Our Comprehensive List of Laura Levine Books in Order

Published: 5 May 2023
Written by Penny Somerset

As an avid mystery fiction enthusiast, I can't contain my excitement when discussing the enthralling universe Laura Levine has crafted within her novels. Combining suspense, humor, and memorable characters, Levine has secured a unique position among her reader's favorite authors. If you're keen to explore Jaine Austen's world, her quirky cat Prozac, and their gripping escapades, you've stumbled upon the perfect resource. In this blog post, we're excited to provide a comprehensive list of Laura Levine books in order, making it effortless for you to peruse her extensive catalog and delve into her captivating tales.

Prozac the Cat
Jaine Austen's beloved cat, Prozac.

Table of Contents

• The Jaine Austen Mysteries in Order
• The Jaine Austen Christmas Series
• The Final Chapter: Concluding Our Investigation into Laura Levine Books

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Who is Laura Levine?
  • Who is Jaine Austen?
  • Do you have to read Laura Levine books in order?

• Related Posts
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Laura Levine's novels, featuring the sharp-witted freelance writer Jaine Austen, deliver a captivating blend of mystery and comedy that will hold your attention from beginning to end. To ensure you get the most out of your literary journey, we've put together a detailed guide showcasing Laura Levine books in order, enabling you to enjoy each mesmerizing mystery in the proper sequence. So, clear some time in your schedule, find that ideal cozy nook, and get ready to lose yourself in the enthralling realm of Laura Levine's mystery novels.

The Jaine Austen Mysteries in Order

This Pen for Hire: A Jaine Austen Mystery (2002)

This Pen for Hire
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As a writer-for-hire, Jaine Austen crafts everything from mushy personals to heartfelt love letters. However, when a match she facilitated ends in murder, Jaine finds herself investigating more than she anticipated. Awkward and shy Howard Murdoch enlists her help in writing a love letter to the stunning aerobics instructor, Stacy Lawrence, whom he's never met.

To Jaine's amazement, the letter works, securing Howard a date with Stacy. Unfortunately, their romance is cut short when Stacy is found brutally murdered on Valentine's Day, and Howard becomes the prime suspect. Jaine can't believe that the quirky and eccentric Howard could be a killer, and her own investigation uncovers numerous individuals with ill feelings towards the fit and attractive Stacy. Racing against time, Jaine must piece together the clues before the cunning murderer realizes her intentions and jeopardizes her ghostwriting career.

Last Writes (2003)

Last Writes
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Jaine Austen, the quick-witted writer-for-hire, finds herself working on a Hollywood sitcom set, which turns out to be anything but comedic. While she hasn't found the perfect man or a way to control her sweet tooth, with her best friend Kandi's help, she's managed to secure a job as a sitcom writer for Muffy 'n Me. Although the show won't be winning any Emmys and her office could use some improvements, Jaine is content.

However, things take a dark turn when a murder occurs on set. The chaos seems to have begun when Quinn Kirkland, the show's heartthrob, seduces the head writer, whose husband also works on the show. Further drama ensues when Quinn is found in bed with a young actress, and his numerous girlfriends start to piece things together. So, when Quinn dies from eating a poisoned doughnut, Jaine isn't too shocked. With several suspects, including a competitive co-star and scorned lovers, Jaine is determined to solve the case, especially since the police have targeted her friend Kandi, who had fallen for Quinn. Jaine must now uncover who put an end to Quinn's philandering ways before her best friend is unfairly imprisoned.

Killer Blonde (2004)

Killer Blonde
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As a freelance writer with a penchant for Ben & Jerry's, Jaine Austen can't be too selective about job offers. When Beverly Hills socialite SueEllen Kingsley hires her to ghostwrite a book on hostess tips for a generous fee, Jaine jumps at the opportunity. However, things take a shocking turn when Jaine discovers SueEllen lifeless in her bathtub, electrocuted by her own hairdryer.

The main suspect is Heidi, SueEllen's stepdaughter, whose claim of witnessing a mysterious blonde fleeing the scene is met with doubt by the Beverly Hills police. Numerous blond suspects emerge, from a private masseuse and a jealous nurse to a former game show hostess and a secret blonde with a hidden past. Jaine becomes determined to uncover which of these individuals is harboring a lethal intent beneath their expensive highlights, as she believes that blondes shouldn't get away with murder.

Shoes to Die For (2005)

Shoes to Die For
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Jaine Austen's wardrobe, filled with elastic-waist pants and T-shirts, is deemed a fashion disaster by her neighbor Lance, who works in the designer shoe department at Nieman Marcus. This leads Jaine to visit his favorite boutique, Passions, where she finds the high-end fashion isn't her style, but the staff gossip is irresistible.

