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If Looks Could Kill [Mass Market Paperback]

Kate White
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 2003
Meet Bailey Weggins, the thirty-something, single-again true crime writer for a leading Manhattan woman's magazine. Smart and savvy, she's got a sixth sense when it comes to seeing the truth in a story-especially if it's murder. Bailey's in bed with her commitment-challenged lover K.C. when she gets a frantic call from her high-maintenance boss at Gloss magazine. Grabbing coffee and a cab outside her Greenwich Village apartment-the consolation prize in her divorce settlement-Bailey reluctantly heads uptown. At Cat Jones's Upper East Side town house, she finds something that seriously clashes with the chic décor: the dead body of the family's line-in nanny.

As Bailey-unofficially-delves into the murdered girl's past, she finds no shortage of A-list suspects. But when a startling discovery suggests that Cat may have been the intended victim, Bailey is suddenly up to her bed head in high-profile investigation that's perfect fodder for a tabloid headline: Is someone trying to kill the editor's of women's magazines?

With the spotlight on New York's glitzy media world, Bailey interviews back-stabbing editors, straying husbands, and one sexy, six-feet two psychologist who could make her decide to kick K.C. to the curb. Sporting her pair of red slingbacks and armed with the investigative skills she's honed as a true crime reporter, she sets out on a search that takes her from Manhattan's exclusive Carnegie-Hill area-the nanny heartland of America-to the ritzy weekend estates of Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Bailey will need all her street smarts and some lightning-fast detective work to catch a killer who could end up deleting her name from the masthead for good.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

