Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: So Pretty It Hurts

Summary: At long last, the New York Times bestselling author of The Sixes and the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan brings back the sassy crime writer turned amateur sleuth Bailey Weggins in an addictive story involving the mysterious death of a supermodel. 

Bailey Weggins, the Manhattan-based thirtysomething true-crime journalist, is in a good place. She's enjoying her regular gig at Buzz, a leading celebrity magazine, getting freelance work, and hoping her first book will garner attention. In the love department, she's finally back in the game with her recently-turned-exclusive boyfriend, Beau Regan. When Beau heads out of town one early December weekend, Bailey accepts an invitation from her office friend Jessie to a music mogul's house in the country, hoping for a fun, relaxing getaway. But a weird tension settles over the houseguests—a glamorous crowd that includes the famously thin supermodel Devon Barr. An impending snowstorm only adds to the unease. So when Devon's lifeless body is found in her bed, Bailey immediately suspects foul play: she can't stop thinking of the day before, when a frightened Devon shivered in the woods and pleaded, "I have to get out of here. . . . It's not safe for me." When Bailey starts to nose around, she finds herself a moving target—running closer to the truth and straight into danger. With her trademark irreverent wit, Bailey is a heroine who keeps us laughing while on the edge of our seats. New and longtime fans alike will devour this eagerly awaited mystery. -- Harper

I don't know that I'd say I'm a big fan of Kate White's, but I have enjoyed a few of her mysteries. Over the past few years, I've read her standalone novels, but when I heard that she had a new Bailey Weggins mystery
SO PRETTY IT HURTS, I thought it might be fun. This is the sixth (?) book in this series and I know I haven't read all of them, but I have read and enjoyed a few of them.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Bailey Weggins' books, Bailey is a crime writer who also solves murder mysteries in her free time. In SO PRETTY IT HURTS, Bailey is still working at Buzz, a celebrity magazine where she features celebrity crimes. She also is trying to figure out her love life since Bailey tends to have some issues with commitment. When Bailey goes away with her friend Jessie for a supposedly relaxing weekend at a music producer's house, she finds herself caught up in some major tension between the guests; and eventually a high profile model ends up dead.

SO PRETTY IT HURTS wasn't my favorite Kate White mystery, or even my favorite Bailey Weggins' book for that matter. I eventually enjoyed the mystery, but the first part of the novel (when Bailey was at the home in the country) didn't thrill me. I realized that the characters were all quirky and potential suspects, but their interactions with each other just seemed to border on the ridiculous. Maybe much of it was tongue-in-cheek, but I was glad when Bailey returned to New York City and the story became more of what I've come to like about this series.

Once Bailey decided that the model's eating disorder wasn't entirely to blame for her death, she became very determined to solve the murder. Bailey's like a pit bull when it comes to uncovering the truth and she found herself revisiting all of the individuals who were present at that disastrous weekend. She also discovered that the more she dug into the events surrounding the murder, the more her own life was at risk. To add even more complications to Bailey's life, she was also trying to come to terms with her feelings about her current boyfriend... and a past one.

I am definitely a fan of Bailey Weggins and her crime-solving abilities. She is smart and spunky, but she's also pretty funny with her snarky thoughts and comments. I appreciated that SO PRETTY IT HURTS not only focused on a well-developed mystery with some exciting twists, but that it also included a little of Bailey's personal life, and by that I mean her love life. I was entertained by the mystery, but I have to admit that I wasn't entirely surprised by who was responsible for the murder. What did surprise me, though, was the background story and the motive for the crime.

In addition to liking Bailey and the mystery, I appreciated that this book gave readers an inside view into the magazine industry (the author, Kate White is the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and no doubt knows her stuff!), as well as some interesting insight into eating disorders. And last, but certainly not least, I appreciated the humor in this novel. I found myself laughing quite a bit at Bailey and the situations she finds herself in.

Overall, I have to say that I liked SO PRETTY IT HURTS, but I didn't love it. Having said that, I think fans of the Bailey Weggins' series won't want to miss this installment. 

Thanks to the publisher for sending a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'm not familiar with this series, but it sounds like fun!

Serena said...

If I pick up this series, I'll have to definitely start at the beginning...I'm anal that way. LOL Sounds like it has some fun characters though.

bermudaonion said...

Wow, Kate White is one busy woman! I haven't tried her work but I have one of her books here.

Kristin said...

I remember when the first book came out in this series - If Looks Could Kill. Kate was out doing interviews and the like and I remember she said that she used to write down different things the people she worked with said - quotes, responses to questions, etc. Some of these ended up in her book and her co-workers, after reading the book, saw what they had said. After that, people learned to watch what they would say around her. I found that pretty funny.

I haven't read this one yet - waiting for it to come in at the library. I have only read the books in this series by Kate White - I haven't tried any of her other books.