Slashing Mona Lisa
by D.M. Barr
Pub Date 16 Jul 2018
Pub Date 16 Jul 2018
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Most people are dying to lose a few pounds. Not so in Slashing Mona Lisa, where it's the weight-loss advocates who are losing their lives...
Whenever Terry Mangel's body acceptance revival meeting rolls into town, local diet execs and "fat shamers" turn up dead, often in grotesque, ironic ways. All single murders in small suburbs, no one's noticed the pattern—until rookie journalist Cameron Torres takes a closer look. Torres is a crusader against discrimination, partially to assuage the guilt she feels over the suicide of her obese, bullied twin sister. She reluctantly accepts a job offered by handsome publisher Lyle Fletcher, a widower with a vendetta, who sees Torres as salvation for Trend, his fledgling fashion magazine. Torres, however, detests everything the publication stands for, and joins solely to transform its judgmental, objectifying content. As an unexpected romance blossoms, the overconfident, justice-hungry reporter defies orders and infiltrates Mangel's world—only to find herself in the crosshairs of a vigilante group targeting the $60 billion diet industry. Unmasking the killer may save her life but shatter her heart: every clue seems to implicate Fletcher, her mercurial mentor and lover, as the group's mastermind.
With a sassy, snarky voice and multicultural cast, Slashing Mona Lisa explores body shaming and its victims: the disenfranchised who don’t conform to society’s arbitrary norms, and the lengths they will go to for love and acceptance.
A Note From the Publisher
by Susan Sewell, Reader's Favorite
Filled with intrigue and suspense, Slashing Mona Lisa is a stunning sleuth mystery novel. This mesmerizing story relates the sad truth about the difficulties and heartbreak experienced by those who are ostracized for their weight challenges. The accurate depiction of the repercussions which stem from the bullying and abuse these victims receive from their own families, peers, coworkers, and the world at large is heartrending. I could almost understand the rage that fueled the murderer.
Although fat shaming may be a significant portion of the plot, the murders and Camarin's investigation balance the scales, keeping the story fresh and exciting. Fabulous characters, a suspenseful and complex plot, and a brilliant story line make this an outstanding murder mystery novel. However, I would recommend it only to a mature audience as it contains explicit sexual scenes and is more suitable for adult readers.
By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
D.M. Barr’s contemporary sleuth murder mystery novel, Slashing Mona Lisa, has marvelous characters, a mystery plot studded with red herrings, plenty of action and a romantic story that is one of the more intriguing I’ve come across in a while. All this, and Barr also manages to write an empathetic and compelling story about a current social ill -- fat-shaming in a culture that prizes thinness, youth and good looks over everything else.
Barr’s story crackles with tension as Camarin finds common threads in murders taking place across the nation and decides to go after the story on her own. I was instantly enchanted by her Chamorro identity, her idealism and her resourcefulness. I loved the story and hated for it to end. Barr’s characters had come to seem like old friends, and her investigative journalist/sleuth surely does merit a few more good mysteries to solve. Slashing Mona Lisa is most highly recommended.
Reviewed By K.J. Simmill for Readers’ Favorite
Camarin Torres, investigative journalist. Or at least, that was the dream. She wanted to make a difference, be a champion for the underdog, and yet with university just a few weeks from over, she was the only [one of her schoolmates] without a job lined up. That was until fate intervened with an unexpected encounter [with a publisher]. But still, she had a vision of her future, and Trend, the guilt pumping, judgmental, "you are how you look" magazine was so far from who she was and what she stood for. But it was a job, and the new owner seemed intent on remaking the image into something she could align herself with. In her off-time Camarin works on her own story, the Blubber Be Gone murder, determined to expose the killer and give [the victims] a voice, but little does she know how dangerous a path she walks.
Slashing Mona Lisa is a well conceived, well constructed murder mystery by D.M. Barr. Be prepared to be taken on an emotional journey of haters, shamers, and murder. You meet Camarin, and soon are rewarded with a deep insight into her character and motivations. The characters are as vivid as they are unique, from the cockney speaking Rachel to the sassy roommates struggling to make rent. There is no end to the thrills in this book. The investigation is beautifully scripted, creating tension, danger and urgency, with more and more bodies being discovered the deeper Camarin digs. This is one book you will not want to put down; you will find yourself wanting to see what happens next. Romance, love, danger, suspicions, murder, and mystery, all combined in one hell of a tale that also serves to make you more aware of the intolerances this world displays, and maybe, just maybe, realize the extent to which your own actions can affect others. A clear message in a gripping story.
by Reviewed By Deborah Lloyd for Readers’ Favorite
Leticia Regan, owner of Blubber Be Gone, a weight loss clinic, came to a horrendous demise. Similar murders were occurring in various cities, and all the victims worked in the weight loss field. Camarin Torres, a soon-to-be graduate of journalism and pre-law at NYU, met magazine owner Lyle Fletcher on the train one evening. Lyle had recently purchased the failing magazine Trend; he offered Camarin a job as an investigative reporter for the magazine. Camarin had one condition – she would only write serious pieces of journalism. Lyle agreed, stating his goal was to transform the light, fluffy magazine. Camarin, a Chamarro (her mother was from Guam) from Los Angeles, grew up with her mother’s constant admonitions about staying slim in order to fit in. Her twin sister, Monaeka, gave her life for this goal. Camarin’s dedication to end fat-shaming in American culture led her to look into these murders, leading to some harrowing moments in the novel, Slashing Mona Lisa, written by D.M. Barr.
The relationship between Lyle and Camarin adds an interesting element to this fictional work. Lyle has his own intriguing history, and it is not clear until the end of the story exactly what his interests are. There are a host of other captivating characters – including Camarin’s roommates; Hans Wynan, executive editor of Trend; Terry Mangel, the leader of the Feel Good About Yourself program. Author D.M. Barr has developed a unique romantic suspense novel inSlashing Mona Lisa – a novel where the pieces of the puzzle do not fit together until the last chapters. Overall, an engaging read!
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