by Sandra Murphy
Details on how to win a copy of Killing Cupid at the end of this review, along with a link to purchase the book.
The life of a freelance writer is not an easy one. Sure, there are a few regular clients, and a small amount of fame, but you can’t live forever on slogans like “In a Rush to Flush? Call Toiletmasters!” When Marvelous Marv, the Mattress King, recommends Jaine Austen for a copywriting job for Joy Amoroso, Matchmaker to the Stars, it sounds like a good deal, especially the pay.
Joy asks a lot for the money though—write a few invented bios for a few invented clients (models and actors who thought they were auditioning for a commercial), do a sixteen-page brochure on short notice, show up at the Valentine mix-and-mingle party, and by the way, fill in for an absent server. Although Jaine’s sense of right and wrong protests, she overcomes it by focusing on the $3,000 check coming her way.
Jaine’s friend and neighbor, Lance, is highly impressed with the job, since he didn’t listen to Jaine’s description of it. He manages to drop by Joy’s office, impress her, dodge the ever-fluctuating fee to join, and find a date for himself, which is more than Jaine is able to do. She’s not counting the date Joy set up for her with Skip III. He is tall, blonde and seemingly wealthy, but also about 75 years old, fixated on his now-deceased cat, and Jaine’s cat, Prozac, and he’s a nut case to boot.
There are few people Joy hasn’t cheated, lied to, or otherwise given a motive. It shouldn’t be any surprise when Joy falls over dead at her own party—poisoned by a Godiva chocolate filled with cyanide. Jaine was seen coming out of Joy’s office a short time before the incident, and that makes her a prime suspect. Of course, she ran into another guest, Greg, in the hallway, so he was there too. At a party, it’s hard to say who was where and when, so it could have been a dissatisfied client (there are many), the newly-dumped boyfriend, the disgruntled employees, or Joy’s own family.
Jaine is not one of those characters who does everything perfectly. She eats what she wants, when she wants, sees no shame in wearing elastic-waisted pants, embarrasses herself on a regular basis (the Rocky and Bullwinkle scene alone is worth the price of the book), and has parents who could cause any sane person to fake their own death. Mom and Dad are in Florida, a good 3,000 miles away from Jaine, but appear via emails of the his-and-hers variety. Her Dad is kooky enough to make her Mom look almost normal—almost, but not quite.
This is the 14th book in the series. The hardcover version was released in January 2014; the e-version is now available. They don’t need to be read in order, but you’ll want to be sure to read book 15, as this book ends with the tiniest hope of romance for Jaine—and from an unlikely source. For a good mystery, full of quirky characters, plot twists and laughs, you can’t go wrong with the Jaine Austen series.
To enter to win a copy of Killing Cupid, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Cupid,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 14, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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