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IF LOOKS COULD KILL by Kate White

IF LOOKS COULD KILL

By Kate White

Pub Date: May 3rd, 2002
ISBN: 0-446-53023-9

Hoping the investment banker she took to bed Saturday night will still be around the next day, true-crime writer Bailey Weggins leaves her plans for Sunday open—a lucky thing, because Cat Jones, her editor-in-chief at Gloss, phones her first thing in the morning, alarmed when her live-in nanny doesn’t answer the door. She’s dead, of course, though Cat, a Tina Brown look-alike whose sassy stewardship of Gloss has strong men quaking, can’t bring herself to look into that room alone. It turns out that Heidi, a character so insignificant she hasn’t been given a last name, was poisoned by some Godiva chocolates she filched from an editorial party at Cat’s a few nights ago. Does that mean that the intended victim was really Cat, or that the killer didn’t even care who died? To soothe her boss’s frazzled nerves, Bailey agrees to look into the murder and is soon up to her armpits in sitcom types: the bulldog managing editor, the gay neighbor/confidant, the frosty ex-chief who can’t believe what Cat has done to Gloss. In prose by turns brightly catty and wide-eyed (she helpfully describes East Hampton as a “very chic and expensive beach community”), Bailey spins theory after theory on one of the genre’s hoariest clichés—the errant poisoned chocolates dating back to 1925—while negotiating among some of the Big Apple’s biggest egos.

Whatever you think of this first glossy foray into fiction for Cosmopolitan editor White (Why Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead But Gutsy Girls Do, not reviewed), you’re unlikely to agree that it’s “freakin’ Kafkaesque.”