Michele Jaffe is the author of several adult novels including the thrillers Bad Girls and Loverboy. After getting her Ph.D in Comparative Literature from Harvard, she retired from academia and decided to become an FBI special agent or glamorous showgirl - but somehow ended up writing. A native of Los Angeles, California, Michele lives in Las Vegas with her husband, her disco ball, and her zebra wall-to-wall carpeting.
Quirky characters breathe energy into Jaffe's (Bad Girl, for adults) silly, if sometimes confusing, mystery novel. Wannabe detective Jasmine, who narrates, is on a family vacation at Las Vegas's Venetian Hotel. When a runaway cat attacks her, she finds herself in the middle of a real-life mystery involving a famous model/actress, her fugitive husband and a very handsome young man with a British accent. Jas seems to attract catastrophe (after the cat attack, she runs into a wedding, causing the cake-and the bride-to wind up in the pool). Other characters, including her fashion-savvy best friend, who drives a van called the Pink Pearl, and an unlikable cousin, who considers flavored lip gloss dessert, come along for the ride, offering assistance and often also ending up in trouble (Jasmine and her best friends also all offer a funny running banter in tinted sections at the bottom of many of the pages). As readers race along with Jas to unravel the mystery, following its many twists, they may find some plotting hard to follow. Also, the inevitable final confrontation seems more cinematic than authentic. Even so, it's hard not to like a book with a bow-wearing bodyguard nicknamed the Fabinator and a main character who grew up playing Barbie Crime Scene. Readers will likely find themselves quickly clawing their way through this fun novel. Ages 12-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Gr 9 Up-Jasmine Callihan, her father, and stepmother are vacationing in Las Vegas at the posh Venetian Hotel. All the 17-year-old really wants to do is sunbathe by the pool, write in her journal, and attempt to be a "Model Hallmark Card" daughter, all the while avoiding her "perfect" cousin Alyson and her "Evil Hench Twin," Veronique. Her plans go awry, however, when a small boy and his cat make Jas a central character in a murder investigation. Soon Jas's best friends come from LA to join her adventure and all attempt to solve the murder of Len Phillips, business manager of world-famous photographer Red Early. Teens will enjoy Jas and her friends' hilarious dialogue and will be entertained by Jaffe's inclusion of footnotes to the plot twists on each page. While the story is somewhat convoluted and often defies credulity, the book does offer some fascinating characters and plenty of amusement for fans of this genre.-Kathryn Childs, Morris Mid/High School, OK Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.