B O O K R E V I E W : Cover Story by Susan Rigetti

Thank you so much to Bibliolifestyle and William Morrow Books for including me on the tour for Cover Story by Susan Rigetti and for a gifted copy of the book. (Publication Date: April 5, 2022)

Although Lora Ricci landed a coveted summer internship at ELLE before her senior year at NYU—a stepping stone to her dream of becoming an editor at a fashion magazine—she harbors a festering secret. She lost her scholarship, and unless she can find a way to pay full tuition to the private university, she’ll lose her standing. She can’t bear to admit her situation to her parents, blue collar workers in Allentown, Pennsylvania, who are so proud of her accomplishments.

Instead, she tries to get the most out of her internship where she is assigned the beauty closet, organizing the makeup samples sent by beauty companies. Her work puts her in the path of Cat Wolff, a contributing editor and mysterious daughter of a European clean-energy mogul. While assigned to work on a story with Cat, as Lora’s time is running out on her summer lease and her summer internship, Lora confesses her situation to the woman who has become her idol and mentor.

Cat offers Lora a solution: drop out of NYU and work full-time as her ghostwriter on a selection of stories that will launch them both into the literary limelight. When Lora loses her apartment, Cat invites her to stay at with her at her lavish suite at the Plaza Hotel, telling her that food, haircuts, spa treatments—anything she wants is available courtesy of her father, as long as she doesn’t tell anyone she is staying with Cat. Lora cannot believe her good fortune, telling herself that nothing in her life will ever compare.

Yet, as the two work and live together, Lora finds that Cat can be unreliable and sometimes even cruel, and as she explores Cat’s world, she fears the world she’s exposed herself to.

Told through diary entries, emails, slack chats, notes, and even Instagram captions, Cover Story’s original format and inventive story introduce unforgettable characters—the sweet, yet gullible Lora, and the glamorous, savvy, and greedy Cat. Even though I worried so much for Lora, I enjoyed reading the book which combines high fashion, publishing, earnest students, hackers, and con artists. I might have whiplash from the ending which is so perfect. Since I finished the book—which I read in a day—I’ve been thinking about it, and I imagine I’ll read it again to try to figure out what I missed the first time. This is definitely in contention for my favorite April read!

B O O K R E V I E W : A Deadly Affair by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie’s novels are always reliably entertaining and exquisitely plotted, but until this book, A Deadly Affair, I’d not read any of her short stories. This collection is built around the theme of love gone wrong.

While I do prefer the full-length mysteries which allow for more character development and elaborate puzzles, these were fun, quick reads featuring Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Mr. Quin, Parker Pyne, and Tommy and Tuppence.

My favorite story, “The Face of Helen,” concerned a beautiful woman Quin and Satterthwaite encounter at the opera who is involved in a love triangle. The mystery is so diabolically clever! I also quite enjoyed “The King of Clubs,” where only Poirot’s little gray cells point to the killer.

It was also interesting to read the short story “A Death on the Nile” which is similar to the Poirot book only in terms of the title as well as an excerpt from Christie’s autobiography about her early love affairs. I didn’t as much care for the two Tommy and Tuppence stories. Either they felt more dated than the others, more reliant on slang, or both.

You can grab this book and read the stories in any order. It’s a great choice if you are looking for a slump-buster or low-commitment mystery!