You may know Kate White as the wildly successful editor-and-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine. For fourteen years she sat at the helm of this behemoth of a women’s magazine. In 2012, at the top of her game, White passed the torch having increased monthly circulation by 700,000 readers and reached a pinnacle of over three million readers worldwide — the highest in the magazine’s history.
You may also know Kate White as a bestselling author. White has written four non-fiction books filled with advice for women looking to get ahead in their careers, as well as four stand-alone thrillers. My favorite of the thrillers is a book called The Sixes, a murder-mystery involving a secret society at a quiet Pennsylvania college. (If you’re in between episodes of Fox TV’s Scream Queens, and craving some spine-tingling campus intrigue, this is the book for you.)
But today we are here to discuss White’s excellent “Bailey Weggins” detective series. Publishers Weekly describes the character of Weggins as “Bridget Jones meets Nancy Drew.” Smart, savvy, and single she has a knack for getting involved in murder mysteries. A writer of true-crime stories for a leading women’s magazine in Manhattan, she is a bit like White herself.
Here are the first three books in the series. All are available at the Cedar Rapids Public Library.
If Looks Could Kill: A young nanny has died in the Upper East Side home of Bailey Weggins’ boss, and editor of Gloss magazine, Cat Jones. It appears to be death by poisoned-chocolates, but were the chocolates left there for the nanny or someone else? Bailey sharpens her number two pencils, pulls out her notepad, and gets to work investigating the crime.
A Body to Die For: The Cedar Inn, a spa in rural Massachusetts, is the setting for the second Weggins caper. Bailey is looking forward to a weekend of rest and relaxation, but the pampering comes to a screeching halt with the discovery of a corpse. One of the spa’s massage therapists has been murdered. No one at the inn is safe with a killer on the loose, and Bailey steps forward to do some sleuthing.
‘Til Death Do Us Part: Two bridesmaids who participated in a tony Greenwich, Connecticut wedding have been found dead. Both are victims of “freak accidents.” Bailey receives a call from a third bridesmaid who believes that foul play may be involved and is worried that she will be next. As Bailey is a friend of the bride – and also a member of the wedding party — she agrees to look into the mysterious deaths.
White’s books are eminently readable and her story lines entertaining. She has a crisp and succinct writing style that I love — most likely honed through years of writing magazine copy where space is limited and each word must be meticulously selected for maximum impact. It makes her work feel snappy and modern.
If you are looking for a detective series that is intelligent, yet fun — and suspenseful, yet short on gruesome gore — this is an excellent choice for you. Enjoy!