In a profession in which being thin helps a TV reporter move up the promotional ladder, plus-sized reporter Kate Gallagher has stalled at Channel twelve in Durham, North Carolina. Her editor has given her a five part assignment dealing with diets and related scams. In one of those spots, she has to appear on TV in a bikini which leaves her nervous. She goes for emotional support to the Newbodies female buddy group where she meets her friend Jana whom she has not seen in two years.
Jana informs Kate that's she is divorcing her husband because he is cheating on her. A couple of days later, Jane's auto is car-jacked and she is shot in the head; she saves her daughter's life by pushing her out of the car when the gangbanger first entered her vehicle. The police arrest Antoine Hurley nd Jane's daughter picks him out of a line-up. After some investigating, Kate thinks the wrong person is in prison; when she starts sleuthing the pieces of the puzzle being to merge, but what she is seeing is a massacre is about to occur that she prays she can prevent.
If her profession didn't emphasize slim, Kate would be more comfortable with her size. She understands the TV camera makes her seem bigger and that society prefers trim people; something she is not and never will be. Ironically readers will admire her for her courage and strength of conviction chasing a news story; while if series fans seen her on TV, we probably wonder how she made it as few plus size women do (Candy Crowley aside). The story line is fast-paced though it turns into a plot that seems over the top of Cameron Arena, but the key to this Fat City Mystery and its fine predecessors (see DYING THIN and A KILLER WORKOUT) is the wonderful heroine who is overall contented in life but has some self-esteem issues.
Some spoilers. I liked the previous Fat City mystery of Lilley's, A Killer Workout, quite a bit, and while this one is fun, I felt like it missed the mark a bit, winning in the romantic drama department but falling short a little in the mystery department. In this latest episode, plus-sized reporter Kate Gallagher is struggling with an upcoming assignment that'll have her I n a bikini as well as looking into the suspicious death of her friend Jana. Her personal ties to the case make this even more fraught with tension.
Meanwhile, her policeman boyfriend Jonathan is back home in England for longer than expected and comes back with a surprise: he's been cheating on her. Their dramatic clash is a real hell-raiser and thankfully, in the course of pursuing the murder, Kate meets a man who woos her with compliments.
This mystery certainly kept me guessing but I was disappointed in its culmination, not really buying the convoluted ending. I wanted to, and will keep reading Lilley's mysteries, but this one seemed abrupt and far-fetched.
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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I really enjoy this series. The 'who did it' is almost always a surprise to me. The view from a reporters perspective is fun and believable. She has reason to be investigating. I love cozies, but they are really unbelievable in the involvement of the store owners, librarians and caterers. yes, fun, but a real stretch that I enjoy. The plus size of the reporter is also a positive. Her confidence, struggles and boyfriends are great.