Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This Pen For Hire by Laura Levine

Series: Jaine Austen Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 224
Book Source: Own purchase

In the first novel in her wickedly witty new mystery series, Laura Levine introduces Jaine Austen, a hip, jack-of-all trades writer who spends her days penning smarmy personal ads and daring declarations of passion--and her nights looking for Mr. Right in Hollywood's swinging singles scene.

Jaine's letter writing skill on behalf of her geeky client Howard, earns him a date with the stunning aerobics instructor Stacy. Unfortunately the first date ends before it really begins, with Howard arrested for murder when Stacy is found bludgeoned to death with a thigh master. Jaine, sympathy and curiosity aroused begins her career in amateur sleuthdom to prove Howard's innocence.

This was my first chick-lit/cozy mystery and I'm pretty sure it will be my last. An ultra fluffy, quick read, light on substance, and heavy on self-depreciating humour. If you like your banter centred mainly around thighs big enough to rent out as condos, "queen-sized pantyhose" or dates with a trusty vibrator and a bottle of cheap chardonnay then you'll probably find this a hoot. Jaine's cat Prozac (love the name) was my favourite character but I'm surprised poor Prozac survived the story after "inhaling" her gourmet tuna, ad nauseum.

Definitely a giggle or two in this one but just a bit too cute for me!

To celebrate my 1st Blogoversary two lucky readers can take their pick from a choice of 6 books in this month's spookalicious competition. Check this blog post for details. International entrants welcome.


  1. Does sound cute, and I would like to read it...even with that warning :) I guess i would just have to see if it was too fluffy for me

  2. Levine is very very funny. Check out my quick review of her Killer Cruise mystery at K Book

  3. I have been waiting for your review of this one...I think I'd have to be in the mood for it. I am not big on ChickLit.

  4. Hi Teddyree!

    Not a big chick-lit reader here, no vampires????? But it's good for a change of pace. It sounded cute in the synopsis, but now I'm wondering if it's too cutisy. I'm tempted to give it a peek. I do like fun mysteries as a break (though I usually like meat with my potatoes).

    Dottie :)

  5. B ~ the mystery is there but too cutesy for me. That's not to say others won't enjoy it, but I like my mystery/murder/suspense pretty full on.

    Book Bird Dog ~ I did have a giggle or two but I found the humour in this one pretty cliched. I'll be by to check out your review of her Killer Cruise mystery

    J.Kaye ~ it was good to try but I don't think chick-lit mysteries are for me. I do like chick-lit stories just not mixed with the murder/mystery genre.

    Dottie ~ I think I've decided I'm not a fan, this one was too cutesy for me but I can see why it would appeal. For me, the meat was MIA in this one LOL

  6. Well I don't read this genre anyway but it was a great review!

  7. Teddyree, hmmmmm...., I'm not too into the ChickLit, but the mystery added in is what had me interested. Of course, I don't read many of mysteries. Who is a favorite ChickLit author/title of the top of your head?

  8. J.Kaye ~ Ooh that's easy, Cecelia Aherne definitely a fave, then maybe Marian Keys, Zoe Barnes, Meg Cabot

  9. I am not too fond of Chick Lit... sometimes in my break.. I read them.. but i m sure i will give this one a pass!

  10. Teddyree, I haven't tried any of those. I'm keeping this list for next year. Maybe I am just not reading the right

  11. Well, I thought Stacy as a "stunning aerobics instructor" sounded promising, but then she met a violent death. No thanks :)

  12. See, cute and fluffy is about the only way I could read a mystery. But since it made me shiver to read Stacy was bludgeoned to death (with a thigh master? really? I didn't think anyone used those suckers for anything.), I'm probably too wimpy even for something like this.


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