Death of a Neighborhood Witch Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Death of a Neighborhood Witch

Jaine Austen is has become the main suspect in a murder of the neighborhood's worst neighbor during a Halloween party. Jaine Austen is back to her amateur detective work when the Cryptessa, the nightmare of the neighborhood is found murdered during a Halloween party. She becomes the main suspect for this old washed up actress Cryptessa Muldoon when she is found murdered with her own Do Not Trespass sign. Meanwhile, Jaine and Lance, who shared a wall in their duplex are competing for the attention of their new neighbor, Peter. Peter has invited everyone to his house warming party and his Halloween party. During this gathering, Jaine has an altercation with Cryptessa causing her brownies to fall on the white carpet in Peter's house. She had previous problems with Cryptessa after Prozac, Jaine's cat gets out and scares Cryptessa's bird to death, which is what Cryptessa believed. Jaine is now dealing with a potential lawsuit for this death before attending both parties. While other neighbors have the same problems, Jaine is still the top suspect for this murder after the neighbors encounter the altercation at Peter's house warming party.
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Much later, Jaine and Lance have both picked out costumes for the party, but things do not go right when Lance picks up an ape suit instead of her slinky flapper costume. But, before getting ready for this party, she meets with her best friend, Kandi, of which she shares her new adventures with a fortune teller, a new guy, and the Tummy Tamer. Influenced by her best friend, Jaine purchases the Tummy Tamer and has an appointment with the same for fortune teller courtesy of Kandi. And of course Jaine's life would not be as interesting without those emails from her parents during Halloween with its festive activities around their senior living community with their Halloween lawn decorating contest. Jaine's dad has a horrible decorations that has her mom frustrated with his competitive attitude toward Lydia, his wife's best friend. After losing this contest, Jaine's dad is convinces that Lydia is involved in a murder of a house guest. All of this happening while Jaine is trying to spend time with Peter, which has been interrupted by Lance with his devious plans to monopolize Peter's time.
At the Halloween party, Jaine has problems with the Tummy Tamer and her ape costume was seen leaving the murder scene. Jaine must question those around her to find out who actually murdered Cryptessa. The young neighbor with her dog that is treated badly was a call girl as seen with Mr. Hurlbutt in a picture. The Hurlbutt's have had their flower destroyed by Cryptessa. Or maybe the Moore's who want to buy Cryptessa's property and tried to kill Jaine at the cemetery. The nephew had a motive because he could open up a restaurant after his aunt's death. The house keeper who was accused of stealing and threatened Cryptessa had a motive to kill. Lila the neighbor politician was found to be having an affair with the developer who she told everyone she was against. After all of these motives, Jaine finds that none of these neighbors killed her, but the one person she did not think would kill was now in the midst of her during a romantic dinner. This leaves Jaine in danger and left without a man by her side. It was a trick without a treat.
Best part of story, including ending: I enjoyed how there were so many potential suspects but after all the motives are uncovered the last person you think would have killed actually did kill Cryptessa. It was hard to figure out who did, which it shows how well the book was written.

Best scene in story: When Jaine took off her Ape costume, she was battling the tummy tamer and broke something in Peter's office. It was a funny scene because she is working hard not to be noticed and it was the most embarrassing moment for her. The part that really fun hearted is that this is not something that would happen to the average person.

Opinion about the main character: I like how Jaine is very persistent in finding the murderer and she does whatever is necessary to investigate each of the potential suspects. In this book, she pays for house cleaning and then goes on a nightmarish realtor experience. It funny what she does to get each person to talk to her.

The review of this Book prepared by Millicent Schrock a Level 2 American Robin scholar

Chapter Analysis of Death of a Neighborhood Witch

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 70%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Special suspect?    -   investigator him/herself Murder of certain profession?    -   partygoers Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


City?    -   Yes City:    -   Los Angeles

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Unusual forms of death    -   impaled Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Laura Levine Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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