Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge

Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge by Laura Levine

I can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday reading season than with a brand new Laura Levine mystery, Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge.  In these days of doom and gloom, global warming, mass shootings and general terrible craziness, there’s no better way to get your fill of laughs than with a Laura Levine Jaine Austen mystery.

Laura’s Jaine Austen series is sure to keep your spirits merry and bright as you read the escapades of struggling free-lance writer, Jaine, and her cantankerous feline, Prozac.

The holiday season has gotten underway and Jaine’s kooky, yet lovable neighbor Lance, has gotten them a gig as house sitters for the filthy rich Mrs. Hooten in nearby Bel Air. Seems like “easy money” – but as we all know – there is NO such thing!

Taking that stint gets Jaine entwined with an assortment of characters so off the wall that even Disney would be envious.  This includes Scotty, a washed up child actor and all around despicable man.  He’s as rotten and low as they come and a miser to boot!  He convinced the local kids Santa had a stroke and there will be no gifts for Christmas!  He cut the cords on the neighbor’s holiday lights, he blackmailed another neighbor — that’s just for starters.  If Dickens were alive today, he’d be writing a followup to A Christmas Carol based on this creep.

As if all that isn’t bad enough, he’s sucked in poor Jaine to review his horrifically bad screenplay that he thinks will put him back in the Hollywood spotlight.

Well he got his wish – he’s definitely back in the spotlight…in fact his name is all over the newspaper.  As per the title of the book, for Scotty, the neighborhood scrooge – there’s no “happy new year” in store for this guy – in fact, there’s no new year at all!  And poor Jaine becomes a murder suspect, so she has no choice but to do a little investigating of her own!

Ms. Levine’s characters are always fresh and deliciously funny.  Her background as a comedy writer always shows through each and every one of her books.  She’ll have you in stitches as Jaine jumps from one quirky suspect to the next as she tries to figure out who made Scotty a permanent ghost of Christmas past!  Was it his beautiful young wife who had to live in squalor even though hubby was stinkin’ rich?  Was it the maid who he treated shamefully (he gave her a “used” stained apron for Christmas)? Was it the father of one of the kids Scotty traumatized, or perhaps even his ex-wife who was still at his mercy — or someone else?

Not only will this holiday mystery keep you guessing as to the real killer, but you’ll also be cracking up with the banter of e-mails that Jaine’s parents keep sending her while they are doing their own thing on a holiday cruise.  Her father’s antics and her mother’s attempts to keep him in line will keep a perpetual smile on your face.

With Jaine, Prozac, her nutty parents and good neighbor, Lance, you won’t need to ride on a jingle bell sleigh to keep “laughing all the way” – just pick up this delightful new cozy by Laura Levine (or any of the others in her Jaine Austen series)!