Friday, January 7, 2011

This Pen For Hire: a Jaine Austen Mystery

by Laura Levine,
Kensington, 2003

Jaine Austen, writer-for-hire, finds herself in a pickle when a client is charged with murder after Jaine's personal letter wins him a date with the object of his affection. Jaine doesn't believe the crime possible of the meek-mannered geek she's met and sets out to prove the authorities wrong.

Turns out there's no shortage of people who might want Stacy Lawrence dead - men she's used and jealous female rivals among them. Jaine has to narrow down the suspects before she winds up the killer's next victim. He or she is on to her plan to find the truth and will do anything to stop her from succeeding.

Jaine is likable and self-deprecating, with a weak spot for her cat, Prozac. Female readers will be able to identify with her insecurities, but her desperation for a sexual connection gets to be a bit much. Though she never does "get lucky," that whole theme wears as the plot moves along.

An entertaining read, but the avid mystery buff will figure out whodunit long before the book comes to a close.

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