Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Book Review: Murder Buys a One-Way Ticket by Laura Levine (Jaine Austen Mysteries #20)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Lots of laughs and fun
Cons: Mystery could have been a little stronger
The Bottom Line:
Murder on a train
Filled with usual hijinks
A great funny read

Your One-Way Ticket to Fun

As any fan of the Jaine Austen series will tell you, a new book is always a reason to celebrate.  Book twenty (hard to believe) just came out, and I dropped everything to see what she was up to in Murder Buys a One-Way Ticket.

Jaine is a freelance writer living with her cat in Los Angeles.  She will take on any job to make ends meet.  Sadly, those jobs often lead her to murder.  Maybe if her clients weren’t always so difficult.  Meanwhile, she often seems to find herself involved in some crazy situations thanks to her neighbor, Lance.  And her parents send her emails about their latest exploits in their retirement community in Florida.

Jaine’s new client is wealthy gym owner Chip Miller, aka Iron Man, who is looking to have Jaine ghost write a book on fitness.  Considering all Jaine knows about fitness is how to avoid it, she’s a little surprised she’s getting the gig.  Even better, she’s invited along with his family as they travel from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara and back on Chip’s private train.  What could be better?

Actually, a lot.  Chip is a bully, and Jaine gets to see that in full force along the way.  But just as they are pulling back in LA, she finds Chip’s body in his compartment.  The police consider her a likely suspect, so Jaine once again puts on her sleuthing hat to figure out what really happened on the train.  Can she do it?

In other news, her father has decided he’s related to Elvis.  And, in typical fashion, he’s decided that dressing up as Elvis and making a grand entrance at an upcoming party is just the thing.  And Lance enlists Jaine’s help in gaining membership into an exclusive club in West Hollywood.

As always, the book juggles the three storylines well.  The focus is the mystery, but when these sub-plots pop up on the page, it’s a delight to see them.  They really add to the comedy of the book.

Yes, this is a comedic mystery.  Author Laura Levine used to write for sitcoms, and it shows.  There are plenty of laughs from the situations Jaine finds herself in as well as her observations on events.

Not that the book doesn’t take the puzzle seriously as well.  I did figure out one key thing early, but I was waiting for a few more blanks to be filled in as I read.  By the time I turned the final page, all my questions were answered satisfactory. 

Remember I talked earlier about sitcoms?  That flows over to the characters.  They’re all just a bit exaggerated, more caricature than full on character.  And yet, that works for this series.  As long as you know what you’re getting when you start, you’ll be fine.

If you are looking for a light, funny mystery, Murder Buys a One-Way Ticket is just what you need.  Sit back, laugh, and enjoy today.

Be sure to laugh your way through the rest of the Jaine Austen Mysteries.

1 comment:

  1. This is a series I really need to start on. I've heard such good things about it and sometimes a funny mystery is just what I'm looking for.


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