Becky, a tiny, orange-haired clerk, complains about her co-worker Giselle, a.k.a. "Frenchie," a snarky blonde who ridicules customers and engages in extramarital affairs. Although Jaine doesn't update her wardrobe, she lands a job writing magazine ads for Passions. However, when she arrives to pitch her ideas the next day, she discovers Frenchie dead, stabbed in the neck with one of her own stilettos. Now, Jaine must unravel who despised Frenchie enough to commit murder in this designer death scenario.

The PMS Murder (2006)

The PMS Murder
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While battling the challenges of trying on bathing suits at Loehmann's communal dressing room, freelance writer Jaine Austen befriends an aspiring actress named Pam and helps revamp her bare-bones resume. Pam, in turn, invites Jaine to join The PMS Club, a women's support group that meets weekly for guacamole and margaritas.

However, Jaine's involvement with the club turns out to be more of a curse than a blessing. Despite being warned about Rochelle's to-die-for guacamole, Jaine never takes the phrase literally - until PMS Club member Marybeth suddenly dies after consuming the infamous dip. Now, Jaine must shift her focus from sharing gossip with The PMS Club to unearthing secrets about its surviving members.

Death by Pantyhose (2007)

Death by Pantyhose
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Jaine Austen, a freelance writer with a weakness for Eskimo Pies, rekindles a romance with her old crush, Andrew, while simultaneously taking on a job writing jokes for Dorcas, a stand-up comic who uses pantyhose as her punch line. Dorcas's act bombs, and she's heckled by Vic, a handsome fellow comedian.

When Vic is found murdered with Dorcas's pantyhose and Dorcas is discovered at the scene, the police arrest her, believing it's an open-and-shut case. Jaine, however, thinks the real killer can't be that obvious. As she tries to uncover the true culprit, her attempts to navigate the dating scene with Andrew lead to one disaster after another, potentially blinding her to the dark side of comedy until she finds herself facing a gun and a chilling, deadly smile.

Killing Bridezilla (2008)

Killing Bridezilla
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When Jaine Austen, a writer-for-hire, takes on the task of scripting wedding vows for the ultimate Bridezilla, Patti Devane, a high school nemesis, she soon regrets her decision. Patti's demanding and rude behavior makes her universally disliked, leaving a trail of enemies from her future mother-in-law to the wedding planners. Tasked with creating a Romeo and Juliet-inspired ceremony without the tragic ending, Jaine struggles to manage her difficult client.

However, when Patti plunges to her death during her balcony scene due to loosened bolts, it's clear someone among her many enemies committed the sabotage. Jaine is determined to uncover the truth while simultaneously dealing with her high school memories, unwanted advances from a former classmate, and the antics of Prozac the cat and the victim's pet poodle. As she delves into the case, the line between comedy and tragedy blurs, especially when another body is found and the killer sets their sights on Jaine for a deadly finale.

Killer Cruise (2009)

Killer Cruise
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As Jaine embarks on a cruise, she's surprised to find her finicky cat Prozac has stowed away in her luggage. Dinner on the ship introduces her to wealthy, talkative Emily Pritchard and her two nephews, whose interactions seem tense. The situation becomes more complicated when Graham, a charming but sleazy British dancer, sweeps Emily off her feet, leading to their sudden engagement. However, their happy news is overshadowed when Graham is found dead, an ice pick lodged in his chest. As Jaine juggles hiding Prozac, flirting with Emily's nephew Robbie, and trying to catch a cunning murderer, she realizes she's diving into her most perilous case yet.

Death of a Trophy Wife (2010)

Death of a Trophy Wife
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When freelance writer Jaine Austen finds herself low on luck and money, Jaine leaps at her friend Lance's invitation to brunch at the Four Seasons. There, they run into Bunny, the new trophy wife of mattress mogul Marvin Cooper. Bunny offers Jaine a job writing Marvin's new ad campaign and invites her to an upcoming party. At the event, Bunny's domineering behavior is on full display, and by night's end, someone has poisoned her. The police arrest Lance, but Jaine knows he's innocent. Determined to clear his name, Jaine uncovers a list of suspects as long as Bunny's credit card bill.

Pampered to Death (2011)

Pampered to Death
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When Jaine Austen receives a surprise luxury spa getaway, she and her feline friend Prozac excitedly prepare for a week of pampering. However, they find themselves at a strict California fat farm instead, with celery juice cocktails, embarrassing weigh-ins, and a no-carbs policy. Jaine's fellow guests include B-list movie star Mallory Francis, who's notorious for making enemies.

