Cover Image: Death by Smoothie

Death by Smoothie

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This is book 19 in the Jaine Austen cozy series and it can be read as a stand alone.  I've read several of the books in this series but not all.  Jaine is hired to help rewrite a script for a play that is so terrible she want's to quit but needs the $5,000.  When the lead actress is poisoned the entire cast and crew are suspect.  She has made enemy's of everyone.  Jane starts to investigate when her friend becomes the focal point of the police investigation.  Prozac the cat adds plenty of humor and best friends are all still around.  A good mystery
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Jane is one of my favorite cozy mystery characters.  Add in her parents and her cat Prozac and you have an entertaining series.  Jane gets caught up in a bad zombie remake with the world's worst actress.  When Misty is poisoned by her daily smoothie, the suspect list is long.  Jane finds herself in another mystery and more shenanigans involving Jer parentt.  A fun, light read for cozy mystery fae.
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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ -- Hilarious cover on this book. 😂

This book was just so entertaining. And considering it was book 19 in a series where I haven't read any of the previous books (my loss), it stood up amazingly well as a standalone. The writing was great. It was well paced. The plot was engaging, humorous, and kept me guessing. The characters were likable and funny. Maybe my opinion would be different if I had read the previous 18 books. I mean, that is a long a$$ time to be writing about the same characters, but as a first introduction this was highly enjoyable. 🙌🏻

**ARC Via NetGalley**
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Jaine Austen the advertising writer is working on script changes for a very bad play when the heroine of the play has a Death by Smoothie.  Cozy to cute for words. Best character Prozac, the writer's cat.
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Death by Smoothie follows sleuth Jaine Austen as she tries to solve a murder to clear her friends name who is the prime suspect. While I haven't read any of the other books in this series before, I felt like that didn't stop me from enjoying this one. These books are definitely designed that you can read them in order or enjoy them wherever you come into Jaine's story. 

While the first-person writing style where she sometimes spoke directly to the reader isn't really my preferred read, it didn't detract from the overall story and I still enjoyed the various twists and turns which made the killer hard to predict. Overall, a great read. 

This was a NetGalley review.
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this is the nineteenth(!) installment of the “jaine austen” mysteries but “death by smoothie” was the first time i’ve been introduced to laura levine’s books and her band of characters. right off the bat, i noticed something unique in the style of writing - that it was told in first person pov in past tense. i thought that was pretty interesting and, because you’re getting jaine’s account of the story, it was fun hearing her side remarks and snarky comments. i loved how jaine included thoughts that normally we’d think about keeping in our heads - they definitely made me laugh!

as funny and entertaining as “death by smoothie” was, in the long-run, i don’t think this series is for me. don’t get me wrong, i loved jaine and i thought all the characters were well-developed and played equally important roles in the story … but, to me, i felt like there was too much going on. the clips of emails jaine would receive from her mom and dad were lighthearted and put a smile on my face, but i thought it was repetitive to get the same story told by different accounts. i also didn’t see how it tied in with the mystery at hand. same goes for prozac - her furry partner - who spent the novel being naughty and up to no good in his kitty harness.
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My second in this series although it is the nineteenth instalment, Jaine Austen lives with her cat Prozac in L.A. Thirty-odd-year-old Jaine is a writer-for-hire and she is delighted to be hired as a script doctor for the theatrical revival of a tv show, based on I Married a Zombie. Jaine meets the actress and realises that there is not a single acting bone in her. But when Misty dies tragically after imbibing a smoothie, Jaine throws herself wholeheartedly into the whodunit. Her parents’ hilarious emails liven up this murder mystery and there is plenty more to amuse in this great cozy including the mad deva-like feline. I was flummoxed whilst attempting to identify the culprit. A superb and wacky tale, I'll be reading more by Laura Levine, for sure.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Kensington Books via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.
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Death by smoothie by Laura Levine…
 I've been reading this series from the beginning and enjoying it most of the way. But lately… I've either outgrown the series, or Jane has just failed to grow up. What was once amusing no longer is. The plots may vary slightly, but nothing else has really changed.  Except maybe Jane's wardrobe.   Her wardrobe, while being limited, seems to have been stepped up a notch in this book. This is a fun, cute, quirky, cozy mystery series that seems to have gone a few books past its deadline, and it may be expired (puns indented).  If you're new to the series, then you'll probably enjoy it but if you've been reading all along you may find that you've reached a dead end.
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This is a series that I've read from the beginning and one of the reasons that I enjoy them are the emails from her dad.  This one is another classic Jaine story, getting involved that in something that sounds 'easy' but there is always a catch and usually it is murder.  It's a fun quick read that I enjoyed.
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  If mew are looking for some fun reading, I have never been disappointed by Jaine Austen, her cat Prozac, her almost certifiable father and patience of Job mother and all the other assorted characters in Laura Levine’s books.  From snickers and giggles to out and out guffaws, I am always entertained by Jaine”s misadventures.  And Prozac’s snarky quips crack me up.  I love this series.

