The Look of Love (Piper Donovan Series #2)

The Look of Love (Piper Donovan Series #2)

4.1 56
by Mary Jane Clark
     
 

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Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, the ultra-luxurious Elysium spa and plastic surgery center caters to the rich and famous who are in need of "refreshing"—a nip here, a tuck there, a little Botox, a little detox. When Jillian Abernathy, Elysium's owner, offers actress and professional cake artist Piper Donovan an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles to create

Overview

Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, the ultra-luxurious Elysium spa and plastic surgery center caters to the rich and famous who are in need of "refreshing"—a nip here, a tuck there, a little Botox, a little detox. When Jillian Abernathy, Elysium's owner, offers actress and professional cake artist Piper Donovan an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles to create a dazzling and unique wedding cake, Piper eagerly accepts. The job, after all, will give her the time and distance she needs to sort out her feelings for handsome FBI agent Jack Lombardi.

At Elysium, everything seems picture-perfect—until a guest is brutally murdered in one of the private bungalows. Someone, it seems, wants to make sure the spa's beautiful director never gets to walk down the aisle. And now Piper must dig beneath the glamorous surface of this idyllic oasis to uncover a very ugly truth—and a cold-blooded plan for murder.

Editorial Reviews

USA Today
“She understands how to hang on to her audience. Her characters are the sorts with whom many readers identify.”
Booklist
Clark fans will enjoy the short chapters, interconnected plotlines, and multiple points of view, all of which keep the pages turning.
Romantic Times BOOKclub
Piper Donovan, professional cake decorator, actress and amateur sleuth, is back. A multilayered plot filled with murder, a taste of jealousy and a healthy dose of madness and mistaken identity is frosted liberally with a rich confection of humor and romantic suspense.
Publishers Weekly
At the start of Clark’s diverting second Piper Donovan cozy (after 2011’s To Have and to Kill), Piper, a New York City cake decorator and aspiring actress, receives an invitation to stay, all-expenses-paid, at Elysium, one of L.A.’s most exclusive spas, in exchange for making the wedding cake for the owner’s daughter, the beautiful Jillian Abernathy. Alas, Jillian’s pending nuptials have not gone well. First, someone disfigures Jillian’s maid, mistaking her for her employer. And before the ailing maid can identify her assailant, she’s murdered. These unfortunate events, once leaked to the press, tarnish the spa’s reputation and reveal the grit behind the glitter. As Jillian’s wedding grows near, the attacks continue, drawing closer to the bride. While Piper may make an unlikely detective, she has personality, which is more than can be said of the supporting cast of familiar types (vengeful stepmother, doting oblivious father, etc.). (Jan.)
Romantic TimesBOOKclub
Piper Donovan, professional cake decorator, actress and amateur sleuth, is back. A multilayered plot filled with murder, a taste of jealousy and a healthy dose of madness and mistaken identity is frosted liberally with a rich confection of humor and romantic suspense.
Library Journal
In this second installment of Clark's series (after To Have and To Kill), aspiring actress, professional cake decorator, and amateur sleuth Piper flies to Los Angeles to decorate a cake for Jillian Abernathy, the rich, beautiful daughter of the founder of Elysium Spa. Piper's agent has also managed to arrange an audition for her. The spa's exquisite surroundings seem to harbor ugly secrets, however, and Piper is soon embroiled in murder, deceit, and a host of unsavory events. Short chapters with shifting points of view help the story's pace while fragmenting the plot enough so that the reader can't be certain who has the best motive for murder until close to the end. Touches of humor keep the mystery light, the baking subplot keeps it cozy, and there is enough going on with family and Piper's newly developing relationship to keep it real. VERDICT Clark's fans and readers who enjoy mysteries in the vein of Mary Higgins Clark may want to check this out. [See Prepub Alert, 7/25/11.]—Pamela O'Sullivan, Coll. at Brockport Lib., SUNY
Kirkus Reviews
Whoever's trying to kill Jillian Abernathy certainly is making a hash of the job. New Year's Day should herald a wonderful new year for the director of Los Angeles' fabulous Elysium Spa. But how can Jillian savor her upcoming nuptials with handsome psychiatrist Benjamin Dixon knowing that her housecleaner, Esperanza Flores, has been disfigured by acid meant to be thrown in Jillian's own face? Only by engaging actress/baker Piper Donovan (To Have and to Kill, 2010, etc.) to construct the perfect wedding cake. Abandoning her patient swain, FBI agent Jack Lombardi, to fly to L.A. for her all-expenses-paid week at Elysium, Piper is quickly drawn to Jillian. "I feel sorry for her. Talk about bad karma," she says after a second attack leaves unmourned Esperanza dead. Many people, Piper soon realizes, have it in for her client. There's Hudson Sherwood, the former Elysium director who's now toiling as a lowly hotel clerk. And George Ellis, whose daughter Wendy lost most of her nose to a botched surgery by Jillian's father, plastic surgeon Vernon Abernathy. And Kyle Quigley, the paramedical esthetician whose "sleep therapy" includes services his clients know nothing about. Undercover reporter Anastasia Fernands quickly enlists Piper to help get the goods on Kyle. But another Elysium guest will die before Piper finally realizes who the killer is--just in time to get attacked herself. In a manner strikingly reminiscent of the author's famous ex-mother-in-law, everything turns out in time for the diminished wedding party to enjoy a cake made from "the best pumpkin bread they have ever tasted."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061995576
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/28/2012
Series:
Piper Donovan Series, #2
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
223,837
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 5.10(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Mary Jane Clark worked at CBS News for nearly three decades. Her twelve KEY News media thrillers were inspired by that experience. Envisioning the Piper Donovan/Wedding Cake mystery series, Mary Jane enrolled in cake-decorating classes and researched unique wedding locations. The daughter of an FBI agent and a mother who customized cakes for the neighborhood kids when she was growing up, Mary Jane has two grown children and splits her time between New Jersey and Florida. She is currently concocting her next novel.

