Love is in the air as freelance writer Jaine Austen begins a new job at the Dates of Joy matchmaking service--but between juggling her boss's demands, deflecting theadvances of an eccentric suitor, and tracking down a calculating killer, she hardly has time to think about romance. . .
When Jaine lands a job writing web copy and brochures for matchmaker Joy Amoroso, she's excited for a chance to help the lovelorn just in time for Valentine's Day--until she realizes what "Dates of Joy" is really all about. Joy is a ruthless taskmaster who screams at her employees for the smallest infractions, pads her website with pictures of professional models posing as clients, and offers up convincing but empty promises of love in exchange for inordinate sums of money. And woe betide anyone who lays a finger on her heavily guarded stash of chocolates. So it's no surprise when the chiseling cupid turns up dead at a Valentine's Day mixer.
Aghast to find herself on the cops' suspect list, Jaine sets out to track down the killer. Who could it be? Joy's harried assistants, whose lives she made a living hell? Her younger lover? The handsome hunk of a client with a secret in his past? Or the furious Beverly Hills widow who forked over the last of her savings for a Prince Charming who never materialized? Joy left behind a slew of enemies struck by her deviant arrows, so finding the culprit may prove harder than spotting that elusive caramel praline in a box of chocolates--and Jaine will have to flirt with danger to get to the truth...
©2014 Laura Levine (P)2013 Audible Inc.
"I'm crazy about Laura Levine's mystery series. Her books are so outrageously funny, they always make me laugh out loud." (Joanne Fluke)
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"Humorous and very enjoyable cozy"
Witty dialogue, good plot, and quirky characters, I hope more Jaine Austen on Audible soon!
This is another great book in the Jaine Austen series. Jaine is once again under suspicion for murder. She noises around to find the killer. As always, there are plenty of hijinks on Jaine's part and also from her father. The mystery is fun and enjoyable. The characters are entertaining and realistic. This is a very good story. I can't wait until the next book comes out.
"Oreos and Chardonnay"
I love California mysteries. I've been reading Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone since "C is for Corpse" (1986), published the year I moved to Southern California. It's a place of stark contrasts - an oasis wrenched from the desert by William Mulholland, always flooded or in drought; of glittering Hollywood dreams built on the backs of migrants 'sans papiers.'
I keep looking for Marcia Clark's Rachel Knight ("Guilt by Association" (2011) etc.) at the Grand Central Market on Broadway when I get Thai take out after a Case Management Conference at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. And Michael Connelly - can I subpoena Harry Bosch ("The Black Echo" (1992), etc.) when I am defending a driver confused by Ventura Boulevard? And there's the LA Noir of Raymond Chandler, Gar Anthony Haywood, and Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins . . .
What Los Angeles mysteries don't do often enough is laugh when desperation turns to absurdity, and a 30 something looking for Mr. Right (or a 'Mr. I'm not a convicted felon and I can pay my half of the rent, but I'll leave the seat up and eat your yogurt') ends up dating an almost 80 something eligible with a blond toupee so frightening it deserves it's own movie, or at least an hour on Dateline.
Laura Levine finds that line between desperation and humor (I think it's on Wilshire Boulevard, west of the 405, by the way) and leaps over it in "Killing Cupid" (2014). We're talking doubled over laughing when laundry needs to be folded, here. And Jaine Austen's parents, who have their own Florida subplot going? I'm perpetually surprised that there aren't charges involved.
About the narration - well, I was listening to Brittany Pressley's narration by my mother's Persian cat, Crush. When Jaine Austen's cat, Prozac, meowed, Crush started looking for the offender. Crush may be a bit inbred, but he was a true believer.
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I have no idea why I kept listening to this book. The whole premise was dreadful.
The story is OK. but there are too many times she over-states something and then tells the truth. it was funny the first dozen times.
even the main character is not believable.
"Funny, but still a miss"
Here's the thing about the murder victim (Joy).. She's not very likable. In fact, she's purposely written to be insufferable, and she plays the character well. The narrator is spot on with the shrill fake British accent, and boy is she a pain in the butt. The problem is, when she gets poisoned I didn't really feel a deep need to get justice for her. I wasn't all that invested in solving the crime. Usually when the victim is beloved character it drives a sense of urgency for answers. This book didn't have that. Joy was written well, because her character was not only irritating, but she's also a horrible person conning people out of lots of money.
I also didn't love the emails from her parents which interrupt the plot all the time. I didn't much care for what her parents were up to, especially not in the form of email letters. I really could have done without that. It seemed to only slow the pace of the story at the most inconvenient times.
I like Jaine as a character & I enjoy her friendship with Lance, who is a ton of fun. Her cat, Prozac, actually has a bigger personality than most the human characters which is hilarious. Also, Jaine's nicknames for people is also humorous, such as "Detective Adam's Apple." Overall a cute cozy, but not quite charming enough to go further in the series
"Annoying and disappointing"
Based on all the good reviews and descriptions of this book as "witty," I gave it a try. I've rarely seen a book less witty. I know the humor was supposed to be zany and over the top, but when such humor works there is nevertheless a base of humanity and believability that comes through (i.e., the Marx Brothers or P.G. Wodehouse). I didn't find enough realism in the characters to be able to buy into the their supposed zaniness, and often it felt like the author was just ignorant of her own subject matter (like giving us a "dedicated vegan" character who eats yogurt and is a regular at a famous steak restaurant for the steamed vegetable plate). I thought the narrator had little to recommend her beyond her inexplicable propensity to act like an idiot and the author basically had contempt for all of her other characters. I don't think mocking derision is a viable substitute for actual humor and wit.
Quirky characters, a fantastic narrator, a mystery, and a sassy cat make for a great read! I really enjoyed this book from start to finish.
"Light and fun, but a little cheesy"
Quick and fun read overall, but I felt that the humor was a little forced and repetitive. It was The characters and events were so over the top that the book was a little cheesy for my taste.
The narration worked well for the story though.
The actress reading the book was fantastic and she did a great job
at times yes it did, however there were a couple of dips but over all, good time
she was great
The Prozac show
I hope more people try this author
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