Death By Smoothie is no exception.  Jaine is hired to be the script doctor for the theatrical revival of a tv show, I Married A Zombie.  The zombies are far more alive than the script and all the doctor can do is call time of death.  But the production goes on and the untalented and conniving starlet hired to play the lead stinks more than the script.  So when she is murdered, by her own smoothie, no one is mourning her passing.  But which one of the cast and crew despised her enough to plan her final curtain.

All the while Jaine is investigating, she is also juggling another date from hell and worrying about her parents in Tampa and the talent contest and the iguana who are part of another escapade by her father.  You will just have to read the book to get the details.  I would hate to spoil the fun.  Five purrs and two paws up.
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Oh Janie - you're my hero..... if I could go back in time and live my single days back in LA, I'd want you to be my bestie and partner in crime.. More parental emails please - they're the absolute comedic intermission in all of these cozy mysteries
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Death by Smoothie is the nineteenth installment in Laura Levine's long running A Jaine Austen Mystery series.

This is one of my favorite series and I sometimes read it out of order which doesn't deter from any enojment of the books.
 Another fun and engaging, easy to read and a lot of fun book. There are as always some reccuring and some new characters.
Jaine is her true self and constant source of amusement.
One of my most liked parts of this series were e-mails from her parents. Unfortunately I felt they missed their mark in this book. I simply didn't find them as funny as I usually do.
I also believe that things need to change one way or the other. I trust that it is not easy to do so, especially in long running series, but I would like to see at least some things change for Jaine. Wheater it concerns her career or her love life or a visit from abovementioned parents, it doesn't matter, I simply want her to grow.
Mystery itself was interesting and intriguing and delightful and I recommend this series.
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The latest Jaine Austen comic caper mystery juggles its many plot threads with aplomb to make for a fast-paced, wholly entertaining read.

As the book begins, Jaine is considering how to give her cat a healthy dose of the great outdoors without incurring the wrath of her more persnickety neighbors. It’s one of her friendlier neighbors, however, who comes knocking with a work opportunity for our perpetually freelance writer. Lance has just started dating the hunky Aidan, an actor who’s landed a part in a passion-project play. The producers are looking for a professional to help them polish the script, and Lance isn’t above fibbing about Jaine’s credentials a bit in order to help his friend land the gig. After all, a job’s a job, even if it does carry some inadvertent baggage:

“Anyway, you’ll never guess what play they’re doing. Remember the old sitcom <i>I Married A Zombie</i>?”

Of course I remembered. The actress who played the lead in that sitcom had lived up the street from us–a major league grouchpot, aggravating everybody with her nonstop complaints–until the night she got murdered. A murder in which, I’m sad to say, I was one of the cops’ leading suspects. But that’s a whole other story, one you can read all about in <i>Death of a Neighborhood Witch</i>, available wherever fine books (and mine too) are sold.

Not even Jaine’s wryly self-deprecating, fourth-wall-breaking humor can hide how thrilled she is to meet the producers, David and Becca, and the generous paycheck they’re happy to give her – though admittedly her excitement has more to do with the paycheck than the producers. David is a former tech drone who quit his job after winning the lottery. With the help of his girlfriend Becca, he’s ready to stage, direct and star in what he’s hoping will be a camp classic reboot of his favorite TV show. 

An initial overview of the situation leads Jaine to believe that this shouldn’t be too difficult a job, at least until she has the misfortune of watching David fall head over heels for the wholly unsuitable young actress who lands the lead role. Misty has never acted before and for good reason: she’s terrible at it. She is, however, extremely attractive and unafraid to use all her feminine wiles on a completely enamored David, much to Becca’s chagrin. What should have been a quick script doctoring on Jaine’s part turns into a string of constant rewrites, as Misty’s distinct lack of stage talent keeps forcing Jaine to dumb the script down to her leading lady’s none-too-impressive level of skill.

Luckily, Jaine also has other, less stressful revenue streams in mind. She really wants to make a good impression while on a Zoom interview for a position writing marketing material for the Pasadena Historical Society:

“So tell me,” Susie asked, “why you’re interested in working for us.”

<i>To fulfill my lifelong dream of a steady paycheck</i> was what first popped into my head, but I wisely kept that thought to myself. Instead, I told her about my fascination with old houses, how I loved to tour them and picture myself living in them back when they were first built.

And it’s the truth. I really do get off on that stuff.

I guess Susie could hear the fervor in my voice.

“You’re exactly the kind of candidate we’re looking for,” she beamed.

Yes! She liked me!