At first, it would seem to make sense for Parker Posey, the acclaimed actor who has played memorably ditzy dames in movies such as The Anniversary Party and Waiting for Guffman, to read Cosmopolitan magazine editor White's sexy new mystery novel. But White's heroine, Bailey Weggins, a 33-year-old true crime writer for Gloss magazine, is anything but a flake. She's a shrewd freelancer with a gift for catching the dark side of gender crime. And although Bailey is slightly frazzled from the Gotham dating wars, she's definitely not one of the walking wounded looking to Gloss (and its acerbic editor, Cat Jones) for life-changing advice. Posey's softness and Valley Girl intonations tend to defuse whatever strength White's story about a murdered nanny and a plot to knock off the editors of top women's magazines has to offer. Although the book has strong appeal, this production doesn't have enough oomph to captivate listeners.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When her young nanny dies of poisoned chocolates meant for her, magazine editor Cat Jones enlists the help of freelance crime writer Bailey Weggins. Bailey's not really an investigator, but she knows the procedure: scope out the crime scene, interrogate possible suspects (including Cat's attractive photographer husband), reconstruct the victim's last hours, consult with pals, etc. Bailey's attention soon turns toward Cat's conniving colleagues at the magazine and farther afield. A down-to-earth heroine, a sturdy story line, and breezy prose make this debut novel by the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine a pleasure.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A pedestrian mystery March 9 2004
By Larry
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Warner Books, 2002 $22.95 0-446-53023-9
This debut novel by COSMOPOLITAN editor in chief Kate White arrived in the bookstores with much advance buzz. I was afraid that the buzz would be based on who the author is rather than the actual merits of the book. Given the plethora of superb mystery novels being published by authors who are themselves not celebrities, as well as, the fact that this novel is merely ordinary, my fears are well realized.
Bailey Wiggins is a true crime writer who works for "Gloss" magazine one of the major woman's magazines. She is called one Sunday morning to Cat Jones' NYC apartment. Cat is the editor and chief of "Gloss". The problem is that Cat has gotten no response from her child's live in nanny, Heidi, who appears to be at home in her apartment but is not answering her phone or door. Bailey is asked to come over and investigate. Heidi is soon discovered dead-poisoned, apparently, by chocolates intended for Cat. The murder might be similar to the recent death of an editor at another magazine. Could there be a connection? Cat asks Bailey to investigate.
When a celebrity decides to write a mystery the question must arise as to why?
Perhaps it could be to attempt to explain what their life is like or to give an insider's view into a certain industry be it entertainment, politics, warfare, law etc. They might have a favorite agenda to push such as environmental or medical concerns. The hope is the individual will succeed in, not only pushing their agenda, but, in writing a solid and entertaining mystery. Kate White has managed to put together a competent book. Actually, it is quite good considering that writing fiction is not what she does for a living.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Amateur Sleuth Mystery Oct. 3 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Bailey Weggins is in bed with her so-called lover, when her boss, Cat Jones, from Gloss magazine, the magazine in which Bailey freelances about paranormal and mysterious happenings, calls with a frantic tone to her voice. Bailey rushes to Cat's aid, and the two of them soon find the body of Cat's nanny, dead in Cat's Upper East Side town house. Bailey begins doing some investigative research, and soon realizes that Cat was the intended victim of the murder. Now Bailey is searching high and low from Manhattan to Connecticut in search of the true murderer, when she realizes that the killer is now after her. Bailey now needs to stop the killer before she's the next victim of this vicious killing spree.
White has created a fantastic character in Bailey Weggins. She's lovable, enticing, and oh-so interesting. Her boss, Cat, is also someone who fans of IF LOOKS COULD KILL will learn to love, and viciously hate at the same time. A fun amateur sleuth mystery that every woman should keep on her bookshelf.
Erika Sorocco
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3.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you guessing... July 27 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Kate White's novel mixes sex, surprise, and mystery skillfully, but not with out a few mishaps along the way. The story follows an Amateur Investigation by a magazine reporter, Bailey Weggins, a 33 year old divorcee who is more then eager to help out her boss and semi-friend Cat Jones, magazine head honcho, check out the facts after Cat's 22 year old nanny Heidi dies.
There are a number of colorful characters throughout the novel, but I found at times both Kate White and Bailey were trying to hard to place them into labelled boxes, while the theories Bailey developed opened them up for far too much discussion. Read: The characters were a bit cliched at times, but for the most part enjoyable enough. Although Bailey's life is relatively interesting, you are only given glimpses of it as she forges through with her case.
The story itself is a very very detailed look at what a person goes through to get to the heart of the truth. In this case, Bailey has amazing skills and should really just be a detective, because even when she discusses other articles she is actually working on, you see the amount of detail and questioning she is up to. While some of the clues and details Bailey stumbles on are a bit far-fetched, and a lot of the leads end up dead (in a metaphorical sense only) the book is very intriguing and kept me wanting to read, mainly just to get it out of the way! Whether or not the killer is obvious, right under your nose, or if you are looking for hidden clues within the book, you'll have a good time reading it. The book does end somewhat abruptly in my opinion, and wraps up the conclusion extremely fast, but leaves the reader relatively satisifed in what the purpose of the book is: To see how BAILEY handles the case, not the police. I reccommend it as a good book to curl up with on a rainy day.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Light, yet simplistic July 12 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Bailey Weggins, a thirty-something freelance writer becomes involved in solving a murder when she discovers the body of her boss's nanny. The story unfolds like a usual mystery - the suspects are considered one by one, and Bailey follows a number of false leads before suddenly discovering the real killer at the end of the novel.
"If Looks Could Kill" was a quick, easy read. I loved that it was set in New York City, and it was very sexy at times. It was obvious to me that White had inside knowledge of the Fashion Industry herself - every character's outfit was described in lengthy detail, and that helped me form a detailed picture of each character in my mind's eye.
Unfortunately, I felt that the story dragged in places. Bailey followed one lead after another, but without any real depth or insight. Just one task after another, as if I was watching someone go through their daily routine - and it stirred up about that same level of excitement. The writing style was very simple. It was meant to be edgy at times, using slang and words someone young might utter, and I suppose it fit in with the New York theme. The entire tone of the novel was very light, even while it tackled such a heavy topic as murder.
As far as the characters go, I liked Landon best out of all of them, and I wish he had been given more depth as a character. Unfortunately, he only appeared in a couple of scenes. The same was true of Jack, who I also instantly liked. Oddly enough, I didn't quite take to any of the women, including Bailey herself. They all seemed aloof, whiny, and just slightly out of my grasp and understanding.
Bottom line: a light, entertaining read, but simplistic and predictable in the end.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nancy Drew for Grown-up Girls
IF LOOKS COULD KILL is a marvelous froth of a mystery, with a heroine who is the Nancy Drew of chick lit. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2003 by HeyJudy
2.0 out of 5 stars If You Must, Get if from the Library
If this is an example of a book from Kelly Ripka's list, I'm glad I've never thought to check it out. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A First Rate Buy!
A librarian:
I really liked the character of Bailey Weggins. She's funny, tough, brave and vulnerable in the way that most of us girls are. Read more
Published on Sept. 18 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars I have nothing nice to say
I wasn't going to write a review until I read what the others had written. But, I have to say that this book was SO boring. The end was so lame that I was mad when I read it. Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars Blahhhh...
I can only say blahh for this book. I was on chapter 6 and was so not inot this book but i had to find out who was the candy person gone bad... Read more
Published on July 13 2003 by Jennifer Zwicker
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!
I really loved this book. I will be honest, this is my first mystery book to read...EVER! And I couldn't have read a better first book then this one! Read more
Published on July 11 2003 by Erin Young
2.0 out of 5 stars Nancy Drew? Maybe because of the 3rd grade reading level?
I was intrigued by the hype--Bridget Jones/Sex and the City/Nancy Drew and figured this would be a good summer read. Read more
Published on July 7 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Summer Read
Kate White spins a tale that is a quick, fun summer read. The main character in this book truely leaves no stone unturned as she tries to help her boss find out who murdered the... Read more
Published on July 2 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Mystery Lite
I picked up Kate White's If Looks Could Kill during an impulse purchase at Kennedy Airport's bookshop. Glad I did! Read more
Published on June 30 2003 by CoffeeGurl
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