cover image Death by Pantyhose: A Jaine Austen Mystery

Death by Pantyhose: A Jaine Austen Mystery

Laura Levine, . . Kensington, $22 (244pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-0785-2

At the outset of Levine's fun sixth Jaine Austen cozy (after 2006's The PMS Murder ), the L.A. freelance writer takes a low-paying gig writing jokes for Dorcas MacKenzie, a standup comic who uses pantyhose in her act. When Dorcas's comic archrival Vic is found dead—strangled by, you guessed it, a pair of control-top hose—Jaine determines to clear her new client's name. Vic was a sleazeball survived by plenty of enemies–cum–likely suspects, including his jilted girlfriend, Allison; the waitress he was bonking on the side; his writer, Hank; and his discarded agent, Manny. Parental e-mails, tangles with a potential beau and cuddling with her cat, Prozac, distract Jaine from the mystery, but the digressions also humanize the protagonist. Jaine's dogged sleuthing and screwball antics will entertain fans of this fizzy series. (June)