When Mallory is found strangled during a botched seaweed wrap, Jaine struggles to find someone who wouldn't want her dead. As the list of suspects grows and Jaine's hunger intensifies, her pursuit of truth and justice leads her to a cold-blooded killer, where she may once again find murder on the menu.

Death of A Neighborhood Witch (2012)

Death of A Neighborhood Witch
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Jaine finds herself in a challenging situation when her cat Prozac inadvertently causes the death of a grumpy neighbor's parakeet. The irritable neighbor, a former Hollywood actress known for her role as Cryptessa Muldoon, has a talent for making enemies. When she's murdered with her own "Do Not Trespass" sign on Halloween, the community breathes a sigh of relief, but suspects are everywhere.

Amidst the chaos, Jaine can hardly focus on her attractive new neighbor, Peter. As the main suspect, Jaine must employ her investigative abilities to clear her name, quickly realizing that everyone in the neighborhood has hidden secrets and skeletons lurking in their closets.

Killing Cupid (2013)

Killing Cupid
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Jaine Austen starts a new job at Dates of Joy matchmaking service, she quickly discovers that love isn't as simple as it seems. Excited to assist those seeking love, Jaine's enthusiasm fades when she realizes that her boss, Joy Amoroso, is a harsh and deceptive woman. Joy mistreats her employees, uses professional models as fake clients on her website, and provides empty promises of romance. It's no shock when Joy is found dead at a Valentine's Day event. Unraveling this mystery might be more challenging than finding the perfect match or locating a hidden caramel praline in a box of chocolates.

Death by Tiara (2015)

Death by Tiara
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Jaine delves into the world of teen beauty pageants, she quickly realizes that beauty can be deadly. Tasked with writing a song for talented contestant Taylor Van Sant by her overbearing stage mom, Heather, Jaine finds herself amid a drama-filled pageant scene. The hotel hosting the event is far from luxurious, the contestants are excessively competitive, and Candace, the tyrannical pageant director, is making Jaine's life unbearable. When Candace's assistant, Amy, is found murdered with a tiara, the list of suspects is longer than a pageant evening gown, with Heather as the prime suspect. As Taylor pleads with Jaine to help clear her mother's name, Jaine discovers that finding the killer is more challenging than strutting on stage in high heels.

Murder Has Nine Lives (2016)

Murder Has Nine Lives
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Jaine Austen lands a new job and is looking forward to a tropical vacation while her cat, Prozac, is set to star in a major commercial. Little does she know that the cat food industry can be fiercely competitive. To Jaine's surprise, her finicky feline performs like a true professional, eating and napping on command. However, her dreams of success are short-lived when the inventor of Skinny Kitty dies suddenly on set. With everyone, including Jaine, considered a suspect, she must uncover the truth before the murderer claims another victim in this cutthroat world.

Death of a Bachelorette (2017)

Death of a Bachelorette
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Jaine believed that working on a low-budget reality show in the tropics would be a dream come true. However, she and her cat Prozac soon find themselves caught in the midst of a dimwitted leading man, competitive contestants, and a lethal murderer, turning the job into a terrifying nightmare.

Life becomes increasingly complicated as Jaine lands a writing job for "Some Day My Prince Will Come," a cheesy dating show with bachelorettes vying for a distant British heir's heart. When a finalist dies under suspicious circumstances, the police refuse to let anyone leave the island until the perpetrator is caught. Desperate to escape the heat and return home, Jaine dives headfirst into the investigation, knowing she must uncover the truth quickly before more lives are lost.

Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge (2018)

Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge
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Jaine Austen, a freelance writer, is looking forward to spending Christmas house-sitting in an upscale Bel Air mansion, joined by her friend Lance and her cat, Prozac. However, when a grumpy neighbor ends up dead, Jaine must uncover the killer or risk spending the New Year behind bars. Scotty Parker, a former child star who once played Tiny Tim, has grown into a year-round Scrooge, causing tension with his wife, ex-wife, maid, and others.

Despite Jaine's reluctance, she's been helping Scotty with his comeback screenplay. But when he's killed by a frozen chocolate yule log, Jaine finds herself on the list of suspects. Although she's been dealing with Lance's matchmaking attempts and her cat's unpredictable behavior, she's innocent and must prove it before it's too late.

