The Look of Love: Book summary and reviews of The Look of Love by Mary Jane Clark

The Look of Love

A Piper Donovan Mystery

By Mary Jane Clark

The Look of Love
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2012,
    320 pages.

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Book Summary

Piper Donavan is back in this second delicious confection in the New York Times bestselling author's Wedding Cake series following To Have and To Kill, which Library Journal described as "an old-fashioned whodunit set in a modern world that's high on suspense and low on gore. The number of characters with motive for murder keeps you guessing, and the action-packed short chapters keep the story moving."

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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.'" - Kirkus Reviews

"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." - Library Journal

"While Piper may make an unlikely detective, she has personality, which is more than can be said of the supporting cast of familiar types..." - Publishers Weekly

"Clark fans will enjoy the short chapters, interconnected plotlines, and multiple points of view, all of which keep the pages turning." - Booklist

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Dorothy T.
Average mystery
This is a mystery that just fills the basic requirements of the formula: several likely candidates as the murderer, the heroine in peril at the climax, and a tease of a romance. I knew who not to suspect, because the most likely characters are never the perpetrators in these things. I had hopes that the central character, Piper Donovan, was going to prove to be a modern-day Nancy Drew, but she didn't seem interested in putting together any clues other than how to make frosting. The romance angle was disappointing--maybe the author has ideas for this in the next installment?

Over all, this is entertainment for the dentist's waiting room, or maybe while relaxing by the pool at your favorite spa.

Rated 2 of 5 of 5 by Rita K. (Bannockburn, IL)
The Look of Love
I am a first time reader of the author's Piper Donovan Mysteries and The Look of Love will be my last. I had a very difficult time getting into the book and thought it was very choppy and disjointed. I kept reading thinking it would improve, but alas it didn't.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Lisa R. (Salem, OR)
New Author For Me
This book was an easy, light read. I had not read this author before, and had a little bit of trouble getting into the story, but that could be because it wasn't the first book in the set. And to be honest, sometimes I can revisit a book later, and like it much more. I think I will read the previous book and see if that enhances the story for me.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Margaret H. (Springfield, VA)
The Look of Love
This is the second novel about Piper Donovan, an aspiring actress who has turned to decorating wedding cakes until she finds an acting job. She is invited to California to decorate a cake for the manager of a luxury spa and finds herself involved in the murder of a housekeeper who had been injured by acid and is recovering in the spa. She also meets another young lady who has been damaged by her quest for a wonderful nose. Add to this the over involved second wife of the owner. All of this leads to suspense as Piper tries to discover who committed the murder and finds herself in trouble. Though a fun read there are almost too many characters and red herrings to keep track of. It would make a fun beach read or snow read for those liking cozy mysteries.

Rated 2 of 5 of 5 by Vivian T. (Charleston, West Virginia)
Only a Pinch of Mystery Found
Piper Donovan isn't the average wedding cake baker. In fact she's only made one wedding cake before, but what a cake it was. On the basis of that one cake, she has been asked to come to Los Angeles and make a cake for Jillian Abernathy, director of Elysium. A trip to LA, a wedding cake, some acid in the face and a few murders are all ingredients in The Look of Love by Mary Jane Clark.

Piper isn't a foolhardy young woman. She knows that she wants to be an actor and that there are more opportunities in LA than in New York. She also knows that doing a cake for Jillian Abernathy, not to mention an all-expense paid trip to California and a stay at a topnotch spa resort is an excellent opportunity. Or is it? Unfortunately there is a murder at the spa on the day of Piper's arrival. Is this a sign of things to come?

I'm not quite sure why this is classified as a Piper Donovan mystery as Piper seems to be more of a bystander and not actively involved in the murders. She does get dragged into a minor investigation into the antics of one of the spa's employees by an undercover journalist. However, she's not really involved in the murders or murder investigations other than being in the same facility at approximately the same time.

There's some intrigue involved in this story but it didn't really keep my interest. The characters are relatively realistic but I had difficulty accepting that Jillian could deal with having such a high-pressure job, director of an elite spa, but quickly fall apart over everything else. There were parts of the story that worked and worked quite well: Piper and her friendship with Jack, Piper's overprotective father and his worrying, and the investigation by the undercover journalist. In the end, I didn't really find The Look of Love all that mysterious or captivating a read. It's a decent read but it didn't work for me.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Mary L. (Madison, MS)
A quick lite read
"The Look of Love" would make a perfect day beach read: Short chapters, fashion, and fun. I was able to figure out the end but it was still an enjoyable read. I will pass the book along, but if I had to purchase the book, I would not spend my money on it.

...20 more reader reviews

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New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark has written 12 novels, all set in the high stakes world of broadcast journalism. She worked at CBS News headquarters in New York City for three decades, her experience there leading her to create KEY, a fictional television network. What her characters can get involved in as they cover their assignments is as varied as the stories on the morning or evening news. Her media thrillers are published in 22 languages. Visit her at maryjaneclark.com and facebook.com/authormaryjaneclark.

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