Beauty Dies by Melodie Johnson Howe

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Synopsis

A former supermodel takes a fatal tumble, and only the unlikely duo Claire and Maggie can say who pushed her

Women like Cybella are not destined to survive their fifties. Her looks long gone, the ex-supermodel takes a leap down a stairwell—an apparent suicide that lands her on the front page one last time. Maggie Hill and her employer, the eccentrically brilliant detective Claire Conrad, are about to leave New York when a streetwalker named Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Murphy barges into their hotel room, clutching a tape that she claims proves the model was murdered—a tawdry bit of pornography starring Jackie and Cybella’s daughter. Conrad is unimpressed, but Jackie gets her attention on her way out of the hotel, when an unseen killer stabs her to death in the street. Discovering the truth behind the two murders will take Maggie and Claire on a trip to the ugliest corners of New York City, and show them that there is no back alley as dangerous as a high-fashion catwalk.
 

About Melodie Johnson Howe

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Melodie Johnson Howe is a mystery author and former actress. She began writing as a child, composing plays such as "Nevada"--a western that ended with the villain being sent to his room--and began acting in the mid-1960s. For a decade, she worked in movies alongside actors such as Clint Eastwood, Alan Alda, and James Caan. In the early 1980s, she left the Hollywood grind to pursue her dream of writing mysteries. Howe's first novel, "The Mother Shadow" (1989), featured Claire Conrad and Maggie Hill, whom Howe describes as "the female answer to Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin." It was nominated for an Edgar Award, and was followed by a sequel, "Beauty Dies" (1994). Howe is also acclaimed for her short fiction. Her most recent book, "Shooting Hollywood: The Diana Poole Stories" (2012), is a collection of short stories starring a forty-year-old actress trying to make a comeback.
 
Published February 5, 2013 by MysteriousPress.com/Open Road. 272 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Beauty Dies

Kirkus Reviews

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 While visiting New York City, Claire Conrad, the distaff Nero Wolfe wannabe whose entourage includes an amanuensis named Maggie Hill, a butler named Boulton, and a limo named Bentley, is buttonholed by Jacqueline Kennedy Murphy, an exotic dancer who talks her way into Claire's hotel suite with ...

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Beauty Dies

Publishers Weekly

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Although her protagonists are outwardly tough career women, Howe's (The Mother Shadow) heroines claim a distinctive view of femininity in this often arch, half-baked mystery. Maggie Hill, narrator and

Oct 03 1994 | Read Full Review of Beauty Dies

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