Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Crossing Genres: Meet Bailey Weggins

As you know, I’m a real sucker for a mystery/romance combination, and Kate White’s Bailey Weggins novels fit the bill. Bailey is a thirtyish, recently divorced true crime writer who lives in Manhattan and works for a high profile women’s magazine. Her ex-husband, the rat, had a rather serious gambling problem, the fact of which totally blindsided her. Given that she’s a crime reporter, her cluelessness made her feel pretty stupid as well. But Bailey forges onward, both in dating and detecting, and her adventures make for some really fun reading. Author Kate White is editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, and her knowledge of the industry makes her portrayal of Bailey’s work life both vivid and interesting. White also does an admirable job of conveying the atmosphere of New York City without sounding like a travel guide.
I’ve enjoyed pounding the pavement along with Bailey as she investigates, flirts, shops, and solves crimes through five different books. I read them (mostly) in order, but each one is enjoyable on its own. Synopses below; pick out one or all for a little armchair travel and adventure!

If Looks Could Kill: Cat Jones, Bailey’s editor at Gloss, calls early one morning in a panic – her nanny is missing and she fears foul play. Bailey leaves her bed -- and the cute boy in it – to help Cat. She expects to find a tempest in a teapot, and instead finds a dead body and a possible plot to kill her old friend and current boss. Traveling from city townhouses to country getaways, Bailey interviews nannies, philandering husbands, back stabbing magazine employees, and a sexy psychologist while hunting down a cunning killer.

A Body to Die For: Bailey heads out of town for some much needed rest and relaxation at an inn and spa owned by a family friend. Unfortunately, murder is not far behind, and Bailey is once again hot on the trail of a killer. With her handsome psychologist back in Manhattan, and a sexy homicide detective at the inn, Bailey has her hands full juggling men and mysteries.

Til Death Do Us Part: The life of a domestic diva is not all sunshine and radish roses, as Bailey discovers when she comes to the aid of a friend. It seems that members of the bridal party for a rising food and entertaining star are starting to die under suspicious circumstances. The really bad news is that Bailey was a bridesmaid and doesn’t want to end up dying for the honor. She braves the New England winter to investigate the nefarious goings-on in Greenwich and hunts down a killer who is both well dressed and well versed in the art of arranging convenient freak accidents.

Over Her Dead Body: Everyone thinks their job will be the death of them some days, but when Bailey starts a new gig at the celebrity gossip magazine Buzz, she finds out that sometimes work can kill you. Only a few days into her job, she finds the bludgeoned body of her much reviled editor while leaving the office one night. She soon finds that there are more people who wanted the woman dead than one intrepid true crime reporter can count. Her investigation takes her all over the city and out to the Hamptons, and introduces her to Beau Regan, a hot film producer that Bailey thinks she might just want to marry someday – that is, if she lives through the investigation.

Lethally Blond: Bailey gets a behind the scenes look at the hot new TV show Morgue when a former flame asks her to investigate the disappearance of a friend. Next thing you know, Bailey finds herself juggling the attentions of two handsome men and a crazed stalker. When the missing person becomes a murder victim, the stakes go up, and she races to find the killer before she ends up in the morgue for real.

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