Dieting can be murder, as a freelance writer finds out at the health resort from hell.
Her neighbor Lance, who owes Jaine Austen (Killing Bridezilla, 2008, etc.) big time, springs for a stay for both the ad copywriter and her cat Prozac at The Haven, a fancy-schmancy spa up the Central Coast from their L.A. home. Slightly less fancy and definitely less schmancy than advertised, The Haven offers threadbare towels and even sparser provisions. Nine hundred calories a day leave the inner woman screaming for sustenance, and spa owner and diet Nazi Olga, who knows all the tricks, confiscates Jaine’s stash of turkey-on-rye at the door. But worse than the cuisine is the company, from nonstop talker Cathy Kane, who saved up for years to afford this week of torture, to spoiled star Mallory Francis, who specializes in pushing Olga’s buttons. Even Mallory’s unhappy entourage—her sister Kendra, hairstylist Harvy [sic], former costar Clint Masters and ill-tempered Pekingese Armani—give Jaine the willies. Fortunately, someone puts a stop to Mallory’s endless requests for really fresh mangoes with a lethal seaweed wrap. Unfortunately, Mallory’s murder means that everyone has to stay put until the police solve the case. Not wanting to live on celery fizz or keep paying shifty chambermaid Delphine 30 bucks a pop for pastrami sandwiches forever, Jaine puts her sleuthing skills to work to find a killer before her appetite kills her.
Levine offers a full menu of clues for the detection-starved reader. But couldn’t wordsmith Jaine find some slicker means of interrogation than confronting her suspects with reasons for thinking they done it?