Borrowed from my local public library.
From the back cover: "Steamy personal 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..."
Geeky Howard is love with his beautiful blonde aerobics instructor Stacy and hires Jaine to write a letter that will convince Stacy to go out on a date with him. Quite a tall order. But Jaine uses her imagination, and much to her surprise, Howard rings her with the exciting news that the letter has been successful and he has a date with Stacy. Mission accomplished.
Or so Jaine thinks, until she turns on the TV news to see Howard being arrested for the grisly murder of Stacy. She doesn't believe that the timid, mild-mannered man that she met could be capable of violence, and so begins her life as an amateur detective.
If you like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels, then you'll find this book quite similar. Single girl, unlucky in love, stumbles from one mishap to another as she exercises her sleuthing skills. Along the way, we are introduced to a cast of amusing minor characters, and we meet a possible love interest. Jaine has similar issues to Stephanie, with her love of food and lack of self-control, and she has a similar level of disfunctionality in her life.
This Pen for Hire is enjoyable enough, but it's not laugh-out-loud funny like the Stephanie Plum novels. It's a nice, fun bit of fluff, and I'll persist with the series to see if it improves and grows on me.
I'd recommend This Pen for Hire as a great in-the-bath or on-the-beach read. It's light, and fun and a quick, easy read.