Cozy Mystery Review: This Pen For Hire (A Jaine Austen Mystery, #1) by Laura Levine (Check It Out)

Posted April 16, 2012 by Felicia S in 2012 Read, 3.75 Wine Glasses / 14 Comments


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In the first novel of 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.

When geeky, gawky Howard Murdoch hires her to write a love letter to Stacy Lawrence, a drop-dead gorgeous aerobics instructor he’s never actually met, Jaine is reluctant at first. But she overcomes her misgivings, warms up her computer, and starts pitching woo on Howard’s behalf.

Then Howard finds Stacy on Valentine’s Day, bludgeoned to death with a Thigh Master; and is quickly fingered as the prime suspect. Jaine is determined to clear Howard’s name. After all, if she weren’t so good at her job, the only cops on Howard’s case would be the fashion police.

Before Jaine knows it, she’s become a nosier — and bolder — version of her usual self, flashing her Bloomies charge card in lieu of a press pass and lying her pants off in her quest for the truth. But Jaine had better act quickly, before a crafty killer catches on — and puts a whole new spin on the term “ghost writer.”

Read in April, 2012

Read for Fun!
Overall Rating: 3.75
Story Rating: 3.50
Character Rating: 4.00

First Thought When Finished: What a fun read!

What I Loved: Note to self: don’t write love letters for others unless you want to be in the middle of a very fun mystery. Jaine Austen was such a cute character. She was sassy, fun, and kind of a mess. Her dating life sucks. Her career is a little unusual. Her neighbor is nosy. Her best friend was a total riot. All in all she was just fun to watch stumble through things. She was a hot mess as she tried to figure out how to get a nerdy client that she wrote a love letter for out of jail. It was just downright fun!

What I Liked: The mystery was quirky and fun. Though it wasn’t hard to figure out who was guilty. I find that is pretty much standard in cozy mysteries. It was fun to unravel the case through Jaine’s eyes. There were a few twists and turns with the characters that I thought were really well done.

What made me go huh?: I wanted a little more of the detective in the story though I think we will see more of him in the future. I also wanted more of her best friend–she was a riot!

Final Thought: This is a perfect summer afternoon cozy mystery read!

Felicia S
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14 responses to “Cozy Mystery Review: This Pen For Hire (A Jaine Austen Mystery, #1) by Laura Levine (Check It Out)

  1. Lee

    The Jaine Austen title drew me in!  I am a big Jane Austen fan…is there a connection?  And I love a mystery.  I used to be addicted to them.  Must look into this one!

  2. Heidi

    This sounds like fun…accidental love letter, nerdy guy. is he hot? Cozy mysteries are fun. I especially like the ones that feature food…then I spend the whole book drooling but somehow reading about good food stops me from eating it weird huh? Sounds like this is a perfect light read.

  3. Alicia Flores

    This looks like a fun read… plus, I totally love the series title, A Jaine Austen Mystery πŸ™‚
    I don't think I've ever really tried a cozy mystery… they sound like great reads, though, and it kind of makes me think of Murder She Wrote and I totally loved that show, lol.

    Okay, I just downloaded for my kindle πŸ™‚

    • thegeekyblogger

       It was a really fun (and not expensive) cozy mystery.  She kind of reminded me of  Stephanie Plum. She was that big of a mess.

  4. Bookgoonie

    Always good to have a few pop corn type books. You know they are quick and go down easy. That kind of sound dirtier than pop corn.

    • thegeekyblogger

       I really think that describes this one perfectly πŸ™‚  It was a great escape!

  5. This sounds like a cozy for me! I so need to get this one. Plus you know it also sounded like it could be a part of the snort club too.