Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Death Of A Neighborhood Witch-Laura Levine

Death Of A Neighborhood Witch

Laura Levine

Kensington, Aug 28 2012, $24.00

ISBN 9780758238498

Freelance writer Jaine Austen lives in the slums of Beverly Hills amongst retirees. However, though logically she knows not to buy Halloween candy as no one goes trick or treating in her neighbor, the chocolates talk to her so she stocks up.

A hunk Peter Connor the book editor moves next door. Jaine thinks he will prove better than sugared candy (well almost as good); while her cat Prozac seems attracted to him; and shoe salesman Lance Venable challenges her for Peter’s affection. As Jaine and Lance compete for Peter, even acrimonious former TV monster mommy actress Cryptessa Muldoon is nice to the new kid on the block. When Prozac gives Cryptessa’s parakeet Van Helsing a heart attack, she tells Jaine see you in small claims court. Soon afterward, on Halloween, someone bludgeons Cryptessa with her own Do Not Trespass sign. VHPD looks at Jaine as the prime suspect.

The latest humorous Jaine Austen amateur sleuth (see Last Writes and Pampered to Death) is an enjoyable lighthearted cozy that lampoons fan obsession with where are they now Hollywood has-beens. Fast-paced, Jaine has two critical issues to confront: first finding the real killer and second not chomping on all the candy she bought that talks to her seductively saying softly “eat me”.

Harriet Klausner

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