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If Looks Could Kill Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bridget Jones meets Nancy Drew in Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief White's impressive debut novel, which provides plenty of New York glamour and glitz, besides a smart, sexy heroine and a cleverly constructed murder mystery. When Cat Jones, editor of Gloss magazine, calls, employees jump. And when she calls freelancer Bailey Weggins on a Sunday morning with a frantic plea for assistance in a personal matter, Bailey responds quickly. Cat has found her live-in nanny, Heidi, dead. When it turns out that Heidi was poisoned, Cat freaks out and insists that Bailey, whose specialty is true-crime reporting, help her discover who's done it. Though Heidi was the victim, Cat may well have been the intended victim. Either way, there are plenty of suspects among the guests who attended Cat's party the night before. The Gloss media world offers plenty of sex, greed, money and cutthroat maneuvering and few reliable friendships. Bailey navigates this universe with pluck, luck and savvy, and emerges as a viable candidate for rookie sleuth of the year. Bailey not only plays detective but also manages to juggle her freelance assignments and her rocky romantic entanglements in entertaining fashion. Best of all, on top of the dead-on depiction of the media world she knows so well, White keeps both sleuth and reader guessing until she's ready to rip away the blinders and reveal the clues hidden among the school of (red) herring.
Copyright 2002 Cahners 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.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vision (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044661257X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446612579
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,135,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate White is the New York Times bestselling author of ten works of fiction--six Bailey Weggins mysteries (including So Pretty It Hurts and If Looks Could Kill), and four suspense novels: Eyes on You, The Sixes, Hush, and the upcoming The Wrong Man (June 2015). She is also the editor of The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook, which will be published in March of this year.

You can get monthly updates from Kate by signing up for her newsletter on her website http://katewhite.com/

Kate's writer's eye has been described by the New York Times as "scathingly observant." The Los Angeles Times says of Kate's work: "It's like devouring a box of chocolates!" Publisher's Weekly recent review of her most recent book, Eyes on You, called it "timely and engaging," adding that "it's [White's] devious mind that puts the thrill in this thriller." Her books have been published in 18 countries. Romantic Times said: "The surprise begins almost instantaneously. Not only is the lead character immensely relatable, but the mystery surrounding whoever is trying to sabotage her holds up until the very end and the culprit is a complete surprise."

For 14 years, Kate was the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, taking it to number one on newsstands and keeping it there. Though she loved the job (and the Cosmo beauty closet!), she decided to leave in late 2013 to work full time as an author, a long-time dream of hers.

Like many mystery writers, Kate fell in love with the genre after reading her first Nancy Drew book, The Secret of Redgate Farm, and she still admires those cliffhanger endings created by "Carolyn Keene."

She is married and the mother of two children. She once had her young daughter stalk her through the woods so she could better describe the sounds of someone being followed.

Kate is also the author of several hugely popular career books, including I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve, and Why Good Girls Don't Get Ahead but Gutsy Girls Do.

