Despite New Year’s resolutions to avoid irritating houseguests and nerve-wracking cases, California P.I. Savannah Reid finds herself playing host to her assistant’s cranky cousin—in town for an unwanted makeover at a local spa—before the Christmas fudge is even gone. But when the spa’s renowned plastic surgeon goes missing, murder’s on the menu. And for Savannah, it’s in for a penny, in for a pound….
Voluptuous and proud of it, Savannah can’t understand why any woman would diet in pursuit of beauty, never mind go under the knife. She likes herself just fine the way she is…and so does her detective buddy, Dirk. Too bad her houseguest isn’t as content. Abigail is livid that her cousin, Tammy, won her an extreme makeover, complete with plastic surgery, at Emerge, San Carmelita’s new luxury spa. Abigail’s daunting enough when she’s ranting about social pressures and medical butchery, but when she suddenly puts on a cooperative smile Savannah gets really nervous….
There’s barely time to worry about it when Dirk brings her in on his latest case. One of Emerge’s owners, renowned plastic surgeon Suzette Du Bois, is missing. And quicker than you can say Botox, Sergio D’Allessandro, Suzette’s business partner and ex-husband, hires Savannah to find Suzette before the cops do. As she broadens her search, Savannah begins to realize that some of the employees at this temple of perfection harbor serious inner flaws. There’s Myrna Cooper, Emerge’s receptionist, whose permanently surprised expression proves she fears aging almost as much as she despises her bosses. And publicist Devon Wright, Sergio’s not-so-secret lover, was overheard threatening Suzette just before the doc disappeared. Add to the mix Jeremy Lawrence, Emerge’s disgruntled and aggressively ambitious style consultant, and the picture is far from pretty. When one of the suspects turns up dead, Savannah’s had enough. She’d love nothing more than to wrap up this case, kick out her guest, and make friends with a nice strawberry margarita—or three. But first, she’ll have to stitch up a killer who cuts to the bone….