Book Review: The Rumour Mill

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Author: Roxy Jacenko
ISBN: 978-1-74331-599-6
RRP: $24.99

The Rumour Mill is the second novel of Sydney’s PR Queen Roxy Jacenko, owner and director of Sydney-based Sweaty Betty PR. Roxy has made a name for herself in the Sydney social and fashion scene, her fashion, beauty and lifestyle public relations agency is sought after and renowned for producing results so it stands to reason that if there’s a scene that Roxy knows well it’s the Sydney social scene.

The Rumour Mill is the second Jazzy Lou novel, and hopefully not the last, it picks up where Strictly Confidential left off with Queen Bee climbing the ranks of prestige and attracting big name clients at the same time as Jazzy is looking at some lifestyle changes of her own.

I was laughing out loud and totally immersed within lines let alone pages. The story opens with a discussion of waters breaking in Westfield, I can think of nothing worse, and had me picturing the mother to be doing her last minute shopping for designer baby wear when the moment arrives. Never for a second did I imagine that the waters breaking in Westfield images we were talking referred to being backstage at the Allison Palmer show at BMW Fashion Week.

The storytelling is colourful and vivid with a super sense of humour. The story was fast-paced and kept me firmly engrossed from start to finish. All plans were put on hold today as I sat to inhale Jazzy Lou’s latest shenanigans and finish her latest adventure in one evening.


High fashion and celebrity status is rife with gossip and glamour and the juicier the gossip the faster it travels as Jazzy well knows. The action certainly doesn’t slow for Jazzy, she goes into labour on page one and the roller coaster starts from there with a baby, a proposal, a wedding to plan, sabotage attempts on her character and her business not to mention the final fireworks in the dying pages. I can not wait to see what Roxy has in store for Jazzy next.

One thing that does keep me totally intrigued throughout a Jazzy Lou novel, knowing that Roxy is the Queen of her very own PR firm, is how closely married are fiction and Roxy’s own life in Jazzy Lou. Are these characters based on people Roxy knows, experiences Roxy may have had throughout her career? I guess only Roxy can really know the answers to those questions.

Once again Roxy paints Jazzy Lou as a tireless and passionate PR machine determined to go the extra mile to keep her clients happy and give them great returns. There were times I had to wonder if her career was going to, once again, jeopardise her home life but Jazzy just managed to juggle it all and still revel in her gorgeous baby girl and ‘Knight in shining Armani’.

Roxy’s prose is lyrical and she has a definite way with words, which is an absolute must for a PR Queen with all the media releases she must write. She takes us backstage and into the usually hidden world of fashion, celebrity and style that is not often shared with the rest of the world. The cattiness, the deception and the lengths that people will go to in the high stakes world of publicity are all beautifully played out in the pages of The Rumour Mill.

This was such an entertaining read on so many levels that I would recommend it to many audiences. We were treated to an almost blow by blow account of Jazzy’s labour which kept me amused, mainly because of Roxy’s no holds barred style of story-telling. Jazzy had missed the birthing classes and went in with very little idea of what to expect from the experience. I couldn’t help bu giggle at some of the labour ward goings on but the vibrant storytelling meant that I could vividly picture Jazzy in the delivery suite on her Blackberry giving orders and still running Queen Bee and deflecting crises between contractions.

If you love fashion, if you love glamour and gossip or if you just love a good story then I suggest you get your hands on the Jazzy Lou novels, you won’t be disappointed. And if you are ever in need of a PR agency I would recommend Sweaty Betty because if Roxy is anything like Jazzy Lou she will definitely make sure you get your moneys worth and enjoy every minute of the ride.

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