Death of a Gigolo (2019)

Death of a Gigolo
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Jaine Austen, a freelance writer, finds her life filled with romance as she reconnects with her ex, despite her cat Prozac's disapproval, and begins ghostwriting a steamy novel called Fifty Shades of Turquoise for sixty-something heiress Daisy Kincaid. While working on the romance scenes, Jaine gets to know Daisy's gentleman friend, staff, and social circle, all of whom are appalled when Daisy falls for a much younger, ill-mannered man named Tommy. The shocking announcement of their engagement is soon followed by Tommy's murder, stabbed in the neck with a solid gold Swiss Army knife gifted by Daisy. To identify the killer, Jaine must set aside the romantic novel and use her creative skills to unravel a complex tale of wealth and homicide.

Murder Gets a Makeover (2021)

Murder Gets a Makeover
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Jaine Austen, a writer-for-hire living in L.A. with her cat Prozac, enjoys the comfort of her casual freelance wardrobe until her best friend, Lance, arranges for a makeover with high-profile stylist Bebe Braddock. Although Bebe's Brentwood estate exudes glamour, the atmosphere is toxic as she mercilessly bullies her assistants and husband. When Bebe is found strangled with a wire hanger, Jaine becomes the prime suspect due to her fingerprints on the weapon.

Amidst the investigation, Jaine finds herself involved in a romantic entanglement with Bebe's attractive, young personal assistant, Justin, while her cat Prozac unexpectedly gains internet fame. Jaine must now unravel the mystery behind Bebe's murder and clear her name before she ends up wearing an orange prison jumpsuit instead of a fashionable new outfit.

Bailey Cates mystery books in order

Death by Smoothie (2022)

Death by Smoothie
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Jaine finds herself revisiting the short-lived sitcom "I Married a Zombie" after previously solving the murder of its star, Cryptessa Muldoon. Now, Jaine has been hired to improve the script for a play based on the show, but she quickly becomes disenchanted with the terrible script and the actress, Misty, who has been cast as Cryptessa.

Despite having a diva attitude, Misty lacks talent, demanding a special smoothie every day at 3 pm. Meanwhile, Jaine struggles with her uncooperative cat, Prozac, who refuses to wear a harness for outdoor walks. When Misty's smoothie is poisoned with a lethal dose of rat poison, the list of suspects extends beyond the theater, as Misty made numerous enemies. As everyone claims innocence, Jaine must determine the true culprit before the killer has a chance for an encore performance.

The Jaine Austen Christmas Series

Candy Cane Murder (2015)

Candy Cane Murder
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Dive into a festive anthology of three thrilling murder mysteries with "Candy Cane Murder," a captivating collection by New York Times bestselling authors Joanna Fluke, Laura Levine, and Leslie Meier. This holiday season, murder arrives as an uninvited guest, and fans of M.C. Beaton and Ann Granger won't be able to resist these tantalizing tales.

In Joanne Fluke's story, "Candy Cane Murder", baking sleuth Hannah Swensen investigates the murder of a man dressed as Santa, following a trail of candy canes to uncover the truth. Laura Levine's tale, "The Dangers of Candy Canes", finds Jaine Austen unraveling the mystery of a suburban man's deadly fall from his roof while installing a massive candy cane, sifting through scheming neighbors with hidden secrets. Lastly, Leslie Meier's story, "Candy Canes of Christmas Past", sees Lucy Stone delving into the enigmatic past of a shattered glass candy cane found near a corpse, seeking to unmask a murderer who escaped justice.

Complete with ten delectable festive recipes, this collection is the perfect holiday treat for crime fans and baking enthusiasts alike.

Gingerbread Cookie Murder (2017)

Gingerbread Cookie Murder
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Delight in a holiday-themed anthology featuring three captivating murder mysteries by New York Times bestselling authors Joanna Fluke, Laura Levine, and Leslie Meier. This collection offers an irresistible mix of Christmas whodunits. Filled with gingerbread cookies, unexpected murders, and ten tempting festive recipes, it's a must-read for crime aficionados and baking enthusiasts alike.

In Joanne Fluke's tale, "Gingerbread Cookie Murder", Hannah Swensen investigates a suspect list as extensive as her holiday shopping list when her neighbor is found dead beside her gingerbread cookies. Laura Levine's story, "The Dangers of Gingerbread Cookies", sees Jaine Austen uncovering the truth behind a playboy doctor's "accidental" death during a retirement community play, with several jealous lovers as potential culprits. Lastly, Leslie Meier's story, "Gingerbread Cookies and Gunshots", follows Lucy Stone as she connects the murder of a man searching for his missing son to a gingerbread cookie, racing against time to unmask the killer before Christmas arrives.

