Book Title and Author: A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty
Series: Harper McClain #2
Publication Date and Publisher: March 12, 2019 by Minotaur Books
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 368 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: February 7, 2019 (papercopy from the publisher)
For a woman, being killed by someone who claims to love her is the most ordinary murder of all.
With its antebellum houses and ancient oak trees draped in a veil of Spanish moss, Savannah’s graceful downtown is famous around the world. When a woman is killed in the heart of that affluent district, the shock is felt throughout the city. But for crime reporter Harper McClain, this story is personal. The corpse has a familiar face.
Only twenty-four years old, Naomi Scott was just getting started. A law student, tending bar to make ends meet, she wanted to change the world. Instead, her life ended in the dead of night at the hands of an unseen gunman. There are no witnesses to the crime. The police have three suspects: Scott’s boyfriend, who has a criminal past he claims he’s put behind him, her boss, who stalked another young bartender two years ago, and the district attorney’s son, who Naomi dated until their relationship ended in acrimony. All three men claim to love her. Could one of them be her killer?
With the whole city demanding answers, Harper unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy. But the pressures on her go beyond the murder. The newspaper is facing more layoffs. Her boss fears both their jobs are on the line. And Harper begins to realize that someone is watching her every move. Someone familiar and very dangerous.
Someone who told her to run before it’s too late…
A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty is book two in her series featuring crime reporter Harper McClain, and it’s a fast-paced and thoroughly riveting read! I went into the book not having read The Echo Killing first, so I feel it can definitely be read as a standalone because Daughtery gives enough backstory about book one at the beginning that you aren’t lost. After reading this book, I immediately understood why so many of my bookish best friends LOVE this series, Harper’s character, and Daugherty’s phenomenal storytelling skills!
Funnily enough, I just spent the past few days of my vacation in Savannah, Georgia where the novel takes place. It’s one of my most favorite cities in the world because it’s just so graceful, gorgeous, and charming. It’s a historic fairy-tale, and you’d never in your wildest imagination picture a murder happening downtown among the graceful, stately mansions and lacey, draping Spanish moss, right on streets that I was walking on yesterday…yet, that’s exactly what happens in Daugherty’s latest book and it’s beyond chilling!
When crime reporter Harper McClain gets the call that there’s been a murder, she races to the scene with her friend Bonnie, and what they discover is shockingly devastating! The victim is Bonnie’s coworker Naomi Scott, a compassionate, intelligent law student who had huge plans for her future, now gunned down at only age twenty-four.
Who would have wanted to kill Naomi? The suspect list seems to immediately close in on her boyfriend but soon extends to her dangerous, threatening ex-boyfriend, who happens to be from one of the most powerful families in Savannah, and her stalkerish boss.
Harper is determined to find out who the killer is and report on the crime no matter what, even with the police shutting her out because of events that happened in book one; not only does she want to find Naomi’s killer but her job is on the line because of cuts at the newspaper, so she has to break this story!
While Harper is busy investigating, there’s also a couple of other plots going on in the book that ties in with the first book, so I won’t say any more about them except that I hope to see more romance in Harper’s future because the chemistry is amazing! Oh, did I mention Harper has a stalker?!
I really love Harper’s character! She’s stubborn, strong, and tenacious about going for what she believes and doing what is the right thing, and that just made me admire her so much! I also loved how she also shows repeatedly that she’s a very empathetic and caring person even in the toughest of situations and circumstances.
This is a smart, complex, and well-written mystery! It might have been my first book by Daugherty, but I’ve since read The Echo Killing, which was also fantastic, and I cannot wait to read more about Harper! Thankfully, A Beautiful Corpse ended with enough of a tidbit by Daugherty that we know to expect more, and I’m already excited about reading the next book as soon as I can get my hands on it. Wonderfully written and most definitely recommended!
**Thank you so much, Alison Ziegler, at Minotaur Books and C.J. Daugherty for the review copy. All opinions are my own. **