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by Kate White
Warner Books, July 2005
384 pages
ISBN: 0446531766

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

The breezy tone and setting of OVER HER DEAD BODY covers a tightly-plotted, well-written mystery, the fourth in the Bailey Weggins series. Bailey is a crime writer, and the book starts with her sudden firing from Gloss magazine.

Soon she is picked up as a freelancer by Buzz, which specializes in glamour, glitz and gossip under the vicious but lucrative management of Mona Hodges. It's Bailey's job to write up minor, mundane celebrity misdemeanors like indecent exposure and slapping policemen -- until the night she comes to work to find a bleeding cleaning woman and Mona in death throes.

While the police are focusing on a recently fired Buzz staff member, Bailey investigates other possibilities for her article on the murder. There had been a high-profile party elsewhere in the building, a party that Mona attended just long enough to get into a shouting match. Then there were her odd meeting with the publisher and the mysterious telephone conference. What about her husband, who might not have been that devoted, or any of the many people she stepped on during her climb up the ladder?

It's a scoop to die for -- possibly literally. There's someone who doesn't want Bailey to finish this article.

The tone is pure chick lit, with names dropped regularly. There's plenty of gossip over celebrities real and fictional. Bailey even gets a torrid romance with a mysterious man, as a distraction from a workplace full of people who alternate between helping her along and stabbing her in the back. Anyone who likes a light cozy will enjoy OVER HER DEAD BODY.

So will anyone who likes a solid mystery, because underneath the fluff is a polished puzzle. So often cozies go for cute over smart; Kate White delivers both. The pacing is excellent, adding clues and believable red herrings throughout the story. Most importantly, I never guessed the solution. It's a rare book that can catch me that much by surprise.

Reviewed by Linnea Dodson, July 2005

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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