Dying to Be Thin: A Fat City Mystery by Kathryn Lilley
Signet, October 2007
Rating: 3
Reviewer: Marcia D. C. Johns

Dying to be thin is a sentiment that at one time or another has come to the minds of most women. Well Ms. Kate Gallagher, the heroine of this who in the world done it, falls right in with most women. Kate is the little chubby girl with the cute face that is not fat; she’s just big boned and will probably lose that baby fat.. Kate dreams of being the next Katie Couric—not Oprah (they have the same problem). But life is not making this dream come true. As a matter of fact, life can’t get any worse for Kate. She’s lost her job, her man and you guessed it—she eats for comfort. It sort of like Janet Jackson told Robin Roberts. Janet told Robin that some people get thin in times of crisis whether happy or sad ones, but not her she gets heavier and that’s Kate.

Kathryn Lilley, the author of Dying To Be Thin, takes us to the “fat farm” with Kate. Ms. Lilley calls it a resort, but take my word for it, it’s the fat farm in Durham, North Carolina which is supposed to be the diet capital of the world—go figure. When Kate first drives up to the fat farm, you will find yourself telling her to keep driving, it’s not worth it. But Kate’s dream is to become an anchor for television news; she wants to become a high price talking head. She has the face and talent to make it happen but according to her previous bosses, not the body. Kate has decided to sell her soul (story) to a local news station in exchange for hopefully a job. She will document her weight loss in front of the camera. Can we all say, “Kristi Ally?”

You will find yourself liking Kate and wishing that she could read the dieting tips at the beginning of each chapter. She’s had the problems that most women have had; you know the skirt that’s a little too tight, eating the last of the pie so that it won’t be there to tempt you anymore. As she begins her journey it seems as if bad luck for some is good luck for her. She is in the middle of not one but two murders. In an instant she has become an investigative journalist. These murders may even make her lose her appetite thus allowing her to be a thin, investigative reporter.

Kate represents all the women who seem to be trying to fit into a mold of the perfect body. She is likable because her insecurities are the insecurities of most women. She can be witty, childlike and unpredictable at the same time. I won’t spoil it for you, but her unpredictability is evident in certain choices she makes. I think Kate has a lot more adventure in her. As we have learned from all the celebrities, it’s hard to keep the weight off, and it’s always an adventure when dieting especially with Kate.