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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?
Rita K. (Bannockburn, IL)
The Look of Love
Over all, this is entertainment for the dentist's waiting room, or maybe while relaxing by the pool at your favorite spa.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mary L. (Madison, MS)
A quick lite read
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.
"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.
Luisa A. (Flemington, NJ)
Though the book at times showed a slight glimmer of hope – the plot was silly. The only redeeming part was the relationship between Piper and Jack. I felt as though I was reading a novel in my early teens.
Cheryl D. (Angola, NY)
This book is a pleasant review. The main character decorates cakes, but she gets to travel among the rich and famous while she is doing it. It doesn't seem as the wedding will ever happen. The only weakness I saw was a repetition in the plots of the two books in the series.