Cozy Mystery books are very light and easy read especially when done right. I just got a hold of this series near the end of last year, and ever since then I was hooked!
There will be no spoilers for these three books!
Book 2: Last Writes
In this second installment, we find our protagonist, Jaine, in the set of a t.v show Muffy ‘n’ Me. Having one of her stories picked for an episode in the show, she was able to rub shoulders with a variety of b-list actors, along side her best friend, Kandi. Unfortunately, this sudden fame all turned sour when one of the main characters, Quinn Kirkland, was found dead and Kandi is the main suspect.
* Just like the first book, I found myself enjoying my reading experience. Even though I hated the ending, obviously enough, I was able to get pass this. I’m still trying to get used to the lack of a small town setting, but rather in a larger city of Hollywood. Although the writer could have added more characters in this book, the recurring people that we do get are interesting enough to keep you wanting to read more. In this book, we see more of Jaine’s best friend, Kandi. We find out, unlike her friend, she is your typical Hollywood citizen, with a great paying job, lovely figure and beautiful features. Unfortunate for her, the tragic events of the death of Quinn Kirkland, made her the prime suspect of this murder investigation. Having one mystery up her sleeve, Jaine felt that it was her duty to clear Kandi’s name.
As usual this book is filled with hilarious escapades from our heroine and her ever popular internal monologues is present. At first they were a bit bothersome for me, but eventually I got used to her struggles with her will power when it comes to refusing fatty foods. I feel that a lot more readers can relate to her. The one thing that I do wish that Levine will include is a love interest. I usually associate cozy mysteries with a little bit of romance, and the lack of this is increasingly obvious for me.
I feel that all the characters that Levine includes in her books are either suspects or victims. In other cozies we usually see a plethora of minor characters to draw the readers even more into the story, but for the Jaine Austen mysteries, we don’t really get this sense of community. I’m not saying that this series is not as good compared to those other books, but I do wish that Levine adds more to her list of characters. As for the actual mystery, I wasn’t all too happy with the ending. I admit, it made sense, but it was a little bit on the darker side of this type of mystery genre.
Book 3: Killer Blonde
Finding herself a ghostwriter for a famous socialite, Jaine Austen is giddy with excitement as the thoughts of a permanent income fills her mind. However, the more she works alongside Sue Ellen, she finds her hostility towards her step-daughter unwelcome. On the day of her resignation, she finds the body of her employer floating in the bathtub.
*Again we meet our ever beloved heroine, Jaine and her many shenanigans. Whenever I want a light read that will make me laugh out loud, no doubt about it, I will pick up a Jaine Austen Mystery. Just like the other two books, this left me in a good mood and wanting more!
We are taken again to Jaine’s new job as a ghost writer for a well known socialite, Sue Ellen. Although she has perfected the art of creating laving and beautiful parties, her manners is less desirable. The more she spent time with Sue Ellen, the more she realized the unfortunate power of a step mother. Unfortunately for Heidi, her outburst during her party will land her as the number one suspect on the death of Sue Ellen.
Finally, an ending that I actually enjoyed! Although, this had a better outcome than the previous two, I was actually convinced I knew the killer since the first time the character was introduced. I wasn’t certain as to the motive, but I knew that this person will be the cause of Sue Ellens demise and surprisingly, I was right! Not a very intricately woven tale, but for a cozy mystery, its highly entertaining.
Jaine is fast becoming one of my favorite protagonist in a cozy mystery because of her personality and humor. I also enjoy the other recurring character, such as her parents. Although, their story is only told through emails, I find them to be just as hilarious as the main story plot. The incidents that her father goes through, is just as funny as Jaine’s many adventures.
Book 4: Shoes to Die For
Freelance writer, Jaine Austen is too plain for her neighbor, Lance, liking. Making it his mission to spruce up her love life, he intends to give her a makeover. As they peruse his favorite chic clothing store, it is evident that Jaine has no intention of lavishing herself with a shirt for hundreds of dollars. Instead, she leaves the boutique with a job interview with the owner, to create a new advertisement for their magazine ad. Before she gets her big break, however, Jaine finds one of the workers murdered and it is up to her to clear the name of the pixie like clerk, Becky.
*So far this is my favorite in this series. I enjoyed all the characters that was introduced and the mystery of this book was really good. The twist in the end! Yes, its still not an Agatha Christie, but I still love the humor in the book.
Just like in the second book, we are introduced further to one of the recurring character, Lance, Jaine’s bionic ears neighbor. Although I haven’t mentioned him in any of my reviews until now, he’s actually present since book one, but we don’t get to find out a lot about him until Shoes to Die For. Like I said, even if we do not get that many minor characters in this series, what we do get are all pertinent to every novel. Although, their not well developed as I would like them to be, they do a great job of entertaining you within the pages. In all actuality, I feel that these books would make a great sit-com just because of all the humor and shenanigans that these characters go though.
I haven’t actually been disappointed with the mystery aspect of these books, including this one. Even though I enjoyed the twist in the end, its forthcoming. If you ever decide to read this series, I think you will understand.
***Evidently enough, this series is fast becoming one of my favorite cozies. Even if there are some disappointing parts for me, I still find the heroine funny and can’t wait to see more of her adventures.***
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