Kate White,
A Body to Die For
(Time Warner, 2003)

Bailey Weggins, a freelance reporter first introduced in If Looks Could Kill by Kate White, is back for another murder-mystery. But this time, the audiobook is worth listening to. Where the first story failed on many levels (as you can read about in that review by clicking on the link above), Kate's sophomore outing with Bailey not only corrected all those issues, but created one of the better audio-tales I've heard in several months!

Bailey writes true-crime stories for Gloss magazine. In her first adventure, she figured out who killed the nanny for Cat's (her boss at Gloss as well as long-time friend) child. In A Body to Die For, deciding she needs a break, Bailey leaves the city and heads to the Cedar Inn, a spa owned by an old family friend. Perhaps a weekend of total pampering is just what she needs.

Unfortunately, death seems to have taken a liking to Bailey -- or at least those around her. She isn't at the spa for more than a couple hours when she is among the first to discover a body wrapped up like a mummy in one of the treatment rooms. So much for a little R&R! Little miss detective wanna-be feels it is her duty to help yet another friend figure out who done it.

In her first adventure, Bailey had a party full of suspects to whittle down. Now she has a spa-full. Could it be one of the employees at the spa? What about her friend's second husband? There is something about him. Perhaps it is one of the guests. Solving a murder sure would be easier if one wasn't distracted by a sort-of boyfriend back home and the fact that the local homicide detective assigned to this case makes her weak in the knees every time Bailey sees him.

Where A Body to Die For truly outshines its predecessor is with the narrator. Kate Walsh, perhaps better known as Niki Fifer (Drew's girlfriend) on The Drew Carey Show, is as great a storyteller as Parker Posey was not in the first audiobook. Kate actually breathes some life into the character of Bailey. She also is convincing as she reads for various other characters whether the character is a young teenager, a middle-aged fat man or an older lady.

The author, Kate White, has her own website -- www.katewhite.com -- if you would like to learn a little bit more about Bailey. Kate is busy as editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine. However, she still finds time to write about Bailey whose next adventure will feature (surprise!) a murder-mystery that revolves around a friend. This time, her friend is a bride whose bridesmaids mysteriously keep dropping dead. (Perhaps these are all suicides prompted by having to be seen in an ugly dress).

The audiobook, A Body to Die For, is an entertaining murder-mystery. Unlike If Looks Could Kill, the listener will not be caught offguard on side B of the last tape when the murderer is revealed. If you listen carefully, you will hear the clues throughout the tale. While you might want to listen to the first audiobook if you would like to know more about the main character, that is not a must. A Body to Die For can stand on its own. Personally, if you are into this genre, I would recommend this particular Bailey Weggins murder-mystery.

- Rambles
written by Wil Owen
published 6 March 2004

Buy it from Amazon.com.