cover image Killing Bridezilla: A Jaine Austen Mystery

Killing Bridezilla: A Jaine Austen Mystery

Laura Levine, . . Kensington, $22 (247pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-2043-1

Jaine Austen, indefatigable L.A. crime-solver and pen-for-hire, finds herself rewriting Shakespeare for a bitchy bride in Levine's rollicking seventh cozy (after 2007's Death by Pantyhose ). Patti Marshall Devane, a former Hermosa High classmate, employs Jaine to write Patti's wedding ceremony based on Romeo and Juliet in lieu of traditional vows: “make it 'snappy.' Like Friends with swords and long dresses.” Jaine learns that Patti stole her groom, Hermosa alum Dickie Potter, from another grad, and Patti only allows her thin friends to participate in the wedding. Adding to the drama, Dickie's geeky best man still pines for Jaine. Dickie's drunken ex-wife disrupts the Bel Air ceremony, which climaxes with Patti's plunge off a balcony onto a stone cupid's arrow. Jaine suspects murder, though figuring out whodunit requires some fast thinking and fancy footwork. Levine's slick wit and sure pacing makes this another hit in this entertaining series. (June)