Mysterious Reviews Home

A Killer Workout

A Fat City Mystery with Kate Gallagher by Kathryn Lilley

A Killer Workout by Kathryn Lilley

Review: Kathryn Lilley's second Fat City mystery, A Killer Workout, has intrepid (and just a tad overweight) reporter Kate Gallagher heading off to a boot camp for dieters, cleverly disguised as a spa, and finding exercising can be murder.

Kate has left her job as a news producer for Channel 9 in Boston and is now working as an investigative reporter for Channel 12 News in Durham (the "Diet Capital of the World"). Kate herself is not having any luck dieting but she is determined to lose some weight. She decides to take a few weekends off to go to the Body Blast, a health spa in the Great Smokies. Here she shares a room with 19-year-old Marnie Taylor. Marnie had been dropped off by her boyfriend who threw her bags out of the car and left her standing there crying. The next time Kate sees her roommate she is leaving the room of one of the counselors. Again, Marnie is upset and crying. And again she will not tell Kate why. After a grueling workout and a less than filling meal Kate and Marnie are exhausted so sleep comes easily at least for Kate. When she awakens, Marnie is gone. When she doesn't show up for exercise a search is started. Marnie is found at the foot of a climbing wall that she had tried to climb the day before as a part of their exercise but had failed. She has bruises on her body and her neck is broken. Investigating Marnie's death for the station, Kate comes across news items that referred to another tragic death by accident of a girl who had fallen from a cliff during a walking exercise. This girl, too, was badly bruised and died of a broken neck. Kate's determined investigation tags her as "The Terminator" by someone at the spa, someone who decides that The Terminator needs to be terminated.

Kate Gallagher is an appealing character and A Killer Workout is a charming cozy mystery with a considerable dose of comedy. The contrast between the mental image of a luxurious spa with fine cuisine and the realities of a boot camp-type environment with insipid tasteless food is strikingly depicted and well suited to the plot. Even the newcomers have their own acronym: NOBIT (novice boot in training). No doubt Kate burned off more calories investigating the murders than she did at the hands of the exercise instructors, but that's what she does best. Finally, the witticisms at the beginning of each chapter are not only a hoot to read, they actually make a lot of sense.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of A Killer Workout.

Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of A Killer Workout for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author

Mystery Book Review: Dying To Be Thin by Kathryn LilleyDying To Be Thin
Signet (Mass Market Paperback), October 2007
ISBN-13: 9780451222404; ISBN-10: 0451222407

Location(s) referenced in A Killer Workout: Durham, North Carolina

— ♦ —

A Killer Workout by Kathryn Lilley

A Killer Workout by A Fat City Mystery with Kate Gallagher

Publisher: Signet
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-0-451-22535-1
Publication Date:
List Price: $6.99

Buy the Book (purchase options)