Monday, March 2, 2009


By Laura Levine
Kensington Books
850 Third Avenue
New York, NY 1002
ISBN: 9780758220431
Hardback, 247 pages, $22.00
Genre: Mystery

Jaine Austen’s career as a writer hasn’t been so fluid. Best known for a plumbing company ad, Jaine is surprised when her former high school nemesis Patti Marshall asks her to write a balcony scene for her wedding ceremony. When Patti tells Jaine she wants the lines to be a mix between Romeo and Juliet and Friends, Jaine wants to turn down the job but she needs the money. Jaine is hopeful Patti has matured from the bully she was in high school, but that’s not the case. Patti turns out to be the bridezilla from hell, demanding her idea of perfection from everyone around her while belittling them and making enemies of all. During the wedding ceremony, while Patti is saying her lines, she falls from her balcony and is impaled on a Cupid statuette below. The number of people who hated Patti is endless, and when one of Jaine’s former high school friends is arrested for the murder, she decides to conduct her own investigation and find out who really offed the high school diva.

This is a humorous series built around a refreshing protagonist, a woman who can’t say no to the wrong kinds of food and is a magnet for trouble. Jaine’s perceptions of her cat’s moods and expressions are amusing, as are the emails she receives from her parents who have retired to Florida. The mystery is a good one, and the characters are simply fun.

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