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by Kate White
Warner Books, May 2004
320 pages
ISBN: 0446531758

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Bailey Weggins is a contributing writer for Gloss magazine, but it's not her job that leads to mischief in this story. Instead, Bailey lands in trouble after serving as a bridesmaid for Peyton Cross, an old college roommate.

Peyton is emerging as a younger but equally sharp-tongued version of Martha Stewart complete with a catering service and a cooking school on her Greenwich, Connecticut, farm. Peyton is not a nice person, but she is a rich one due to her marriage to David Slavin. Between her bad temper and her money, it would seem that Peyton should be the target for murder. But it's her bridesmaids, not Peyton, who are being knocked off one by one.

The deaths of the first two women appear to be accidental. Still, the untimely demise of Robin and Jamie shakes Ashley Hanes, another of Peyton's bridesmaids. Ashley, a home decorator currently working for Peyton, asks Bailey to investigate. When told that Robin confided in Ashley that Jamie's death was somehow connected to Peyton's wedding, Bailey decides to look into the matter, more as a matter of self-preservation than anything else. After all, having been a bridesmaid herself, Bailey may also be on the killer's list.

Jack Herlihy, Bailey's current heart-throb and a psychology professor at Georgetown University, visits only on the weekends when he can fly into New York to be with Bailey. His over-the-phone advice to Bailey is to relax and not worry about the two deaths. It's probably only a coincidence that the two women died only weeks apart, says Jack.

But when Ashley is found sprawled on the floor of a silo on Peyton's farm, the apparent victim of a fall, Bailey becomes convinced that the deaths of the former bridesmaids are connected. Jamie was electrocuted when her CD player fell into the bathtub, and Robin, who was taking antidepressants, died when something she ate reacted with her medication. But Robin was extremely careful with her food, and Jamie was too smart to fool around with electrical devices while bathing. And Ashley was much too afraid of the 'bridesmaid curse' to lean over a waist-high railing on a narrow silo staircase.

After finding wedding pictures given to Robin by Jamie before her death, Bailey interviews first Peyton, then Peyton's husband David, her cousin Phillipa, and her executive director, Mary. She also tracks down Robin's food counselor, Jamie's ex-husband Brace, and David's business partner, Trip. Bailey's conclusions are disturbing, as is her gradually disintegrating relationship with Jack Herlihy.

There's no time to catch your breath in this latest page-turner by Kate White. The action starts with the very first paragraph, and after that, it's off to the races with likable sleuth Bailey Weggins and her not-so-likable ex-roommate, Peyton Cross. While the clues are laid out fair and square, White keeps you guessing 'til the end. This is a great addition to a fine series.

Reviewed by Mary V. Welk, June 2004

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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