Book Review: A Beautiful Corpse

A BEAUTIFUL CORPSE | Christi Daugherty
(Harper McClain #2)
03.12.2019 | Minotaur Books
Rating: 4/5 stars


Savannah’s downtown district is known for tourism and safety, until late one night the body of a young woman is found. Naomi Scott was a twenty-four year old law school student whose life was ended by a gunman. There are no witnesses. The scene appears to indicate the motive wasn’t burglary. Why would someone want to kill Naomi?

The police have narrowed down three suspects: Scott’s boyfriend, her boss, and the district attorney’s son, who Naomi dated briefly before ending things and filing a restraining order. Each of these men claims they cared about her, but could one be the killer?

Harper McClain, crime journalist for one of the local newspapers, is on the case and has her eyes set on catching a murderer. As she moves closer to answers she finds her own life may be in danger. Someone is watching her. Can Harper stop a killer before she ends up in trouble?

When you get right down to it, if you’re a woman, being killed by someone you love is the most ordinary murder of all.

A BEAUTIFUL CORPSE is the second installment in Christi Daugherty’s Harper McClain series. I did not read the first book, THE ECHO KILLING, and can easily say that this book works as a standalone. I do want to note that I believe I would have benefited from reading the books in order. There are definitely storylines that have carried over from the events of the first book, however, despite not knowing the details of the former case, I was not put off nor did I feel lost about references since Daugherty explains them clearly.

The main character of this book and series, Harper McClain, is a badass reporter who will stop at nothing to get answers. I loved everything about her! Harper clearly has a past, which was explored briefly and hinted at continued investigation in future books. This past drives her to be the woman she is today. I enjoyed her methodical search for clues and the lengths that she was willing to go to in order to find clues. There is also a vulnerable side to Harper’s tough exterior, which I appreciated Daugherty exploring. Showing all of the facets to Harper’s personality truly made her a relatable character and easy for me to connect with.


Naomi Scott’s case is the main event driving the story in A BEAUTIFUL CORPSE, however, it is not the only plotline. In addition to working the main case, Harper finds herself being stalked. This additional mystery added much more tension to the story than the reader would have felt if the Scott case was the only focus. Daugherty does a great job of keeping the reader interested in both situations, while maintaining the Scott case as priority number one. Books that choose to explore multiple plot threads can sometimes lose one among the other(s), but in A BEAUTIFUL CORPSE both situations are fully explored and seamlessly blended together.

I greatly enjoyed reading A BEAUTIFUL CORPSE and getting to know Harper McClain. This book had a little bit of everything: murder, stalking, office drama, and a bit of romance. The ending to this one certainly hints to another great installment in this series coming out and I look forward to reading what Daugherty comes up with next! I will definitely be putting THE ECHO KILLING on my to-buy list!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

Disclosure: Thank you to Minotaur Books for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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