Freelance writer Jaine Austen is not your typical Los Angelino. She’s not rich, she’s not thin, and she’s definitely not starstruck. She is a sarcastic, sometime-sleuth who has never seen a carb she didn’t like, or come across a mystery she couldn’t solve...

If clothes make the man, then what do Jaine’s elastic waist pants and untucked T-shirts make her? A fashion nightmare, according to her neighbor Lance. In a land of halter tops and barely-there skirts, Jaine is hopelessly out of step, but comfort is high on her list of priorities. She doesn’t expect Lance—who works in the designer shoe department at Nieman Marcus—to understand...which is how she ends up at his favorite boutique, Passions, one bleak day.

Not many double-digit-sized bodies pass through Passions’ doors, and Jaine senses disaster. Though the staff, including a tiny orange-haired clerk named Becky, couldn’t be more helpful, the stuff they wear is definitely not for Jaine. But their gossip is. Becky starts complaining about her co-worker Giselle—a.k.a. “Frenchie”— a brittle blonde who, when she’s not making fun of customers behind their backs, adds extra-marital notches to her Chanel belt. Though Jaine doesn’t land a new look, she does land a new job. Passions’ owner, former model Grace Lynbrook, gives Jaine a chance to write their new magazine ads.

The next morning, dressed to kill in a $3,000 Prada suit that Lance convinced her to buy and return the next day, Jaine arrives at Passions to pitch her ideas. What she finds is Frenchie pitched over, stabbed in the neck by one of her own stilettos. And though there’s no shortage of suspects, the police want to pin the crime on Becky, whose new boyfriend was one of Frenchie’s former boy-toys. Though they just met, Becky hires Jaine to clear her name. Luckily for Jaine, gumshoes don’t give her blisters. Now all she has to do is figure out who hated Giselle the most, in a case of death by designer knock-off.
Read A Review:

Jaine Austen is a copywriter and part-time investigator. Lance, her neighbor, decides Jaine's elastic waist pants must go and gives her a makeover. He takes her to Passions, a hip boutique, where nothing fits. But she gets an interview to be the new magazine ad writer for Passions.

When Jaine arrives for her interview, she finds out that Grace no longer owns Passions. Giselle, aka Frenchie, now does, and she isn't someone Jaine wants to interact with. But she needs a job. So she arrives early one morning to pitch her ideas to Frenchie, but she finds Frenchie dead with a Jimmy Cho stiletto in her neck. There are plenty of suspects, and Jaine sets out to wade through them to find the killer.

This is one of my all-time favorite series. Jaine is such a fun character. I love the L.A. setting. The author puts plenty of humor into each book that I just devour them. Her neighbor Lance and the various other characters in this book really add to the story. The plethora of suspects provides enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing right up until the end. I highly recommend this book.

Dawn Dowdle