Review: Dead Gorgeous by Elizabeth Flynn (3.5/5)

Saturday 25 October 2014
Fashion model Kirsty Manners is young, beautiful, and recently dead...

Kirsty Manners is trying to make it as a model. As the in-house model for the Ivano King fashion house and girlfriend of Ian King, the man behind the label, she believes she is well on her way. But Kirsty is found dead in her flat one Sunday afternoon and D. I. Angela Costello is called to the scene.

First enquiries center on the local gym where Kirsty, her dangerous ex-boyfriend, Darren Carpenter, and her jealous flatmate, Sandra Hodges, worked out. But things are more complicated. Ian King is considered to have lost his edge. Why then is he so buoyant about his latest collection for London Fashion Week? What about his new girlfriend, Eleanor Chandler, who openly admits to having a reason to wish Kirsty dead?

Behind the gleaming smiles and flawless makeup of the glamorous fashion world, Angela's enquiries uncover theft, drug-addiction, prostitution, and imprisonment--and suddenly her own life could be in danger.
Kirsty Manners is young, beautiful, and ambitious. And dead. Kirsty was trying to make it in the fashion world. As the in-house model for Ivano King and having dated the great designer himself, she believed she was well on her way. But Kirsty is found dead in her flat one Sunday afternoon, and D.I. Angela Costello is called to the scene. Kirsty has left behind a lovesick ex-boyfriend and a jealous flatmate. And what about King’s new girlfriend, who openly admits she has a reason to wish Kirsty dead? Behind the flawless make-up and gleaming catwalks, Angela’s enquiries uncover theft, drug addiction, prostitution – and suddenly her own life could be in danger… - See more at:

Crime fiction meets chick lit? As a prolific reader of both genres I was intrigued by the sound of this book, with its glamorous cover and London Fashion Week setting it could appear at first glance to be a book for women, yet men can easily pick it up and enjoy it too. Elizabeth Flynn has written a story that will grip male and female readers, it's one I could see working as a TV series over a couple of episodes. Unfortunately I didn't have time to read Game, Set and Murder (book one) before this as planned, but it's coming up on my TBR and I hope to have a review for that soon. That said Dead Gorgeous can easily be read and enjoyed as a standalone.

Kirsty Manners, an up and coming name in the fashion world is found dead. As an in-house model for designer Ivano King, having even dated him, she was destined for great things. There are no shortage of suspects, each extremely unlikeable and each with a grudge against Kirsty. A lovesick ex-boyfriend. A jealous flat mate. And Ivano King's new girlfriend, openly admitting she has reason to want Kirsty dead. Despite having not yet read book one, Wimbledon to me is such an exciting setting to base a murder, and the same is true for LFW. In such a passionate, cut throat world where tensions and jealousies are rife, there's plenty of opportunity to explore what goes on there. It isn't all sitting looking at nice clothes after all. Behind the scenes it's a very different story. I first got interested in this world with Ugly Betty, so for me it's perfect for a crime novel.

I was a huge fan of DI Angela Costello from the off. When introduced to a new fictional detective all I want at first is for them to be a breath of fresh air, a completely new character, different from what I have read about before and Angela is definitely that. I do love a female detective in crime fiction. With a focus on her personal life as well, she's a character that will continue to grow and develop over the course of the series and I'm excited to see what's going to happen with her next. She is a believable and very realistic character, and one that I think women could easily relate to with certain aspects of her home life. In work though she's very professional, getting the job done.

Storyline wise I want to be kept guessing, and here I was. Nothing ever felt obvious, meaning I was kept on my toes throughout ready for the twists that I just couldn't see coming. It's a very human story, focusing on the people involved rather than any sensationalist murder scenes, I do prefer the bloody and gruesome crime fiction books yet I do like to mix it up every so often. With so many threads to the story some might find it hard to keep up yet for me, I don't want to be bored reading a book or to be sitting through any silly filler, so the fact that there's so much going on kept me reading, kept me hooked on the book and ultimately, kept me interested right up until the end. When I finish a book I want to be happy at reaching the conclusion, yet disappointed at the same time because the book finished long before I wanted it too.

My first read from Elizabeth Flynn and Lion Hudson and I'm excited. I can't wait to see where Elizabeth goes with book three, this book comes highly recommended by me for crime fiction fans, yet with a chick lit twist it's one that fans of that genre should perhaps pick up as well for a bit of a change.

Thanks to the publisher for the review copy. 

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