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The Look of Love (Piper Donovan Series) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to read more of her books. Good author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mary Jane Clark has done it again. A great story, I could not put it down. If you are looking for Love, Mystery and Suspense this story has it all. A must read.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
Even though the storyline is similar to other murder mystery novels, it is still a good read. The descriptions allow the reader to feel as if he/she is right there in the middle of the suspense. Also, there are several suspects to select from and you may not guess the identity until he/she is revealed. This was a nice weekend distraction from the reality of life.
grandma20 More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed her books. This one was very good. I would recommend everyone to read this book.
mcphnb More than 1 year ago
Excellent light hearted murder mystery series. No gore or sensual sex scenes. When you want a break from the intense who dunits, this is a nice relaxing one day read. I recommend all the Piper Donovan series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! I really enjoyed reading this book, I couldn't put in down! I loved the suspense and I couldn't figure out who the killer was, so that made it all the more exciting! Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy this new series I have discovered. So far she has managed to keep me guessing. Good job! Enjoy the characters a lot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It held my interest. I thought I had it solved from the beginning. I was wrong.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recomend to all. Fun, interesting story line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me wanting to read more. Couldn't put the book down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another fun book. Looking forward to more from this series
MRHTX More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the humor and the mystery in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chick Lit at its nonthreatening best, with murder, mystery, recipes and (perhaps) romance!
BookLoaner More than 1 year ago
This series keeps getting better...fast paced...great characters and lots of plot twists. This was one of the best mysteries I've read in a long time. Anxiously awaiting the next in this series...nice going Mary Jane!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
read in 2 days very good
rubyredd57 More than 1 year ago
isn't she writing any more books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LB666 More than 1 year ago
|The Pact Clan Locations| <br /> <br /> A light gray tabby shecat pads in and announces, &ldquo;So now that you have learned the basics of pact clans, you are probably wondering where you can find these clans. Well you've come to the right place! Here the LEADER of each clan (or rogue group, Pandemonium, and tribe) may post information about their clan including: location, description, ranking, specific rules, ect. Each clan is responsible for keeping their information current to make it easy for new members to join. Pact clan leaders, feel free to tell everyone why they should join your pact clan! And to possible future pact clan members, this is where you can learn about each group and then decide which to join. Just be sure to ask the leader of the group you choose to join before calling the place home! I hope to see you in a pact clan soon!&rdquo; <br /> <br /> ~ The Pact Clan Locations: Rosepetal, Original Pact Clan Helper. <br /> <br /> ONLY PACT CLAN LEADERS SHOULD POST HERE! THANK YOU!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
4
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun to read - great mystery.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kind of predictable read.
dakota_m-t More than 1 year ago
Good novel.