by: Laura Levine              

Publisher: Kensington  

Published: August 28, 2012        

Format: Hardcover (304 pages)      

ISBN: 9780758238498            

Series: Jaine Austen Mystery      

Origin: Publisher

***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Killer!  Yes, Prozac is a killer.  

Jaine Austen’s frisky feline, Prozac, started out as an attacker of cutie faced pumpkins and ended up a stone cold murderer, of sorts.  This kitty stared down an aged parakeet until it keeled over.  

This wasn’t just any bird, it was the longtime companion to Jaine’s longtime neighborhood’s witch, Cryptessa Muldoone.   Cryptessa is a former not-so-hot, flash in the pan, actress whose only claim to fame was one season of “I Married A Zombie”.

To keep Cryptessa at bay, Jaine tries to make amends by holding a small funeral for Van Helsing the parakeet, burying the bird, and planting petunias.   Later, still worried about the woman, Jaine pays her wacky neighbor another visit and begins to feel sad for her.  This woman’s only remaining companion is a stuffed bat named Bela, an original prop from her short-lived television show, and a maid who Cryptessa believes steals her soda.  

Jaine’s outlook is looking up between a battle of parents over a horrid holiday decoration, and Halloween candy bars.  A handsome man with beautiful eyes and a cleft on his chin invites Jaine to his housewarming.  Peter Connor is the newest neighbor in the area and he’s someone Jaine wants to know better.   However, at the Peter’s home, Jaine loses her temper with Cryptessa—over non-homemade brownies and a quick match of tug-of-war—and neither woman wins the battle. The brownies fly away landing on the homeowner’s carpet, and Jaine’s love life stays flat, until he invites her to a Halloween party.

Determined to have Peter’s second impression much better than his first, Jaine accepts the invite and chooses a costume that will speed his heart rate, but that’s not the costume she lands.  Her frienemy, Lance, made a furry switch and while Peter loved the choice he thought she made, all doesn’t end well.

Cryptessa winds up murdered, and Jaine’s furry costume puts her right on the suspect list.  

My Take:

DEATH OF A NEIGHBORHOOD WITCH by Laura Levine is a laugh-out-loud mystery!  

Laura Levine creates an amateur sleuth who can tell it like it is in Jaine Austen then combines her with humor and death while she builds a fantastic cast of quirky characters around the trick-or-treat holiday.   In Cryptessa, you’ll meet your worst nightmarish neighbor and you’ll wonder how she managed to evade murder for so long. Oh!  I almost forgot to tell you that there are some guest appearances by Lana Turner.  No.  Lana Turner isn’t the one you maybe thinking of.     

Although DEATH OF A NEIGHBORHOOD WITCH is a standalone novel, you’ll want to catch up on the other Jaine Austen mysteries including: PAMPERED TO DEATH (Kensington 2011), KILLING BRIDEZILLA (Kensington 2008), LAST WRITES (Kensington 2003), until Jaine’s next mystery arrives.



  1. This sounds like a really fun read. Thank you for sharing with us today.

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