Before our honeymoon, I hit up Half Price Books to stock up on some cheap, light reads, perfect for the Hawaiian beaches. I ended up picking up If Looks Could Kill by Kate White. It was an author I hadn’t heard of, but from the blurb on the back cover, I thought it would meet the requirements I was looking for in a good honeymoon read. One of about seven novels I read that week, this one did not disappoint. It happens to be the first in a series of mysteries about the same character: Bailey Weggins.
Bailey Weggins is a true-crime writer for a women’s fashion magazine. She becomes wrapped in up some amateur detective work when he high-profile boss’s nanny is found dead in the town house basement. The story is ripe with murder, sex, fashion, suspense, catty women, and everything that makes a perfect summertime read.
Impressed with my first Kate White experience, I did some research to see what else she’d written. In my research, I discovered that Kate White is actually the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine. (I knew her name sounded familiar!) She’s actually written six Bailey Weggins novels, two stand-alone thrillers, and a career book entitled Why Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead… But Gutsy Girls Do. So, to sum up, Kate White manages to run what is arguably the sexiest, most well-known women’s magazine, publish at least one novel each year, and be a mom to two children. (Talk about “the seemingly impossible“!)
My next Kate White novels were A Body to Die For, Over Her Dead Body, and ‘Til Death Do Us Part–all members of the Bailey Weggins series. Over spring break, I broke out and read one of her other novels, Hush. I enjoyed reading about a new character, although I found the plotline to be very similar to a Bailey novel. Although her novels all follow the same basic pattern, which leads them to being fairly predictable, the characters are relatable, and the story details are different enough that I still find myself captivated. Kate always manages to capture her reader in the first few pages. The story gets moving quickly, and there’s little tip-toeing around with introductions, setting the scene, etc. at the beginning. Instead, you get to know the characters’ back stories through their interactions with each other, and the ties they make through their discoveries about the crime.
Now I’ve just finished listening to The Sixes, and was pleased to see Kate break the mold a little bit on this one by changing the setting from the city to a small college town.
Kate follows the advice of “writing about what you know”, as her characters write for fashion magazines, are celebrity novelists, or work in public relations. I have yet to find a novel by White about a first-grade teacher in the Midwest, yet I still find the characters relatable in their life experiences and inner dialogue.
I am running to the end of my Kate White reading list, and plan to save Lethally Blond and So Pretty It Hurts for pool time this summer. It’s fun to have found an author I really enjoy all on my own, and I look forward to reading anything Kate White publishes in the future! (I’m also thinking about picking up my Cosmo subscription again. My own modesty led me not to renew it last time, as I found myself quickly turning pages at the gym to avoid embarrassment when other exercisers glanced at my reading material.)
Do you have an author that you can count on for writing enjoyable novels, or whose publications you always look forward to? What authors have you discovered recently?