Find out more about her suspense novels on katewhite.com and her career books on katewhitespeaks.com, where she offers career advice through KateTV.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Baird VINE VOICE on May 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was sort of hesitant to read this one but I couldn't help my curiosity. I'm glad that I read it because it is a nice guilty pleasure. I've been a fan of Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton for a while now and what I really like about this book is that it combines the best of those two lead characters (Stephanie Plum and Kinsy Millhone respectively) into the fun but serious Bailey Weggins. She is easy to like and her life is not so outrageous as to be unbelievable. It would be very easy to follow her exploits further, so I hope that the fact that the cover advertises If Looks Could Kill as 'a Bailey Weggins mystery' means that there is more to come. As for the writing Kate White does a masterful job plotting out her mystery, leading you in many directions without confusing you and throwing in just the right amount of twists. My one complaint would be that the ending seems to happen pretty quickly, but that hardly takes away from the book and actually leaves you interested in what happens next. All in all this was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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51 of 59 people found the following review helpful By TheReader23 on May 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I'd be the first to admit that I truly enjoy reading books along with a group. When Oprah announced the possible end of her six-year book club, it was a sad day for me. The sadness, however, was replaced with joy as other TV shows and newspapers jumped on the bandwagon and started their own book clubs. While Regis jokes that Kelly's book club could be better known as "beach trash reading," this statement couldn't be further from the truth with Ripa's first pick. Prior to this, I had never heard of Kate White and this is one of the reasons I love book groups....you get introduced to authors whose books you might not have picked out on your own. I'm happy to report that White's book is informative, enjoyable and an overall excellent "who done it." I read about fifty books in the mystery/thriller genre each year and I must admit that she had me guessing until the very end.
IF LOOKS COULD KILL is set in Manhattan where the main characters work together at "Gloss Magazine." The author gives the reader a great inside look at both the magazine as well as the fashion industry. Her characters navigate different parts of the city from Greenwich Village to Tribeca to Chelsea to Central Park West in search of their stories and photo shoots. I particularly loved her descriptions not only of the locales but of the outfits worn by her characters as well. It was like being in a Sex And The City episode but, instead of following Carrie Bradshaw around, we get to tag along with Bailey Weggins, the crime story journalist for "Gloss. Since she writes about crime, her boss Cat Jones thinks she'll be perfect for trying to solve the mystery of "who killed Cat's nanny" and remove some of Cat's fears that she, herself, was really the intended victim.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was moderately disappointed in this book.
I found it to be a fairly standard modern murder mystery, a la Mary Higgins Clark. While the writing was solid, it was one-dimensional and the story and characters were generally bland. From the hype, protagonist Bailey is characterized as "smart, sexy and gutsy," and I really didn't notice her being anything other than plain and normal; if she was meant to be a Stephanie Plum rip off, the author should go read more Janet Evanovich. Mystery-wise, the killer was always on my short list of suspects, so I had no "so THAT's who did it!" epiphany like I did from Neil Gaiman's American Gods (which is an excellent book even though the mystery is only a very small sub-plot).
What annoyed me the most about the book, though, was the over-use of slang phrases. It seemed like the author was including slang specifically to appeal to a "younger" audience, yet it ended up just breaking my concentration.
Over all, this isn't a bad book. Just nothing spectacular, and something I'd recommend only if you're really bored and in the mood for a plain mystery.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cat Jones, editor-in-chief of the Cosmo-esque Gloss magazine, goes to confront her nanny early one Sunday morning, and when she doesn't get a response to the live in apartment, who does she call? No, not the police, or her husband. Cat calls Bailey Weggins, friend and freelance crime journalist at Gloss magazine.
When Bailey enters the nanny's apartment, she finds the 22-year old nanny dead. And Cat, always the editor-in-chief, assigns Baily to mirror the police investigation and determine what is going on.
When I read the pre-releases for IF LOOKS COULD KILL ("Bridget Jones Meets Nancy Drew") I thought it sounded like a fun book. I've enjoyed good mysteries (such as THE ALPHABET MYSTERY SERIES by Sue Grafton) and I liked THE NANNY DIARIES, so I thought a marriage between the two would be fun.
Unfortunately, we get a fairly standard mystery, and somewhat pedestrian plotting.
Bailey Weggins is supposed to be observant, beseeched by her friend Cat to involve herself in this mystery because of her unique way of looking at things. Mostly, Bailey looks at clothes. Every character is first described by what they're wearing.
Bailey is also into good food. Each chapter has her hankering after a good penne putenesca or a fine rissoto. I almost expect for the recipes and restaurant reviews to be included as an appendix.
Also, the motivations of the main characters here are somewhat forced. Why does Cat choose Bailey, of all people, to help her out with this? When Bailey senses herself in danger, why doesn't she just beg off somehow?
All in all, this was a disappointing entry into what will probably turn out to be a fairly average mystery series.
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