Too Pretty to Die

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Too Pretty to Die

A Debutante Dropout Mystery, no. 5

Andrea Kendricks or Andy has grown up as a socialite. Her mother was a mover and shaker in Dallas, TX. Andy went to an exclusive all girls school. When it was time for her debutante ball though Andy rebelled and refused to attend. Shocking her mother even further, instead of attending a Texas school for higher education, Andy choose to attend an art school in Chicago. However, after finishing school, she returns to Dallas and her circle of friends.

Among her friends is Janet. Janet writes for the local paper in the society section. This week's story is about the latest rage among the upper class Dallas debutantes, Pretty Parties. At these parties, Dr Sonja Madhavi gives free samples of her beauty products and Botox so that you will visit her store and buy her products and services. Not wanting to attend alone, Janet drags Andy with her to such a party but as they are getting ready to leave former beauty queen and current new anchor, Miranda DuBois comes barreling in.

Miranda's mother is one of Andy's mother's best friends. For years Andy has been told to be more like Miranda. Miranda being in the public eye is having issues with aging. To try to remove the wrinkles, she visits Dr Madhavi only to have a reaction to whatever was injected into her face. Now, drunk and distraught she is out for revenge and packing a pistol. Miranda shots in the direction of Dr Madhavi, and then promptly drops the pistol having a meltdown. When no one else steps up, Andy takes Miranda home minus the pistol. Leaving Miranda asleep on her sofa, Andy writes a note that she will be back in the morning.

When morning comes, Andy arrives at Miranda's to find police everywhere and Miranda dead. After talking to the police, Andy finds that they think it is suicide and somehow Miranda's pistol has made its way home. Andy doesn't agree and has no idea how the pistol came home. To make it more interesting, some thing called the Caviar Club sent a letter to Miranda the same day she crashed the Pretty Party.

This should be a cute, funny book. I'm not sure why it just didn't grab me. All the elements were present, but it was as if the spark was not. Andy is suppose to be removed from Dallas upper class society yet everyone she interacts with is in that group of people. Almost everyone she interacts with attended the same prep school she did. Her reaction to an older car parked in her mother's driveway is immediately that it is someone beneath her. The impression that I got of her was that she thought she could do everything better than the rest of us.

While reading the book, I had more name brands and current shows tossed at me than I expected. While this may make this book seem hip and today, it will very soon date it and not everyone is going to know what is being referred to. At one point a Nip/Tuck moment is mentioned. I know I have seen a commercial or two for that TV show but have no idea what it is about. Among other things mentioned are GQ, Days of our Lives, Coach and Starbucks. I felt like I was reading a name-dropping book for the rich and famous!

Most of the characters are not really developed so you don't feel as if you really know them. Andy's boyfriend, Brian Malone, is a perfect example. He is mentioned frequently yet I didn't get a real feel for him. I did learn he likes to sleep in, watch hockey and see Harry Potter movies. It's as though he is part of the background. Janet is a reporter and a friend of Andy's but I still didn't get a good feel of their relationship. Apparently they are close and are willing to do things for each other but I don't see them hanging out anywhere.

One of the problems may be that this book is part of a series. It is not the first book but the latest put out. From what I can figure it is the 5th book in the series. This may explain why some of the details are not there as they may have been in other books. Still, this book can be read without reading the ot


Book Blurb for Too Pretty to Die

They call them “pretty parties,” and they’re the latest rage among Dallas debutantes—get-togethers with light refreshments, heavy gossip, and Dr. Sonja Madhavi and her magic Botox needles. Former socialite Andy Kendricks normally wouldn’t be caught dead at such an event, but she’s attending as a favor to her friend Janet, a society reporter in search of a juicy story. And, boy, does she find one when aging beauty queen Miranda DuBois bursts into the room—drunk, disorderly, and packing a pistol. Miranda's wrinkles have seen better days, and she blames it all on Dr. Madhavi. Luckily, Andy calms her down and gets her home to bed...where she's found dead the next morning. The police suspect suicide, but Andy knows no former pageant girl would give up that easily. She's determined to find Miranda's killer herself, but she'll have to be careful. After all, Botox can make you look younger, but it can't bring you back from the grave.


Night Owl Reviews Apr, 2008 2.50