Sometimes you just want to read something light and fluffy.
Beauty to Die For, a spa mystery
Kim Alexis and Mindy Starns Clark
BH Publishing Group, Pure Fiction
c. August 2012
Former supermodel from those 1980 days of acclaim Kim Alexis teams up with best-seller Mindy Starns Clark to write the spa mysteries. Beauty to Die For is about one of those former-model types, twenty-five years after the hype.
Juliette Taylor gets the gumption to walk away from modeling through a magical afternoon meeting with the perfect dream man while stuck at an airport. Marcus Stone is at a crossroads moment in his life as well, and the two of them challenge each other to be true to themselves, and to meet up later when they get their lives together. Twenty-five years of Stuff Happens.
Meanwhile, Juliette opens up her own very successful skin-care business. A Christian, Juliette also does retreats and conferences, aka Juliette Taylor Events. Her skin care products, however, were used as a terrorist money-maker front when her products were counterfeited and sold with substandard and dangerous ingredients. When a former colleague dies right at the very spa Juliette is conducting one of her Events, Juliette hopes and prays a counterfeit JT Lady product isn’t to blame.
Since Marcus has become an expert in disaster prevention and relief, he participates in busting the counterfeiters. Once he sees Juliette’s name as a potential suspect/victim, he devises a plan to meet her again. Now divorced, he’s ready to reclaim his soul mate. But does she feel the same?
The counterfeiting also affects the spa workers, and while sometimes a lethal reaction to particular ingredients is just an accident, sometimes it’s murder. Clark walks a fine line when she reveals information late enough to almost be cheat-the-reader material. Fortunately, the revelation does nothing to add to or change the plot or character motivations.
It’s fun to see how Juliette and Marcus get together, work together and save each other. A subplot includes a romance between coworkers at the spa. Self-examination by faith-based characters will challenge readers to do the same. Told from multiple viewpoints and flashbacks, Beauty to Die For has some slow moments and repetitious re-hashing angst, but otherwise, those who like lighter-side suspense with emotional men and long-lost and found love will find a few enjoyable hours of entertainment.