Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Book Review: Death of a Bachelorette by Laura Levine (Jaine Austen #15)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Laughs, fun, mystery
Cons: Only if you don’t enjoy a light, fun read
The Bottom Line:
Reality show
Murder, intrigue, and laughter
Jaine’s newest fun case

It’s No Bachelor or Bachelorette in Paradise, Especially for the Murder Victim

As I often say, I read for fun.  Yes, some of the books I read and enjoy are more serious and I learn something.  But for pure smiles and laughs per page it is hard to top Laura Levine’s Jaine Austen series.  Death of a Bachelorette is the fifteenth in the series, and it is as much of a pure delight as the earlier books.

Jaine thinks her fortunes have finally changed when she gets hired to be the writer for reality TV show Some Day My Prince Will Come.  Think The Bachelor, but with a very minor British royal as the bachelor.  She and her cat are both being flown down to an island near Tahiti for the job, and all Jaine has to do is write some suggested dialogue for the bachelor and contestants and enjoy the setting.

If you are at all familiar with the series, you know immediately that things don’t go the way Jaine expects them to.  Spencer, the bachelor, is dumb as a rock (actually, I think I just insulted rocks) and can’t remember more than a few stock phrases.  The location is a nightmare, and Jaine’s cat makes trouble for her.

And that doesn’t count the contestants who are at each other’s throats on and off camera.  By the time Jaine arrives, the show is nearing its climax, and the tension between the women left is huge.  So, when one of them winds up dead, the list of suspects is long.  Since no one can leave the island until the killer is found, Jaine starts talking to the cast and crew, hoping to find the killer.  Can she do it?

I haven’t even touched on the sub-plots.  We still get the latest antics from Jaine’s parents in their retirement community in Florida.  Jaine’s neighbor Lance also gets into the e-mail act this time around since he can’t pop into the book in person.  All of these sub-plots add a lot of humor to the book.

Not that the book needs more humor.  Jaine and Prozac are a riot on their own.  The lines Jaine figures Prozac must be thinking are hilarious, and Jaine finds herself in some pretty funny predicaments.  The suspects are funny in their own right, so if I wasn’t laughing I was smiling.  And that’s why I love this series; it’s just so much fun.

As I’ve often said, the characters in this series are drawn more for their humor potential than to be completely realistic.  Think sitcom character rather than drama show character.  However, for this series it works perfectly.

The murder happens later than I would normally enjoy, but that time is used to start the sub-plots and set up suspects and motivation.  With all the humor, I was never bored.  Don’t let my talk of humor make you think we don’t get a good mystery.  I actually had no idea who the killer was until the end of the book.  Along the way, we get a number of solid suspects with secrets and motives of their own.

These books are fast reads and are over all too soon.  Death of a Bachelorette will delight Jaine’s fans.  And if you haven’t started this series yet, don’t wait any longer.

Missing one of Jaine’s adventures?  Here are the Jaine Austen Mysteries in order.

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