Killer CruiseI had previously read two or three of Laure Levine’s Jaine Austen mysteries and had enjoyed them. They constitute very light reading and they are pretty funny. Before writing these books, Levine was a comedy writer with several famous sitcoms under her belt. Her experience writing humor can be seen readily in Killer Cruise, her latest mystery.
This book is laugh out-loud funny. Laugh out-loud-disturb-your-neighbors funny. In the book, Jaine Austen (Jaine with an “i”), the heroine, goes in a cruise while her parents house-sit her apartment. They communicate via e-mails, and these e-mails are hilarious. She has the cookiest parents in the world (her mother, for example, moved to Florida to be closer to the Home Shopping Network, she thinks her packages will arrive quicker that way), and yet the characters are believable. The first e-mail that her mother sends to her is soooo funny that I had to read it to Mike, and then tell the story to other people. But it’s not the only laugh in the book – Jaine herself is hilarious with her self-deprecating humor.
The mysteries themselves, both in the story and the previous ones, are pretty weak. But most mysteries nowadays are very week – you follow the hero on her investigation of a murder, but are not provided with the “clues” to figure out who did it yourself. There is a reason why Agatha Christie is still considered the master of the who-done-it, nobody can equal her in setting up mysteries. Alas, it’s not easy to find her books anymore (plus I’ve read them all multiple times).
But after reading this book I’m planning to go to the library and read whatever Jaine Austen mystery I have skipped – I need the laughs.