Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review - Death of a Neighborhood Witch by Laura Levine

If you enjoy laugh out loud mysteries with zany characters you'll love Death of a Neighborhood Witch, the latest Jaine Austen Mystery by Laura Levine. Jaine Austen is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles with her cat, Prozac. In this, the 11th book of the series, we get to meet more of Jaine's neighbors, including Eleanor Jenkins, better known as Cryptessa, the character she played in the one season sit-com I Married a Zombie. Cryptessa is the scourge of the neighborhood so it's little wonder that there are so many suspects in her murder. Since Jaine has helped solve so many murders already (which you can read about in each of her earlier books) she decides to help find the killer, especially since she is a prime suspect. Jaine has to deal with an ape suit, a Tummy Tucker, a decapitated Buddha, and a fight for romance along the way!

As in her previous books, the chapters are interspersed with e-mails Jaine received from her parents who live in Florida. These e-mails are a story unto themselves as her father gets himself into as much trouble as Jayne. In this outing he gets involved in a Halloween lawn decorating contest and you won't believe the consequences!

As wacky as things get in Jaine's world I can relate to her. While I may not wear elastic-waist pants, my size certainly has more than one digit and I enjoy soaking in a bubble bath, although I generally drink my wine beforehand! If you're looking for a light, easy read that'll make you laugh, you need look no further!

Death of a Neighborhood Witch  * * * *
The Jaine Austen Series               * * * * *

My rating system:
To me a 5 star book is an amazing read that swept me away and left me changed. A 4 star review is a great book that I really loved. 3 stars is still a solid good read, positive and enjoyable. Reviews will cease to be that positive at the 2 star rating-an OK book with serious flaws. And a 1 star-don't bother.

A 5 star series is a great series, one that consistently delights. The whole is often greater than it's parts, so you will see series ranked higher than individual books. A 4 star series is a solid series. You may not find greatness in a 3 star series, there may be some clunkers or some issues with characters, but on the whole there's some good reading. A 2 star rating for a series doesn't give me much hope and I probably won't ever rate a 1 star series as I need to have read at least 3 books in it-and I doubt I'd read more than 2!


  1. I've once read a short story in an anthology, and I really did not like it. The writing style, the heroine, who just kept on eating and drinking. Just not my thing, but I am glad you love it so much.

    1. I'm sorry you didn't like it. I find the self deprecating humor, especially about eating very funny! I also love the e-mail sections.