Summary- A series of different unfortunate events leads to Jaine being the primary suspect in the murder of her neighbor.
I love this series and have read almost all the books but I felt this was one of the worst in the series of the ones I have read.
Jaine Austen mysteries are always fairly unrealistic but this story went above and beyond that. Jaine is sued because her cat scares an aged parakeet to death. Parakeets are like $20 at the petstores around where I live so the idea that even a really horrible person would sue her neighbor for a $20 parakeet is pretty crazy. The police think the lawsuit involving this bird is Jaine’s motive for murder.
Jaine and Lance are both crushing on the same guy and trying to both prove he is interested in them. Lance can be a jerk in some of the other books but this one takes the cake. Up until this point I just found Lance a bit self centered and annoying at times but honestly his actions in this book are unforgivable and I don’t think anything can now redeem his character in my mind.I don’t know how Jaine can continue to be his friend when his behavior is so terrible. Besides constantly saying mean things about Jaine in front of Peter, he sabotages her Halloween costume and so she ends up wearing an ape suit to the party Peter invited both her and Lance to. Jaine ends up taking the suit off at the party and the killer steals it to murder the evil neighbor they have nicknamed Cryptessa.
Most of the book involves Jaine proving that Cryptessa was a terrible person, exploring the dirty secrets of the neighborhood, and Jaine and Lance competing with each other to try to win Peter.
The book did have some funny moments but they were mostly at Jaine’s expense. Also, Jaine acts completely boy crazy which is very annoying. In every book she reminds the reader about her terrible marriage and even though she does occasionally date this is the only book I have so far read where she got stupid over a guy. It was pretty awful. I much prefer when the only thing that makes Jaine act ridiculous is chocolate.
The killer was obvious from very early on though their motive wasn’t. In the end, the motive was pretty dumb.
The Jaine Austen books are entertaining overall but this one is skippable.