If Looks Could Kill Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of If Looks Could Kill

Warner, May 2002, 22.95, 320 pp.
ISBN: 0446530239

Early Sunday morning in Manhattan, Gloss Magazine editor Cat Jones frantically calls her true-crime writer Bailey Weggins to drop all plans including sleeping with her boyfriend to get over to her town house because something is wrong with the nanny. Cat says that Heidi does not respond to her knocks on her apartment. Bailey tries to convince Cat that the woman is probably sleeping with some guy, but when Cat calls everyone leaps. Bailey grabs a cab and goes north to investigate where she finds a dead nanny.
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Apparently, someone placed poison in a box of Godiva chocolates that Heidi had taken from a party hosted by Cat. The editor wonders if Heidi was the intended victim? She insists that her true crime “reporter” investigate. Unable to persuade Cat to let the police do their job, Bailey begins making inquiries, but soon finds clues taking her from New York to the surrounding states.

IF LOOKS COULD KILL is an exciting journalistic investigative tale that is at its best when Cat is off stage. Bailey is fabulous as she makes the rounds trying to balance her personal life, her regular assignments (no relief), and her new task. Cat might have the ability to make the city's superheavyweights wear rubber underwear, but her whole reaction to the Heidi caper seems out of character as she acts more like a damsel in distress because she saw a mouse. Still the trip through the media circus from within, a strong who-done-it with plenty of red herrings, and a great “shoe slut” makes Kate White's mystery quite entertaining.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of If Looks Could Kill

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Kate White Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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