BODY TO DIE FOR.
AUTHOR - KATE WHITE
WARNER BOOKS HARDCOVERS @ $ 34.95 CAN.
BOOK REVIEW BY ALEX GRANT
Editor-In-Chief of "Cosmopolitan" monthly has written her
second mystery novel featuring her alter-ego "Bailey Weggins",
true-crime reporter and amateur sleuth at large.
And a thoroughly good soul who grates upon the nerves with her supposedly
winning combination of obstinacy and perkiness. This time around the
inquisitive Ms Weggins ( surely a name less dulcet in tone would be
hard to find, huh? ) is recovering from her lack-lustre love-life (
and of course a painful divorce from a gambling fool ) at a good friends
rural retreat in Massachusetts for the week-end. The Cedar Inn is also
a trendy Asian-themed spa and before you can say" Beijing"
she stumbles upon a very well wrapped corpse, a young female member
of staff tightly wound up in Mylar. Our Ms.Weggins offers to help her
gal-pal, the innkeeper Danielle "Danny" Hubner, newly married
to the unctuous, oily George who has no alibi for the night of the murder
of Anna Cole.
All the local men have had their eye on the deceased sexpot. George
appears to have developed a fixation on the lady. Of course the plot
thickens turgidly thereafter as Bailey confronts a handful of uncooperative
male members of staff and falls for the manly Detective Jeffrey Beck,
even though she has had one hot and heavy and lusty reunion with her
former lover Dr. Jack Herlihy, a Professor of Psychology. No one person
is what they seem; all are elusive and prevaricating in the quest to
get at the truth. Even the victims own sister cannot be trusted.
An earlier accidental death at the spa is revealed, the
father of the local tavern keeper in nearby Warren who is still agitated
over his Dads fatal heart-attack during a massage. And so it goes:big-city
sophisticate risks life and limb to expose the very last person that
you would suspect of murder.
No actual surprises here and a superficial superfluous thriller that
rarely convinces at more than the Harlequin/ "bodice-ripper"
level of lighter-than-air summer distraction. Sad to say our Ms. Weggins
just lacks that je ne sais quoi that distinguishes an indefatigable
and truly resourceful heroine in this demanding genre of escapist fiction.
© Alex Grant June 2003
all rights reserved