Christmas Sweets (2019)

Christmas Sweets
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Dive into a delightful assortment of holiday-themed mysteries in "Christmas Sweets," a unique anthology by bestselling cozy mystery authors Joanna Fluke, Laura Levine, and Leslie Meier. This collection combines three delectable stories featuring your beloved sleuths for an unforgettable Christmas treat. In Joanne Fluke's "The Twelve Desserts of Christmas," Hannah Swensen comes to the aid of a lovestruck couple at a boarding school when someone tries to sabotage their romance during Christmas break. Laura Levine's "Nightmare on Elf Street" finds Jaine Austen donning a mortifying costume as a mall Santa's elf, only to be entangled in a murder investigation when her Santa partner ends up dead. Lastly, in Leslie Meier's "The Christmas Thief," Elizabeth Stone's white Christmas plans in Tinker's Cove, Maine, are derailed when a Yule ball in Florida leads to a jewelry heist and a mysterious guest, prompting her mother, Lucy Stone, to step in and help unravel the truth.

The Final Chapter: Concluding Our Investigation into Laura Levine Books

Diving into the world of Laura Levine's Jaine Austen books is an experience not to be missed. The excitement, humor, and captivating mystery her stories offer are truly unparalleled. So, whether you're new to her work or a longtime fan, exploring the Jaine Austen series in the order it was written provides a delightful and thrilling literary adventure that will surely leave you eager for more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Laura Levine?

Laura Levine

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Laura Levine embarked on a diverse and fascinating journey that started with her studies at Barnard College. After completing her education, she delved into the world of reporting and photography for a small newspaper, igniting her love for storytelling. It wasn't long before she found herself creating the memorable Count Chocula and Frankenberry cereals as part of her advertising ventures for General Mills. Laura's talents truly shone in television when she began writing for iconic sitcoms such as The Bob Newhart Show, Three's Company, Laverne & Shirley, The Love Boat, The Jeffersons, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Along her journey, she found inspiration from renowned authors like Agatha Christie, Anne Tyler, and Joe Keenan.

Now residing in Los Angeles with her encouraging husband and business journalist, Mark Lacter, Laura Levine discovered her true passion as a mystery author with the introduction of her popular Jaine Austen series in 2002. Since that time, she has consistently written at least one engaging novel each year, securing her position in the cozy mystery genre. In her downtime, Laura enjoys gardening, reading, swimming, and walking. Her notable achievements, which include a nomination for the Writers Guild of America Award, stand as evidence of her skill as a versatile writer whose talent transcends various genres and platforms. Today, Laura Levine continues to captivate readers with her humorous and thrilling stories, solidifying her status as a cherished and skilled author.

Who is Jaine Austen?

Jaine Austen, the captivating protagonist of Laura Levine's beloved cozy mystery series, is a freelance writer residing in Los Angeles. With her quirky feline companion, Prozac, by her side, Jaine navigates life's complexities while using her quick wit and keen instincts to solve a variety of baffling crimes. As she takes on diverse writing gigs, Jaine often finds herself unwittingly entangled in perplexing mysteries that demand her unique skills and boundless curiosity. This engaging character resonates with readers, who are drawn to her relatable personality, humor, and penchant for stumbling upon intrigue in unexpected places.

Do you have to read Laura Levine books in order?

While it's true that each novel stands on its own, presenting a self-contained mystery for our intrepid protagonist to solve, the beauty of this delightful series lies in the subtle evolution of Jaine Austen's character and her relationships with the recurring cast of characters.

Embarking on the journey through Laura Levine's books in the order they were published allows you to witness the development of Jaine's storylines and her life, offering a richer and more immersive experience. However, if you happen to encounter a Jaine Austen novel out of sequence, fear not! You'll still be able to relish the captivating mystery, humor, and charm that permeate each book. Ultimately, whether you choose to follow the chronology or jump in at any point in the series, you're sure to be entertained by the wit and intrigue that Laura Levine consistently delivers.

If you enjoy the Laura Levine's Jaine Austen mysteries you'll love the novels of Bailey Cates!

Portrait of the article author, Penny Somerset
Penny Somerset

I'm an avid reader and bibliophile. With an unquenchable thirst for stories, I love nothing more than burying my nose in a good book - whether it's curled up on the sofa or out in nature. My deep curiosity and appreciation of diverse writing means that there's no one genre that I prefer, but I'm especially keen on books full of adventure and vivid imagination.
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