A decade before her dazzling breakthrough novel, The Birth of Venus, Silver Dagger Award-winning author Sarah Dunant won critical acclaim for her Hannah Wolfe crime novels.
In Under My Skin, private investigator Hannah Wolfe's cushy new assignment takes her to the sumptuous Castle Dean health spa. While being plucked, crimped, steamed, and oiled, Hannah is ideally placed to probe some reported cases of sabotage -- fish in the Jacuzzi and steel nails in the massage heads. But spa owner Olivia Marchant has other problems besides sabotage. Someone is threatening her husband, Maurice, one of London's leading cosmetic surgeons and the man responsible for reconstructing many of the world's rich and famous. In a culture where no one wants to grow old and everyone seems to believe in the power of the knife, Hannah feels like an alien visitor. People will do anything in the name of beauty -- perhaps even commit murder.
At Castle Dean health spa in Berkshire, someone is out for revenge. Carp have been boiled in the spa's Jacuzzi, maggots mixed into the yogurt and acid blended into the massage cream. Initially reluctant to take the case, British PI Hannah Wolfe (last seen in Fatlands) steels herself to 200-a-day beauty treatments while she searches for both saboteur and motive. Hannah's quick resolution of the case convinces spa owner Olivia Marchant that Hannah should look into a series of threatening notes received by her husband, a renowned "aesthetic surgeon." While cross-checking Castle Dean clients with Dr. Marchant's patient list, Hannah is introduced to a world where body parts are enlarged, reduced and sculpted and self-image is created on the surgeon's table. But this pursuit of the ideal often leads to disappointment, which in turn, inspires lawsuits, suicide and, finally, murder. Hannah, with a self-described "attitude problem," is a witty, and competent PI, a little like Kinsey Milhone, but very much her own woman.