With all this, her parents’ hilarious emails regarding their own shenanigans over in Tampa, and her best friend’s insistence she participate in a bachelor auction, Jaine’s figurative plate is more than full… and that’s even before Misty drops dead at rehearsal one day. After it turns out that someone poisoned Misty’s daily smoothie, the finger of blame points squarely at Aidan. Misty had been a pain to everyone on set, but Aidan’s fingerprints are the only ones that were all over both her drink and the rat poison in the theater pantry. He swears he didn’t kill her, and Lance won’t let Jaine rest until she and her penchant for solving murders manage to successfully clear Aidan’s name.

I always look forward to inhaling every one of Laura Levine’s hilarious Jaine Austen books, especially when I need a break from heavier reading or stressful real life circumstances. While the murders are deadly serious and Jaine often finds herself in grave peril, her buoyant personality and eye for the comedic, even in the grimmest of times, are balm for the cozy-lover’s soul. It’s always so much fun to follow along as she catches a killer while juggling very relatable everyday problems of family, friendships and finances. This is one of those can’t-miss series that I always turn to when I want some zingy humor and a thoroughly appealing heroine to go with the exercising of my little grey cells.
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I loved this book. Honestly this series is hilarious and this book was no different. I absolutely love seeing what Jaine and Prozac get up to! They never fail to make me laugh out loud. The mysteries are also always great. I especially love the emails from her mom and dad. This particular book had me laughing so much! What a great read! I also didn’t guess the killer!
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I love a good cozy mystery! One that incorporates all of my favorite topics (i.e. bookstores, libraries, cooking, painting, inn keeping, animals, etc.), throwing in some action-suspense, a who-done-it, interesting characters, and a plot that keeps me guessing, then you’ve got me hooked. I will say, I am one of those people who like to read a series from the beginning, but I often find you don’t have to… either way I highly recommend Death by Smoothie by Laura Levine.

*I received a complimentary copy of this novel from NetGalley at my request and this review is my own unbiased opinion.*
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I am generally a fan of the Jaine Austin series, but I did not love this one, but I did not love Death of a Neighborhood Witch either, so I’m not entirely surprised, Cryptessa should have not risen from the ashes. 
I did, as always, enjoy the emails from Janie’s parents, I always look forward to her father’s crazy antics. Someone get her mother some fudge!

I will continue with the series, but this one was not a favorite, Cryptessa needs to go back to the crypt and stay there. 

Thank you NetGalley for the e-arc which I voluntarily reviewed.
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This is a fun and laugh-out-loud funny series. I have read a few from this series long back and all I remember is being so whacky and silly. 

Jaine is hired to write a play, but when she meets the actress, she realizes that there is not a single acting bone in her. But when Misty dies tragically, Jaine throws herself in the whodunnit.

This book was really enjoyable and it was lovely to meet the characters in this series.
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Freelance writer Jaine Austen is always on the lookout for the perfect assignment, a great boyfriend, a way to keep her cat out of trouble, and a delicious snack. For a while, Jaine thinks she may have hit the jackpot in all of these, starting with an assignment helping a playwright modify his script for a zombie play based on a short-lived sitcom. When the beautiful, demanding, but talentless lead actress dies after someone poisons her smoothie, Jaine decides to investigate to find out which of Misty’s enemies wanted her dead.

This book is the nineteenth in this series, but each book works well as a standalone. The books follow somewhat of a formula, with Jaine getting a new writing job and getting her hopes up for her career and love life, with something usually happening to cause a disaster in either one or both. On hand to create even more trouble for Jaine is her mischievous cat Prozac. However, there are always enough differences in the details of the stories to keep each book fresh for even longtime readers. Jaine isn’t perfect and doesn’t always have the greatest luck, but she is good at investigating crimes. I love the way she remains determined to find out who killed Misty despite the obstacles she encounters. The investigation goes much smoother than the play which is full of problems and conflicts.

This is such a fun series, and each book has several laugh-out-loud moments. The added drama from the chapters during the play rehearsals gives the book some extra fun. I enjoyed this entertaining book, and even though things don’t turn out the way Jaine had hoped in her latest writing assignment, she still proves she is a great investigator even when luck isn’t always on her side in other areas of her life. I was entertained by Jaine and Prozac and enjoyed this fast-paced, humorous mystery.

~ Christine
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Death by Smoothie is book #19 in the Jaine Austen Mystery series by Laura Levine.	

Jaine Austen is a freelance writer who has a cat, Prozac, who is either snarky or sweet depending on who is around.  Jaine is a script doctor for a new play and encounters the diva who is playing the lead.

This is the first book I’ve read in the series.  I don’t usually start this late in a series, but it looked interesting and I wasn’t disappointed.  The victim had a lot of enemies so there was no shortage of people who wanted her dead which made it fun trying to figure out who the guilty party was.  I love Prozac. I have a cat like that so I can relate.  I plan to go back to the beginning of the series because I enjoy seeing how relationships develop.

Thank you to the author, Kensington Books, and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) copy of this book and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
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Another enjoyable entry in the Jaime Austen series.  The ending was a little rushed and lackluster, but fans of the series will still enjoy it
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