Books by Laura Levine

DEATH OF A GIGOLO by Laura Levine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 24, 2019

"This by-the-book cozy will delight fans who like a sharp comeback—and maybe a tater tot on the side."
A ghostwriter's gig is threatened by her boss's loutish paramour. Read full book review >
DEATH OF A BACHELORETTE  by Laura Levine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 27, 2017

"The cast and crew of a reality show are perfect foils for sharp-tongued Jaine, who outwits everyone on the set, except possibly her cat."
There's trouble in paradise for a freelance writer working on a reality television show. Read full book review >
MURDER HAS NINE LIVES by Laura Levine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 28, 2016

"Jaine's flair for the well-turned phrase puts her in the top tier of do-it-yourself detectives."
A writer thinks she's found a ticket to fame and fortune when her cat gets tapped for a TV ad shoot. Read full book review >
KILLING CUPID by Laura Levine
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Dec. 31, 2013

"Even if Cupid's arrow misses its mark, Levine's charming heroine (Death of a Neighborhood Witch, 2012, etc.) is right on target."
A cynical freelancer would rather spend her time looking for love and chocolate than her boss's killer. Read full book review >
DEATH OF A NEIGHBORHOOD WITCH by Laura Levine
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"Levine's latest finds her at her witty and wacky best."
If good fences made good neighbors, ad writer Jaine Austen (Pampered to Death, 2011, etc.) would need the Berlin Wall to cope with the nutty crew that surrounds her South Beverly Hills rental. Read full book review >
PAMPERED TO DEATH by Laura Levine
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Aug. 1, 2011

"Levine offers a full menu of clues for the detection-starved reader. But couldn't wordsmith Jaine find some slicker means of interrogation than confronting her suspects with reasons for thinking they done it?"
Dieting can be murder, as a freelance writer finds out at the health resort from hell. Read full book review >
KILLING BRIDEZILLA by Laura Levine
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 2008

"A better ratio of clues to red herrings would be nice, but Jaine's inner monologues are worth the price of admission to this sad, funny stroll down memory lane."
The $3,000 fee charged by freelance writer Jaine Austen (Shoes to Die For, 2005, etc.) doesn't begin to compensate for the psychic travail of working for a bitchy high-school classmate. Read full book review >
CANDY CANE MURDER by Joanne Fluke
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

"Like a box of holiday chocolates, this recipe-studded assortment gives all readers a crack at their favorites."
Santa gets bludgeoned, neighbors knock neighbors off their light-festooned roofs and householders nearly blow themselves into next year cooking Yule dinner in this triple-decker helping of holiday cheer. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: June 9, 2006

A companion volume to Shake, Rattle and Roll: The Founders of Rock and Roll (2001) presents brief biographical sketches of some 18 of the greats of Country and Western music, from the Carter Family to Johnny Cash. George-Warren's engaging text packs a lot of information into a small space, detailing in broad arcs the movements of a given performer's career, including a song title or two, and indicating how that particular performer influenced those who followed. Although some of the dicier aspects of some performers' lives are shown the light of day—Hank Williams's drug use, George Jones's alcoholism—these are given only glancing attention, the focus firmly on the music. Levine's bright, folk-arty illustrations are particularly suited to her subject here, presenting performers in homespun fashion. While the text sometimes gets a little heavy on superlatives—"most successful," "greatest," "top-selling"—with the effect that the sketches are not as individual as one might hope, this is, on the whole, a well-presented selection that will give interested children a solid introduction to the form and its shapers. (Picture book/biography. 8-12)Read full book review >
SHOES TO DIE FOR by Laura Levine
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 2005

"A lively sense of humor and an ear for the absurd help Jaine overcome any number of setbacks and a host of fashion no-nos."
A drop-dead gorgeous businesswoman ends up speared by her own stiletto in a tale of fashion run amok. Read full book review >
THIS PEN FOR HIRE by Laura Levine
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 2001

"A neat mystery debut, untidily wrapped in so-so romance."
Although it's better than her friend Kandi Tobolowsky's TV gig on Beanie and the Cockroach, writing freelance ad copy for Toiletmaster Plumbers ("In a Rush to Flush?") isn't the most fulfilling life aspiring screenwriter Jaine Austen can imagine. So when geeky Howard Murdoch, who hired her to write a love letter to his aerobics instructor Stacy Lawrence, is charged with opening his first date with Stacy by bashing her head in with a Thighmaster, Jaine can't resist the urge to investigate. First of all, it's practically her fault Howard got arrested; if her letter hadn't referred to Howard's "Uncle Rupert," calculating Stacy (who'd thrown over hunky Devon MacRae for a fling with married talent agent Andy Bruckner) wouldn't have given him another. Second, she can't resist the opportunity to push smug LAPD homicide detective Timothy Rea's buttons. But third and foremost, investigating Stacy's murder brings Jaine cheek by sexy jowl with Stacy's adorable blue-eyed neighbor Cameron Bannick, an antiques dealer who—if he doesn't turn out to be gay—is the answer to every maiden's prayer. So Jaine is willing to flash bogus credentials at Stacy's neighbors, hoping cranky psychiatric nurse Elaine Zimmer or horny building superintendent Daryush Kolchev will have some clue to the owner of the black BMW parked outside Stacy's apartment the night her muscles finally went slack. But all the fake ID in the world can't protect Jaine from the genuine menace of a killer with a lethal secret to protect. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2001

Fourteen of the men and women at the roots of rock 'n roll are given star billing in this energetic, young, collective biography. The one-page introduction allows George-Warren to trace in broad strokes the mix of African rhythm, European melody, church, and field music that gave rise in the 1950s to rock music, and how rock music brought forth most of today's pop, from rap to country. Each one-page biographical sketch faces a full-page acrylic painting in Levine's naïf style, with oversize heads, flat decorative backgrounds, and three-dimensional frames. The text page has a small, related motif: a hill of blueberries for Fats Domino, a Teddy Bear for Elvis, the famed horn-rimmed glasses for Buddy Holly. The biographies are straightforward and hold odd nuggets of engaging information: that Carl Perkins and his band's car accident allowed Elvis to get a number-one hit with Perkins's "Blue Suede Shoes" or that the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards, as a teenager, was a big Chuck Berry fan. Some of the profiles are a bit sanitized, as there is no mention of Jerry Lee Lewis's many wives nor of Little Richard's homosexuality or James Brown's jail time. Children who have heard tell of the Bo Diddley beat or "Rock Around the Clock" will get the connection, and children who haven't will be fascinated by the stories and the music references. (Picture book/biography. 8-12)Read full book review >