She ... scrolled her BlackBerry to where she could reread the Facebook message.
"Saw the cake you made for Glenna Brooks. Would love it if you would do one for my wedding on January 15. We'll pay for your plane ticket, put you up for the week at Elysium, provide you with a car and driver, and, of course, pay for the cake. Let me know ASAP if you are interested!"
Jillian Abernathy. The name was vaguely familiar. (ch. 1)
Title: The Look of Love: A Piper Donovan Mystery
Hardcover: 352 pages; William Morrow
Release date: January 17, 2012)
So begins cake maker Piper Donovan's escape from Manhattan to Los Angeles and to an exclusive spa in the Hollywood Hills, courtesy of Jillian Abernathy, a wealthy client who wants Piper to make a wedding cake for her nuptials at Elysium, the high-end spa she is director of and which her father owns. The work-and-vacation trip to LA turns out to be anything but relaxing for Piper, however.
A housekeeper, Esperanza, is disfigured when acid is thrown into her face by someone who thought the housekeeper was Jillian. Someone either doesn't want the marriage to happen or is seeking revenge against Elysium by trying to harm Jillian.
With two murders and more scares for Jillian later on, Piper is urged by her parents and by her boyfriend, FBI agent Jack Lombardi, to return to New York and extricate herself from the scary mess that the planned wedding has become.
But Piper is also attending try-outs for TV commercials in Hollywood, and her long-held dreams of becoming an actress keep her in LA and at Elysium. She soon becomes friendly with other clients at the spa and discovers more unsavory things at Elysium. She is pulled deeper and deeper into the mystery.
I gave this easy to read and enjoyable novel a 4/5 rating. The book has interesting characters and tidbits of information about LA, including the real life Monastery of the Angels, a religious institution in the Hollywood Hills famous for its homemade pumpkin bread.
Author: New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark is currently taking cake-decorating classes, as she works on her next novel. Her mother made customized cakes for the neighborhood kids when Mary Jane was growing up.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book.
© Harvee Lau of Book Dilettante. Please do not reprint without permission