by Sandra Murphy
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a signed copy of Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge, a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Jaine Austen (no relation) is a well-known writer. Well, she wrote that slogan for the Toiletmasters Plumbers. Everybody knows that one. Christmas is slow for writers so she and neighbor Lance are house sitting for one of his shoe buying customers. The house is a mansion, full of antiques and baubles like Ming vases and Fabergé eggs. It is also off limits for pets. Lance’s pup is willing to be boarded but Jaine’s cat, Prozac, was evicted after biting one of the staff—hard enough to require surgery.
Jaine stashes Prozac in the kitchen, the room with the least number of breakables, but soon finds evidence of a jailbreak. Her cat managed to open a window and go next door to visit. The house is rundown and owned by a real cheapskate, Scotty Parker, former child star. His trophy wife, Missy, a boarder and Lupe, the maid, complete the household. For some reason, Prozac is taken with Missy and the feeling is mutual to the point that Missy offers to care for the cat until the house sitting job is over. Will Prozac be willing to return? It’s not looking promising.
Scotty goes out of his way to annoy the neighbors, complaining about Christmas lights, stooping to a bit of blackmail, and a few threats. It’s no wonder he’s conked on the head with a frozen Yule log (bought at a discount, of course). The problem will be to sift through the vast number of people who are thrilled he’s dead to find the one who actually made it happen.
Jaine has her hands full with Lance’s ideas for decorating for Christmas, the online dating service he signed her up for, and emails from her mom and dad who are on a cruise. You just can’t take her dad anywhere without ensuing chaos. This time he’s feuding with a bratty kid on board, plotting against a member of their group, and then there was the incident where he was put in the brig after running amok wearing nothing more than a loincloth and a purple fright wig.
This is book eighteen in the series. Jaine never ceases to entertain, get herself into impossible predicaments, and somehow, get everything right at the end. The emails from mom and dad are hilarious as each gives their version of events, which never match. Prozac is an original grumpy cat. Contempt is her best expression. Poor Lance, he’s always sure he’s met The One but he’s so obsessive, his love life, like Jaine’s, never works out.
For a lighthearted, fun filled holiday read, this series is a good place to start. Grab an eggnog and be prepared to laugh.
To enter to win a signed copy of Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “scrooge,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 1, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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