Monday, November 15, 2010

To Die For - Linda Howard

Blair Mallory lives the good life. She's pretty, confident, and the owner of a thriving up-scale fitness center. But in the shadow of success, a troubled member of the club develops a strange fixation on Blair, imitating her style and dress. Matters take a darker turn when the look-alike is shot dead -- and Blair witnesses the horror.

As the media speculates on the tawdry details of the homicide and pushes Blair into the harsh spotlight, she locks horns with police lieutenant Wyatt Bloodsworth. He wants to lead an investigation without interference, while Blair is determined to probe the dead woman's life on her own. But when someone begins to menace Blair with mounting threats, Wyatt takes notice: Was this murder indeed a lethal case of mistaken identity -- and was Blair the intended victim?

A few years ago I was a devoted fan of Linda Howard; I read quite a few of her books, looked for her backlist and although not all of them were winners most were. Then, new authors came along, my mood changed a bit and I've been reading other things. But at the beginning of the year I decided to pick up the ones I already had, this time it was To Die For's turn.

I had no idea what it was about and what genre it was. After reading it I am not sure if this is a comedy with romantic suspense elements or a romantic suspense with comedy elements. Whatever it was I had a really good time reading this story.

The heroine, Blair Mallory, witnesses a murder. Blair is a very funny heroine which is good because the book is written from her POV. When the cops arrive one of them is the guy who dumped her a few years back. She has certainly not forgotten him and the whole book is a sort of war of the sexes between them as Lt. Wyatt Bloodworth is at first frustrated that she doesn't obey his orders and then very much decided to resume what he didn't end before.

Needless to say Blair is decided to 1) not succumb to his charm again, 2) make him pay for what he put her through before! She doesn't exactly succeed in both goals but what ensues is quite fun to read. At first thought Blair was going to be a bit shallow but in the end her amusing outlook on life and how she used her "female power" (like all the other women in her family) really turned this into a feel good fiction book. I don't think this should work in real life but in books, and movies this sort of manipulation work quite well at making me laugh.

The suspense part was good too, although for me the funny romance is really what this was about, and the mystery ended with a twist I did not see coming, not sure that really worked but it didn't bother me too much.

For a light read, good banter and funny lines between the h/h this was the perfect book!

Grade: 4/5

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