Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Mystery Book Review: Dying to Be Thin by Kathryn Lilley

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of Dying to Be Thin by Kathryn Lilley. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Dying to Be Thin by Kathryn LilleyBuy from
Dying to Be Thin by
A Fat City Mystery with Kate Gallagher

Signet (Mass market paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-451-22240-7 (0451222407)
ISBN-13: 978-0-451-22040-4 (9780451222404)
Publication Date: October 2007
List Price: $6.99

Synopsis (from the publisher): In just a week, plus-sized TV producer Kate Gallagher has been laid off because of her weight and dumped by her boyfriend. So she enrolls in a weight loss clinic in Durham, . Soon, Kate's ready to sell her soul for some sweets. But when a diet guru turns up dead with fondue forks where his eyes were, Kate loses her appetite-and has a breaking story on her hands ...

Review: Overweight television producer Kate Gallagher, laid off by her station and jilted by her boyfriend, heads to Durham North Carolina, the "Diet Capital of the World", in Kathryn Lilley's debut mystery in this series, Dying to Be Thin.

Kate has been promised a job at Durham's Channel 12 as a news specialist, reporting on a weight loss program and her success in it. Assuming, that is, she succeeds. The spa she chooses is run by Dr. Victor Hoffman who promotes fresh fruit and exercise as part of his diet regimen. On her second day there, she and another dieter are off for a brisk early morning walk when they come across the dead body of Dr. Hoffman, a fondue fork jammed into each eye. Her new boss at the station immediately knows a good story when he hears one, and asks Kate to act as an on-the-scene investigative reporter. When Hoffman's personal assistant is found dead shortly thereafter, Kate discovers that the more learns about the spa, the bigger target she is to the killer.

There is so much going on in Dying to Be Thin that it's easy to forget that this is a murder mystery. The obligatory love interest is (no surprise) the detective investigating the murder, Lt. Reed, who advises Kate to (no surprise) leave police work to the professionals. There's also the distinguished, older gentlemen, the spa's attorney Lou Bettinger, who takes a personal interest in her. It's a bit disingenuous, however, to initially portray Kate as an overweight outcast yet have her appear almost svelte in comparison to the "obese" women at the spa.

Dying to Be Thin is a pleasant enough mystery, though there is little in the way of originality or excitement. The guidelines on eating habits that open each chapter, on the other hand, are well worth taking note of.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of for contributing her review of Dying to Be Thin and to Breakthrough Promotions for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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