Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Laughs, fun, and a good mystery
Cons: Might be too wacky for some
The Bottom Line:
Filled with hilarity, clues
Light yet oh so fun
Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Yourself Dead
When it comes to comedic mysteries,
Los Angeles based freelance writer Jaine
Austen tops my list of favorite sleuths.
Her adventures are always funny but the mysteries are always well
done. Killing Cupid is her 12th adventure, and it’s just as good as the
Always in need of a paycheck, Jaine jumps when she gets a referral to Dates of Joy, the premier matchmaking service in
Beverly Hills. Joy Amoroso, the owner, wants Jaine to write
a new brochure and some copy for the website.
However, Joy is a bear to work for, scams her clients, and hordes her chocolate. And those are her good points. It’s hardly a surprise when Joy drops dead in the middle of her annual Valentine’s Day party. In fact, the list of suspects includes everyone who ever met Joy. Since Jaine is one of the suspects, she decides to jump in and find the real killer while dodging her new geriatric suitor, a man who is dating Jaine to get close to her cat, Prozac. But who actually killed Joy?
Author Laura Levine is a former sitcom writer, and it shows in these books. Each book stands alone, so you can jump in with any book that catches your interest. The humor comes from wacky characters and Jaine’s asides in the breezy narration. Plus she gets into some pretty funny situations as well. The squirrel scene is especially good in this book. I was laughing and smiling from start to finish.
As a result, the characters can be a bit thin at times. I do come to care for most of them, but they don’t have quite the depth of the characters in many of the novels I read. Still, they work for this series where the emphasis is on just having fun.
The mystery is strong here. There is some set up of suspects before the murder takes place, so we already know who might have done it when Joy drops dead. I suspected who the killer might be early on, but I wasn’t sure until Jaine figured it out.
As always, there is a sub-plot involving Jaine’s parents. They live in a retirement community in
and their story unfolds in a series of hilarious e-mails. It doesn’t tie in to the main mystery, but it
is fun just the same. This time, Jaine’s
Dad thinks someone is trying to woo her Mom, and it just snowballs from
there. This may be my favorite of the