This Pen for Hire (A Jaine Austen Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – 27 Jun 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
Jaine is a writer for hire who has authored everything from libido laced personal ads to ardent vows of true love. This is her daytime job. At night she's out and about searching for her one-and-only in Hollywood's bistros.
Enter a gawking geek, Howard Murdoch, who retains Jaine to write a love letter to Stacy Lawrence, a heart-stopping aerobics instructor whom Howard has never met. Crime comes quickly when Howard discovers Stacy beaten to death with a Thigh Master. The hapless Howard is, of course, fingered for the killing. Jaime is determined to prove his innocence.
Wielding her Bloomies card like a press pass and totally disregarding all obstacles Jaine is hot on the trail of the killer who wants to make a real ghost writer out of her.
"This Pen For Hire" is a fun beach read, and Jaine a likeable heroine. Hope Laura Levine is back at the computer coming up with a second adventure for this dauntless dame.
I'd noticed a story by Laura Levine in an anthology (Candy Cane Murder) but as I brought the book for the Joanne Fluke story I'd never bothered reading it. After hearing Laura's praises sung I decided to give her writing a shot with the first in the Jaine Austen series. I'm really glad I did.
The plot is great - full of twists and turns, with a few red herrings thrown in. It isn't as cozy as most cozy mysteries as it's more self-aware and sex is mentioned quite frequently, but I loved it. The mystery was well thought out, with loads of possible suspects and a killer I didn't manage to figure out in advance. Having the book set in L.A. also meant that this wasn't a small-town setting so Jaine had to go out to a variety of places to snoop.
I liked Jaine and her snarky sense of humour, and she was also believable in how and why she investigated Stacy's death. The possible romantic interest Cameron was well developed without taking over the storyline, although Detective Rea was a little underdeveloped.Read more ›
This series debut was an absolute delight. The story is well plotted, and the pace never lets up. The main characters are fleshed out well. What sets this book apart, however, is the humor. Written in the first person, the pages drip with wit and sarcasm in all the right places. I constantly had a grin on my face, and several times found myself laughing out loud. Yet, it never looses sight of the fact that it's a murder mystery first; the humor never gets in the way of the story.
Anyone looking for a light, fun mystery for a relaxing weekend or trip need look no further. I've already added this series to my favorites and look forward to Jaine's further adventures.