Talk about rapid turnover ' in a matter of days Bailey Weggins gets axed from one New York magazine and hired by another. Her new job at Buzz, a weekly filled with sizzling gossip, has Bailey covering celebrity crime, including the starlet who got caught stuffing Fendi purses down her pants and the aging hunk who shot his lover with a Magnum.
And Bailey doesn ' t have to look far for her next story: she finds her boss, Mona Hodges, gasping her last breath after being bludgeoned with a blunt object. A raging tyrant, Mona made Buzz a top ' zine but racked up an impressive enemy list along the way. Everyone from a chubby singer she dubbed ' Fat Chance ' to a mail guy she once reamed out would be glad to see Mona six feet under. And Bailey Weggins intends to get the scoop on whodunit even though one of her closest friends is at the top of the suspect list. Now, with her strappy sandals in one hand and her cell phone in the other, Bailey ' s out hunting for clues everywhere from the mean streets of Brooklyn ' s Little Odessa to a posh company picnic in the Hamptons. In just about a New York minute she ' s got a crush on a sexy filmmaker ' and some scary insight into her boss ' s murder. The first can give her the hot summer fling she ' s itching to have. The second can get her killed '
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Grand Central Publishing
March 31, 2007
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Excerpt from Over Her Dead Body by Kate White
The trouble with clich s is that they re so downright tedious, you fail to pay any attention to the message they re meant to convey. And sometimes you really should. I know because during a very hot and muggy summer in New York City, that particular clich jumped up more than once and took a large, hard bite out of my butt.
On the initial occasion, before summer even started, I was an idiot to have been blindsided. It was the last week in May and Cat Jones, my boss at Gloss magazine, had invited me out to dinner. Now, there was nothing inherently odd in Cat treating me to a meal despite our work arrangement, we d always been friends in a weird sort of way. But she d suggested that we meet at six forty-five at a kind of out-of-the-way place in the Village, and that s when the warning bells should have sounded. As a friend of mine once pointed out, when a guy suggests dinner at an untrendy restaurant before seven o clock, you can be damn sure that he s going to announce he s in love with another chick and he s hoping for a fast escape before you start to sob and lunge for his ankles. My mistake was not realizing that the same warning applied to bosses, too.
I did suspect that the dinner was going to be more work related than personal. For the past few years I ve been under contract with Gloss to write eight to ten crime or human-interest stories a year. Cat had worked out the arrangement herself when she d first arrived at Gloss and was in the process of turning it from a bland-as-boiled-ham women s service magazine into a kind of Cosmo for married chicks. I d always pitched my own story ideas, and they were green-lighted pretty quickly. But lately I d been batting zero, and I didn t know why. Perfect example: Two weeks ago I d suggested a piece on a young mother who d disappeared without a trace while jogging. The husband had become the main suspect, though interestingly it was she, not he, who d been having an affair. Cat had nixed the idea with the comment Missing wives just feel sooo tired to me. Tell that to the Laci Peterson family, I d been tempted to say but hadn t. My hunch was that Cat had suggested dinner together so she could offer me insight into what kind of crime didn t put her to sleep these days.
I arrived at the restaurant first, which is typical when dealing with Cat, but at least it gave me a chance to catch my breath. It was a small, French country-style restaurant on MacDougal Street in the Village, and I ordered a glass of ros in honor of the weather and the ambience. As each group of new diners strolled through the door, they brought a delicious late spring breeze with them.
Let this be a hint of how delicious the summer will be, I prayed. I was thirsty for a summer to end all summers. In January, I d broken up with a guy I d really cared about, and though I wasn t eager for another serious relationship right now, I was hoping for some kind of romantic adventure. I d had a brief fling in late winter with a male model in his early twenties, ten years younger than me, but then he d relocated to Los Angeles. After that it had been slim pickings unless you count four or five booty calls with an old beau from Brown who had become so stuffy that I practically had to ask him not to talk. I m pretty, I guess, in a kind of sporty way five six, fairly slim, with brownish blond hair just below my chin and generally I d never had trouble rustling up dates. I was banking on the fact that my dry spell might end now that we were in the season of nearly effortless seductions.