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Too Pretty to Die

de Susan McBride

Sèrie: Debutante Dropout (5)

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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, a society reporter in search of a juicy story.… (més)
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Andy Kendricks is back in Too Pretty to Die, the fifth Debutante Dropout Mystery by Susan McBride. As usual, Andy is up to her blue-blooded eyeballs in trouble. An old acquaintance dies mere hours after barging in on a Pretty Party, the latest rage with well-heeled Dallas socialites. But was her death suicide as it appears, or is it murder, as Andrea suspects?

This fifth attempt of McBride’s is the best one yet, which is not to say it’s a great book - just the best one so far. The writing is well executed and evenly paced. The plot is interesting without being overdone, and while not highly suspenseful it has enough twists and turns to keep it intriguing - a bit transparent in spots, but not so obvious that it ruins the storyline.

Longtime readers will be all-too familiar with the references to Andy’s unused debutante ball dress that still hangs in the closet, to mother Cissy’s disappointment over her daughter’s failure to debut, and other such blather in regard to the main character’s rebellion against Dallas social customs. Thankfully, this time around those references are kept to a minimum, eliminating the repetitiveness of previous books in the series.

The biggest weakness of Too Pretty to Die is the lack of development in the main characters. Andy hasn’t evolved and grown beyond the rebellious daughter/pushover friend role she’s played from the beginning. Cissy still comes across as rather cold, unemotional and demanding. Brian is kept as a peripheral character we know nothing about, even though he should be at the forefront because of his deepening relationship with Andy, and Janet is still the driven, self-serving friend who takes advantage of Andy every chance she gets. It’s a shame the characters haven’t grown and changed, because that’s what keeps a series fresh, exciting and captivating to its readers.

All in all, this is the best Debutante Dropout yet, but it still doesn’t command the attention the way other cozy mystery series do.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Kristin Gaulin, 2008 ( )
  CozyLover | Oct 24, 2008 |
mystery ( )
  vaspitfire | Apr 30, 2008 |
Why oh why do I continue to read these books? Mainly because they are set in Dallas but it's not the Dallas I know and love. Usually I am willing to overlook the traditional stereotypes of Dallas but for some reason this time around they really irked me. Maybe it's because if you have read any of the other books in the series you will have already seen these stereotypes. Shouldn't the author be able to develop the characters further than these shallow facades? I'm having a hard time understanding how someone like Andy who is supposed to be so smart, misses obvious clues, can't understand her mother's motivations, and yet somehow wraps everything up at the last minute due to some lucky coincidence. I just don't know if I can handle buying anymore of these books. Maybe it's time to relegate this author to library only status, if that. ( )
  LittleTaiko | Feb 2, 2008 |
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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, a society reporter in search of a juicy story.

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