If Looks Could Kill
Kate White
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Buy *If Looks Could Kill* online

If Looks Could Kill
Kate White
416 pages
September 2005
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Click here to read reviewer Lori West's take on If Looks Could Kill.

If Looks Could Kill is a nice little mystery reminiscent of the "Murder She Wrote" television series. Bailey Weggins is the detective, an amateur, who also writes crime stories for a Manhattan-based magazine called Gloss. Cat Jones is her appropriately bitchy boss, and is also the one who thrusts Bailey into the mystery.  It is Cat Jones' hired nanny who is discovered murdered, dead by chocolate (no, she didn't eat too much; the chocolate was laced with poison) and Cat immediately calls her crime writer to help figure out what exactly happened.

Curled Up With a Good BookBailey is in bed with her current boyfriend (OK, Angela L. never had a boyfriend on "Murder She Wrote," or at least was never in bed on screen with one, so If Looks Could Kill adds that spice to the mix) when the telephone rings. It's Cat, telling her Bailey almost hysterically that she believes her child's nanny is dead in her room. This telephone call is the one off-tone note in this book. It's a bit forced, and is clearly the author's way to get Cat and Bailey together as soon as possible. Why would a tough lady like Cat call almost hysterically based on nothing more than a hunch that the girl is dead? Better if the author had Cat already go into the room and see the body. She is certainly acting as if she did.

Replete with the "sense" that the girl is dead, Cat summons Bailey to come to her house and open the door and find out if her suspicions are true. And they are.  The young woman lies dead in her room, having thrown up all over the place. Apparently she ate something that disagreed with her.

Who killed her? Why? The responsibility to discover the answers to these questions is assigned to Bailey, just as forcefully as if Cat were assigning a new article to be written. Was it the nanny's boyfriend, or a secret lover who did her in? A startling discovery is shortly made, one that suggests that it was not the nanny who was the intended target for the poisoned chocolate, but rather Cat herself. Or is it just Cat? Is someone trying to kill the top editors of all women's magazines?

The author is the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine and does a good job of capturing the inner workings of putting a magazine together as well as giving us a sense of good old New York City. It's a rather loose (morally) life style being presented as Bailey consistently sleeps with her boyfriend (in hopes he really, really likes her) even while becoming enamored of another. Well, that's New York City I guess. Or maybe it's the life style of crime writers? (Angela L. stop blushing.)

There is some suspense here, and enough twists and turns in the plot to make this a really great read for that weekend up in the Hamptons or elsewhere. Nicely done and very entertaining. Bailey Weggins might be around a while.

© 2002 by Mary B. Stuart for Curled Up With a Good Book

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