her adventures. A freelance writer for Gloss Magazine, Bailey has the overactive imagination required for success in the magazine publishing business and the stamina to go with it.
Always on the lookout for unusual stories, this au courant young New Yorker is sophisticated enough to have the right contacts, but still as enthusiastic and romantically flexible to fit in like the girl-next-door. Bailey's particular niche is true crime; she's intrigued by people who lurch off the beaten path into deviant behavior, occasionally homicide. Always enthusiastic, Bailey allows her curiosity to overrule common sense as, without sufficient foresight but well-meaning, she blunders into awkward situations. Bailey plunges ahead, undaunted.
On the rebound from a broken romance, Bailey visits the Cedar Creek Inn, owned by a longtime friend of her mother's. Ostensibly reestablishing old ties, Bailey is also checking up on Danny and her new husband, because her mother intuits that something is amiss. Bailey's mother is right, of course, and within hours, Bailey stumbles across a young woman murdered in the Cedar Creek spa. The body is tightly wrapped in Mylar and secured with the ubiquitous duct tape.
Like a young Sue Graftonesque-P.I. but without a license, Bailey's sleuthing is amateur but well-intentioned and surprisingly successful. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the homicide detective attached to the case is devastatingly handsome. Meanwhile Bailey uncovers facts and motives that invariably put her in the wrong places at the wrong times, like face to face with a murderer. Her researching skills work so well that Bailey learns just enough to keep herself in trouble.
White's novel is "mystery lite": perfect for a few hours of deserved escapism, meant to entertain rather than disturb. White knows her demographic and, with cheerful abandon, plummets Bailey Weggins into the middle of a mystery made to order for the intrepid young journalist's fans.