Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Look of Love-Mary Jane Clark

The Look of Love

Mary Jane Clark

Avon, Aug 28 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780061995576

“The Look Of Love.” Daughter of the owner of the luxurious Elysium Spa Jillian Abernathy sends a Facebook message to Piper Donovan in which she says she saw the Glenna Brooks’ cake and wants to hire the professional cake decorator to do one for her wedding. Piper accepts as she will spend a full paid trip in Southern California at a fabulous resort and have time to recover from the hurt that FBI Agent Jack Armstrong did to her. Inside the exclusive spa, Jillian’s maid Eserpanza enjoys putting on the posh clothing her employer owns. When she answers a door expecting another wedding gift for Jillian, a man tosses acid in her face. Soon afterward she is murdered. Others are also attacked and killed. Though she knows better having done some dangerous sleuthing before (see To Have And To Kill), Piper investigates.

“The Bracelet.” ‘Piper Donovan loves her brother Robert but loathes his wife Zara as he is kind and caring while she is selfish and avaricolus. When a gold bracelet vanishes, evidence overwhelmingly condemns Zara as the thief. Piper struggles between the cops and her family.

The Look of Love, as the second Piper amateur sleuth, is an enjoyable whodunit though the rapid fire changing of perspective (average chapter size is under 4 pages) is distracting especially when the three “papa bears” are front and centered. The Bracelet is a super-fast pit stop short-short read in which Piper struggles with what is right and for whom. In both cases, Piper is an engaging protagonist as she works on a cake, mending her broken heart and solving a mystery.

Harriet Klausner

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