Death Wears a Beauty Mask

Death Wears a Beauty Mask by Mary Higgins Clark

Thoughts Before Reading:

Mary Higgins Clark wrote this book way back in the ’70s, but never finished it as she wasn’t sure how to end it. She shelved it and went on to write what would be her first book and bestseller, Where Are the Children?

Years later, she took another whack at it s here we are.

Janice Broad hasn’t seen her older sister, Alexandra, in forever. They used to be so close with Janice raising her after their mother died. Then Janice moved to New York City and started her modeling career and their time together grew less. When Janice moved to the LA area for college their time shrinked smaller still.

Now Janice is married and she and her husband, District Attorney Mike Broad, are heading to spend a week of their honeymoon in London and then a week with her.

Yay! Sisters back together.

When they get to the airport, Janice isn’t there. Nor is she at her apartment, and no one knows what happened to her.

They start questioning the men who are hounding her-first Grant Wilson, her agent. Alexandra was the face of a new line, Beauty Mask, but had been having troubles. The company producing Beauty Mask was making them do constant redos, over and over again. Alexandra looked bad and tired.

Grant had been after Alexandra to marry him but she kept saying no. He thinks that she will be sing yes soon, but then she just disappeared. Now he needs her redo the Venice shoot or else the company goes belly up as Beauty Mask won’t pay up without perfection. He says he has no clue to where she is. Could it be he did something because she kept refusing him?

They then see Larry Thompson, photographer. He has known Alexandra from way back. He hates Grant Wilson and never wanted Alexandra to sign with him. He says ever since she’s joined his company, Wilson has just overworked her and worn her out.  Larry tries to make it be that they are just friends, but he seems more interested, and to me extremely bossy, then just as a friend. He is also known to have a very short fuse. Could he have exploded on Alexandra? Or been angry if she could have refused him?

Mark Ambrose is the man who owns the plane that chartered the models and Beauty Mask. He too was another man interested in Alexandra and she too spent time in Venice together. He was supposed to give her a ride to her apartment, but then Alexandra disappeared. Hmm…what happened in Venice or the airport that made her change her mind?

Hmm…

As the couple investigates, they get in a car accident, who did they talk to that felt uneasy?

Then they find out Alexandra got the time wrong and was in the same cab as them and went back to the apartment. But when they get there they found out she has been strangled to death, her face covered Beauty Mask.

But when they do the autopsy, they discover that it isn’t Alexandra, but Lisa Markey, Alexandra’s friend. What happened to Alexandra. Is she alive? Dead? Where is she?

Thoughts After Reading:

Good, really well written until the reveal that the only reason the person was trying to kill Alexandra was because they wanted beauty mask to fail to make money.

That’s it?

A bit of a letdown for me.

But other than that I thought it was really good. I liked that she didn’t go overboard on the characters. But kept the cast short and focused.

And there was this cute little salute to her other novel as if you listen to what Alexandra hears on the news, there is a little snippet about Clark’s first book Where Are the Children?

At one point the detective says I should have known who it was because _________, and I was like facepalm! Duh, I should’ve known too!

For more Mary Higgins Clark, go to Where Are You Now?

For more modeling mysteries, go to The Turquoise Trail Mystery

For more disappearing sisters, go to The Night Sister

For more mysterious honeymoons, go to Death by Honeymoon

The Book of Madness and Cures

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The Book of Madness and Cures: A Novel by Regina O’ Melveny

In 1590, Venetian woman, Dr. Gabriella Mondini, finds herself losing the very thing she absolutely holds dear, her ability to practice medicine.

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The men in the community had never been supportive of Gabriella, and with her father being gone for the past ten years they feel there is no one to monitor her and that they no longer have to do honor such a doctorship.

It's not fair.

It’s not fair.

Gabriells is furious, but knows what she must do. She must find her father, a feat that will be near impossible as she has no clue where he is.

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She has letters from his travels and search to complete The Book of Diseases, but even they do not hold a clear path.

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Aided by her friend and servant; the women set off in search of the other Dr. Mondini.

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Thoughts After Reading:

So I did not like this book.

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My biggest issue with it was the character of Gabriella.

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Now I understand that Gabriella is women in 16th century Venice and a doctor; but that doesn’t mean you have to make her character like a block of wood.

NO emotion = BORING!

NO emotion = BORING!

Everything was stilted and emotionless. This is not what you should do with a main character. We have to connect to them, feel for them, understand them, become a part of them and their lives; and I felt that this book did not do that at all. I couldn’t stand Gabriella.

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For more mysteries set in Italy, go to The Italian Wife

For more historical fiction novels, go to The Midwife’s Tale

For more not in a series mystery, go to Where Are You Now?

For more mysteries, go to Carrot Cake Murder