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Publisher's Summary

Smarmy personals ads. Daring declarations of love. Writer-for-hire Jaine Austen has penned them all. But when one of the love connections she made is broken up by murder, Jaine finds herself freelancing free-of-charge - and uncovering more than she bargained for…No one seems to need her help more than geeky, gawky Howard Murdoch. His request is simple enough: a letter proclaiming his undying love for Stacy Lawrence, a gorgeous aerobics instructor. The fact that he's never actually met the woman gives Jaine pause - but she soon overcomes her misgivings, warms up her computer, and starts pitching woo on Howard's behalf. To Jaine's surprise, the letter is a success - the unlikely Romeo lands a date! But his triumph is, sadly, short-lived. On Valentine's Day, Howard finds Stacy bludgeoned to death with a Thigh Master - and is quickly named the prime suspect. Upon hearing the news, Jaine is shocked. Sure, Howard's awkward, eccentric, and a tiny bit odd. But a murderer? That's hard to believe. Especially after a little sleuthing turns up a whole bunch of people who harbored less-than-loving feelings towards the svelte Stacy. But Jaine had better wrangle her clues quickly, before a crafty killer catches on--and puts a whole new spin on her ghost writing career…

©2002 Laura Levine (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 03-29-14

Funny and Entertaining

I enjoyed this book. It was funny and clever. The story is well plotted, and the pace never lets up. Jaine Austin is a great character, very witty and bright. The other characters are also well developed and clever. I especially loved Cameron Bannick. He shares the spotlight with his witty conversations.
This is a great debut to a mystery series. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Not bad

I love a mystery where I still haven't figured it out until the end when the sleuth themselves are figuring out the red herrings!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • EAGLE RIVER, WI, United States
  • 07-27-14

ENJOYED!

Good 1st book. Plan to read the next. Narration is good, voice changing done pretty well for various characters. I notice that "men" are always hard to do for a women narrator for the most part but she did okay :-) I liked her voice in fact, some voices I don't enjoy, hers I did...good voice for narration.

Some cute descriptions of "herself", her hair, her general appearance, other things/people and of her kitty as well. Makes for enjoyable reading in between the "playing detective" portions of the book.

Only one thing I noticed that could be changed... used the word "gusto" for the same description of one thing in particular too much... maybe 3-4 times but shoulda been a better way to describe that same thing differently each time? Not a biggie but still.... all in all, interesting reading, not complicated with too many characters so that I couldn't remember what was happening if I had to put it down for a day without reading/listening.

I did figure out a couple things in advance but I seem to be good at figuring out murderers and various things that are being led up to on TV as well, I nearly always know the killer ahead of time and it boggles my husband's mind how I do it but I'm always right. I can't guess EVERY TIME, but very, very often but it didn't ruin the book for me just because I figured out the end ahead of time. It still was written well and I still wanted to read on and finish the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jaime
  • CA, United States
  • 04-15-14

Easy Listen

What did you like best about This Pen for Hire? What did you like least?

It was a light and easy listen. Kind of predictable in many parts, but enjoyable.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I think the ending made sense. I felt kind of bad for the main character, but it was a nice story.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I think the narrator was fine. She did a good job doing all the voices.

Do you think This Pen for Hire needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I'm undecided about this. I found the book to be fun, but I don't know about an entire series.

Any additional comments?

Fun, easy read to get you through your day.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great series

I have read several books in this series and decided to finally start at the beginning. I do think the series gets better in later books, but I also enjoyed this one! It has my 3 favorite things: mystery, humor, and cats!

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Don't line at all

no substance - waist of $. leave out sex references and might be worth reading.

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More boring than you can imagine

What disappointed you about This Pen for Hire?

Advertised a a brilliantly written joke filled book - just filled with shallow observances and advert terminology. Like if you wanted to read something by a talking head <br/>Advise against this piece of junk and others by this author

Would you ever listen to anything by Laura Levine again?

No - I was looking for a laugh not garbage

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

DISAPPOINTMENT

Any additional comments?

Do not be deceived - this is absolute junk

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Lighthearted, self-depreciating heroine, but...

I did find some of the humor off-putting. Judgmental humor from the protagonist in a book like this is distracting. Otherwise, the story flowed well and we even had a red herring or two. I did feel sorry for the over-fed cat. Let's not kill our pets with kindness, Ms. Levine.

Ms. Pressley, the narrator, seemed as if she was finding her legs in the beginning, but ended well. I do feel the need to say that she needs to be researching more pronunciations. Listeners are smart. They will notice bad pronunciations.
If a reader doesn't know a word or is only partly sure - LOOK IT UP! I stopped listening to the preview of the second book after DICKenSEEun. I began to wonder if she'd pronounced the name of the author correctly.
If narrators don't have the time or patience, then they need top notch proofers. Brittany Pressley is good at reading and characterization, but, for me, this is a deal-breaking issue.