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Cannonball Read III: A Body to Die for by Kate White

By TWoP Fan | Books | February 21, 2011 |

By TWoP Fan | Books | February 21, 2011 |

Kate White, who is the editor-in-chief of Cosmo, writes a series of ‘cozies’ (chick-lit mysteries) about Bailey Weggins, an amateur sleuth who works in the magazine business. A Body to Die For is the second in the series, but in this style of series, it doesn’t really matter where you start. There’s always a few identifying paragraphs to get you up to speed.

Bailey works for Gloss magazine, a Cosmo knock-off. She’s a freelancer, with what sounds like an amazing contract. She also stumbles across dead bodies. A lot. Enough to where you think people would be a little concerned. Since Bailey is a true crime writer (of course she is), she obviously needs to investigate the murders she comes across, because it’s not like we have people who are trained to do that very thing. Oh, wait.

She basically gets in the way, pisses people off, snoops in places she shouldn’t and jumps to conclusions constantly. Normally this would be too much to take in a series, but Kate White’s writing sells it. Yeah, Bailey is forceful and not nearly as clever as she gives herself credit for, but she’s also witty, sarcastic and fun. She’s an interesting person and she does interesting things. The secondary characters are never fully fleshed out, but serve as set pieces to set up Bailey’s next move, like many other serials. However, a few characters move through the series with her, her boss at Gloss, Cat Jones, who is delightfully bitchy and her neighbor Landon, who is a delightfully spry gay man who cooks a mean dinner.

This mystery brings Bailey to the spa owned by a family friend. After Bailey arrives, a masseuse is murdered. Naturally. Bailey stays on at the spa to try and help figure out what’s happening, so the business doesn’t go under. The mystery isn’t anything overly clever and the writer is clearly going for the twist ending that isn’t so much of a twist as an ending that comes out of no where and makes no sense. Fortunately, Bailey’s just cool enough that you’re glad she doesn’t die and it sets up enough of an end to make the next one look appealing as well.

Rating: Good for a beach read or a stormy night. It’s not Dickens, but it’s not Twilight, either.

For more of TWoP Fan’s reviews, check out her blog, My Life. Medication Optional.

This review is part of Cannonball Read III. For more information, click here.

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