Saturday, August 18, 2012

Death of a Supermodel by Christine DeMaio-Rice

DeMaio-Rice has done it again. Weaved the intricacies of the fashion world into a superb murder-mystery plot. Death of a Super Model is the second book in the Fashion Avenue Mystery series, and for me, it was as big of a hit as round one, Dead is the New Black.

Still set in the fashion hub of New York, Laura Carnegie takes on another journey to find a crazy killer. Last time, she worked desperately to prove the man she loved was innocent, and that was a battle close to her heart; but this time, she's even more determined because the frailty that might break is none other than her baby sister Ruby.

At the opening show for Sartorial Sandwich (the clothing line for Laura and Ruby) one of the giraffes, Thomasina Wente, (a super model -I LOVE this term, makes me giggle every time) is found dead in the bathroom. Again, just like in Dead is the New Black, I'm giving nothing away here. This happens right in chapter one. *Sidenote: I love this detail of DeMaio-Rice, the way she gets right into the action of the plot. Laura, stressed to the max because the dead model is her super-star for the best dress of the night, panics and pulls another model in to do the runway walk. This is business folks, and a dead model cannot stop the show. While the show is a success, twisted and questionable connections begin to rise between Ruby, Laura's sister who is beside herself over Thomasina Wente's murder, the companies financial backer (isn't it always about money?), her former boss, and a prestigious modeling agency dedicated to the mental and physical well-being of the giraffes. The same detective makes his circuitous path around this murder scene, and of course isn't at all surprised to find Laura right in the middle of it. However despite the detectives warnings to stay out of the way this time, Laura Carnegie isn't your average seamstress and her modern day Sherlock Holmes surfaces with pride that she must, MUST, clear Ruby's name.
You have to admit, they do look a bit
"giraffe" like.

Death of a Supermodel packs a great mystery punch without being over the top "police-chase-catch-thriller". It appeals mostly to women, especially those with an interest in fashion because it combines the best of two worlds - the beautiful, and the damned.

DeMaio-Rice's writing impresses me. She took me on a range of emotions for her characters and I loved and hated the same people at different times throughout the book. I like this kind of author, because it parallels real life - we don't always love everyone. At times I wanted to slap some sense into Ruby, and then DeMaio-Rice would reveal some detail that made her every action appropriate. At other times, I could have just strangled Laura, all the while being reminded that she was driven by an undying devotion to her baby sister. The range of emotions DeMaio-Rice uses to build her female characters is impressive, and she leaves her male characters to surface amidst the female roller coaster; again, that's as close to the real world as it comes.

This series for me has become a must read and I look forward to the next installment. DeMaio-Rice is going places as an author. She spent 20+ years in the fashion industry, I've no doubt she has many more stories to tell.

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