Thursday, October 24, 2019

Book Review: Death of a Gigolo by Laura Levine (Jaine Austen Mysteries #17)


Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Light and fun as always
Cons: This book left me smiling too much to list any cons
The Bottom Line:
Writing a romance
Lands Jaine in another death
Grin whole way through book




Jaine’s Latest Adventure is Fun as Always

Most series of books I’ve loved over the years have stopped for one reason or another.  However, a few are still going strong after multiple volumes, and I always look forward to catching up with the latest adventures of my fictional friends.  One such series is Laura Levine’s Jaine Austen Mysteries.  Death of a Gigolo is Jaine’s seventeenth adventure and is just as much fun as I expected it to be.

If you haven’t met Jaine, she is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles.  While advertising slogans have been her bread and butter, each book finds herself taking on some wacky clients and assignments.  Of course, those assignments usually land her in the middle of a murder, which forces her to pull out her part-time, semi-professional PI persona and get to the bottom of what is happening.

Jaine’s latest job is working for the wealthy Daisy Kincaid.  Daisy is an heiress living in Bel Air, and she has decided to write a book called Fifty Shades of Turquoise, and she hires Jaine to help her write this soon to be bestselling romance.  Daisy doesn’t really have any plans for the book beyond the title and a fifty-room mansion with each room painted a different shade of turquoise.  Jaine has never written anything as long as a novel before, but the paycheck is too good to pass up, so she bravely comes up with a storyline and plunges in.

Working at Daisy’s house each day allows her to be on hand when Tommy comes into Daisy’s life.  The young man is much younger than Daisy, but she is quickly smitten with him, much to the dismay of her staff and friends.  The longer Tommy is around, the more he alienates everyone, but Daisy doesn’t see it.  In fact, it isn’t long before the two are engaged.  The day before the wedding, someone kills Tommy.  With Jaine’s office mate under suspicion, can Jaine figure out what really happened?

Those familiar with the series know to expect a couple of sub-plots, and this book doesn’t disappointment.  Jaine’s love life is heating up after she’s reunited with an ex much to her cat’s dismay.  Yes, Prozac is doing her best to make sure this guy doesn’t stay in Jaine’s life.  Meanwhile, in a series of e-mails, we learn about the latest shenanigans happening with Jaine’s parents in Tampa, Florida.  All I’m going to tease here is a bad haircut and a sculpting class.  You’ll have to read the book to see for yourself what they are up to this time.

With everything happening in this book, I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I say that this is a fast-paced read.  While the murder doesn’t happen right away, the time is spent setting up the suspects and motives as well as on the sub-plots.  Once the murder happens, the twists comes quickly until we reach the satisfying climax.

From my plot teases, you probably picked up that this is a comedic mystery novel.  Personally, I found the sub-plots to be the funniest part of the book.  I laughed out loud at them.  Not to say that I didn’t find some parts of the mystery funny as well.  Even when I wasn’t laughing, I was smiling at some of the situations Jaine found herself in, and the narration is amusing as well.

This does bleed over to the characters.  Since the book is slightly wacky, the characters are edging to the caricature side of the spectrum instead of being fully realized characters.  But they fit the book.  Really, with the tone of the book, anything else wouldn’t feel right and would drain the humor out of the story.

Laura Levine worked in sitcoms for a while, and that is how I like to best describe this series.  Imagine your favorite sitcom character trying to solve a murder, and you’ve got a good feel for what this series is like.  That means you have to be in the right mood to pick one of these books up, but if you are ready for something light and fun, there is nothing better to hit the spot.

Which is why I am always happy to have a new adventure starring Jaine Austen to enjoy.  Death of a Gigolo will please Jaine’s loyal fans.  When you are looking for a light mystery, this is the book to reach for.

Need more laughs?  You’ll get them with the rest of the Jaine Austen Mysteries.

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