LA Girl: Kathryn Lilley

Kathryn Lilley, crime fiction author.

Kathryn aims a Walther PPK, the gun of choice for the original James Bond.

I should start off by saying how ecstatic I am to be included under any heading that has the word “Girl” in it. At age 57, it’s a rare treat!

My skin survival tips:

Shun the Sun

Even incidental sun exposure (driving, biking, walking the pooch) can give you a serious case of crone skin by the time you reach my age. I’ve been hiding from the sun since I hit puberty. While other girls were sitting on the beach with sun reflectors to soak up the rays, I’d be swaddled in a muumuu, wearing polarized sun lenses and a floppy hat. It made me seem like a bit of an odd ball through the years. But, hey. Now everybody raves about my skin. I’ve been experimenting with sun blocks for years (always remembering to include my neck and hands). My current fave is Tizo3 Age Defying Fusion with Broad Spectrum SPF 40.  It glides on smoothly, and it has a mineral base that adds a hint of color as you put it on.

Prep Work

For prep work, I use plain, old-fashioned (and uber cheap!) Cetaphil. Their Gentle Skin Cleanser and Daily Facial Moisutizer (with SPF 50+, natch) are all I use on a regular basis. I do occasionally splurge on a bottle of MAC Prep + Prime, just because I love the way it feels on my skin.


After years of experimenting with everything on earth, I finally went the pharmaceutical route and tried Latisse. It works incredibly well. And so far, my blue eyes haven’t turned brown. I suspect that’s a medical urban myth.


I was a devotee of Clinique’s Soft Finish foundation for 30 years. And then the bastards went and discontinued it! I’ve been desperately searching for something that glides on as smoothly and looks as lustrous ever since. The best I’ve found so far is Bobbi Brown’s Luminous Moisturizing Treatment Foundation. But I’m still pissed off at Clinique.

Extra, Ahem, “Work”

Can we talk?  Yes, I do make an occasional pilgrimage to my neighborhood medi-spa for a quick cosmetic pick-me-up. (And anyone over age 45 who still looks good who tells you they don’t do something “extra” is a big, fat liar). I’ve tried Botox, IPL, plus a little filler here and there. They’re all good. That is all.

Diet and Exercise

I am a recidivist member of Weight Watchers. It’s the only diet program which lets me hit 31 Flavors without feeling guilty the next morning.  (Instead of going to confession, WW let you count the points and forget ‘em. Which is also good advice for one’s sex life, I suppose!) My perennial dream is to make it to goal so I don’t have to pay for the weekly meetings (which I never go to). So far  I’ve never reached goal; but the dream lives on.


About Kathryn:

As a pre-teen Kathryn Lilley had two passions: Nancy Drew mysteries and Pralines ‘n Cream ice cream. So it’s no wonder she grew up to write a series called The Fat City Mysteries.

Her stories include Makeovers can be Murder, A Killer Workout, and Dying to Be Thin.

Her mystery stories are set in Durham, North Carolina, the self-proclaimed “Diet Capital of the World.” And like her journalist sleuth, Kate Gallagher, Kathryn understands the Battle of the Bulge all too well. She once had to lose 90 pounds to land a job on camera as a TV reporter. And even today Kathryn avoids the street that goes past 31 Flavors.

Kathryn lives in the Los Angeles area. She founded The Kill Zone blog, and is a former board member for the Mystery Writers of America, Southern California Chapter. Kathryn is also a member of the International Thriller Writers Association.

A graduate of Wellesley College, Kathryn received a graduate degree in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She began her career in journalism as an on-air reporter for WIS-TV in Columbia, South Carolina.

So far, she’s kept most the weight off, too.

Donna Lethal

About Donna Lethal

Donna Lethal is the author of "Milk of Amnesia" and writes for her own blog (Lethal Dose), Hair Hall of Fame, Dowager Quarterly, Find A Death, & the Valhalla Cemetery chapter in "Weird Hollywood." A native of Lowell, Mass., she's lived in Boston, NY and London before settling here. When not writing, she's hiking, soaking in a Korean salt room or in the high desert with her pit bull.
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