Jaine Austen Mystery: 5,6,7 by Laura Levine

I’ve been devouring these books this whole year, but I feel that I’m starting to get tired of Levine’s writing. As much as I love Jaine as a protagonists, I feel that the story is very much the same. I’m not saying I’m going to stop reading the series altogether, but I will probably be pacing myself for the remaining books that are out.

As for the usual, I will be revealing the ending of each book. Be forewarned!

Book 5: The PMS Murder

Jaine finally makes friends! While in the dressing room, Jaine befriends a wannabe actress, Pam. She’s then recruited to attend the ‘PMS Club’ where Jaine meets an assorted bunch of people. Everything is going well until claws comes out and secrets are revealed. Jaine is then caught in the middle of a feud between friends, where one is eventually murdered!

*This is actually my least favorite book in the series so far. I didn’t find the story as compelling as the other books and I feel that the characters were all mediocre. None of them really stood out and felt that most of the characters were flat. I was actually really excited that Levine decided to give Jaine friends, I know she has Kandi and Lance, but I’m starting to want more characters. Unfortunately, these characters I could do without. The term “with friends like these, who needs enemies” is a very strong theme in this book. I’m not really entirely sure why Levine alienates her protagonist, with only a disagreeable cat for company, but I really do wish she give Jaine a break.

That being said, the mystery in this book for me was ‘meh’. I wasn’t that invested in it. It took me awhile to figure out who the killer is and the reason why, but when it was finally revealed, I just wasn’t happy with the result. I’m not really sure if the whole book was lacking for me or the characters really did leave a mad taste in my mouth, but this book is definitely on the lower end of my favorites in this series.

***SPOILERS***

The killer is Pam. I really wasn’t expecting this, but then again I wasn’t surprised. As to the reason why she killed her friend, for money. The victim has won the lottery and wanting to take the winnings, Beth decided to DEAL with her, literally. I found this to be such a shallow reasoning for murder. I couldn’t deal with all the selfishness and shallowness that was present in this book. I think that was my main complaint.

Book 6: Death by Pantyhose

Since Jaine’s bank account is running low, she decided to take a job as a comedian writer for, Dorcas, who flings a pantyhose to her audience as a finale to her acts. Unfortunately for Jaine, not only was she unimpressed by the comedian’s act, but she had to also witness Vic, a fellow comedian, harass her client. When Vic’s body is found dead with Dorcas’ pantyhose around his neck she went from being a writer to amateur sleuth once again.

*This was such an improvement from Levine’s former book. She went back to her roots of hilarious antics and classic whodunnit. Since I do the majority of my reading on public transportation I found myself holding out on a laugh or two while I has this book in my hand. Yes, I know murder is not a laughing matter, but Jaine always gets herself in the weirdest/funniest circumstances. For me, Jaine’s love story took center stage in this book since Levine hardly ever gives Jaine a happy ending. Don’t worry though, there is still a lot of sleuthing for our heroine.

Levine has a way of writing her character very well and yet very annoying. Each character that is constantly present in Jaine’s life seems to either be egotistical or selfish. I’m not really sure if the author does this on purpose or she’s being stereotypical of Los Angeles citizens. They do have their redeeming qualities, but I still hate the fact that all of the characters are somewhat flawed. I especially hate how she writes Prozac. I’m not a cat person, but I’m pretty sure cats aren’t usually this snobby and self-centered. I wish that Levine will introduce a wholesome character for Jaine, a friend a boyfriend, anyone that will at least be charismatic towards her.

***SPOILERS***

The killer is Vic’s comedian writer. I totally forgot his name, I’m so sorry. The murder occurred because he wanted to get the T.V deal that Vic was promised. Since Vic’s materials are all written by him, he feels that it is only right that he gets to chance to be on TV than the fraud comedian.

Book 7: Killing Bridezilla

Jaine’s high school experience wasn’t her best memories because the school diva, Patti and followers Nicole and Cherrie. So when Patti tries to hire Jaine to be a screenwriter for her Romeo and Juliet type of wedding, Jaine was hesitant to say ‘yes’. Unfortunately, her constant financial grievances forces her to take on unwanted writing gigs. Though Patti wanted a happier ending for her Romeo and Juliet story, the outcome still ended up with Juliet dying at the hands of a cherub.

*I took a little break between Book6 and Book7. I got exhausted with the similar synopsis between her books and I’m glad I decided to take this break because I actually enjoyed this as much as when I first started the series. The mystery surrounding Patti’s death is pretty well thought out and I enjoyed seeing the past of Jaine, which we rarely see. Although I had the killer all figured out, the twist in the end was a great addition.

As usual Prozac was unbearable. I’m really starting to hate this cat! I also wish that Levine would give her a love interest worthy of staying for more than 1 book or any new recurring character will be better than nothing, something different for a change. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the next book. That being said I did enjoy the different minor characters that are in this novel.

***SPOILER***

The killer is the stepdad. As usual I forgot the name. I really should start taking proper notes. His business has started to decline, having spent all of his money and his wife’s, he has no other choice but to kill his step-daughter to inherit her money. Unknown to him she has already used her money on business ventures that has not gone well.

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