A cynical freelancer would rather spend her time looking for love and chocolate than her boss’s killer.
With a name like Jaine Austen, you’d think a woman would be the subject of romantic works of fiction, not the author of one. But when Jaine signs on to write the brochure for a fancy Beverly Hills matchmaking service, fiction appears to be her best strategy. The appropriately named Joy Amoroso is the owner and matchmaker of Dates of Joy, an agency that charges lonely singletons thousands to be set up with a bevy of beautiful mates featured in the agency’s look book. It’s too bad for clients that the book is just for show and that Joy couldn’t care less about their romantic futures so long as the money and Godiva chocolates don’t run out. Jaine ends up an ad hoc employee of the agency and, just to get enough copy material, even has to date one of the not-so-eligible bachelors. Luckily, the setup seems harmless, as the gentleman in question is quite a bit older than Jaine and finds himself immediately falling for her cat, Prozac. Not all dissatisfied clients, however, accept Dates of Joy’s poor services so nonchalantly. Nor can Joy’s employees stomach her indifference to their hard work. This widespread animosity is a problem when Joy is fatally poisoned by one of the chocolates she so loved, turning everyone into a suspect. Jaine is torn between investigating and supervising the budding romance of her dearest neighbor Lance Venable, who may have met Joy’s one winning bachelor.
Even if Cupid’s arrow misses its mark, Levine’s charming heroine (Death of a Neighborhood Witch, 2012, etc.) is right on target.