Cover image for Someone to watch over me
Someone to watch over me
Churchill, Jill, 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2001]

Physical Description:
230 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Grace & Favor mystery."
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.2 8.0 57913.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



The incomparable, award-winning author of the bestselling Jane Jeffry series travels far from the contemporary Chicago suburbs to Depression-era New York State, where a brother and sister ensconced in a sprawling mansion on the banks of the Hudson long for better days...and fewer murders!

After the Crash of '29 sent the family fortune south, abruptly penniless, once-high-living Manhattanites Lily and Robert Brewster take up residence in their late great-uncle Horatio's estate in a small town near Hyde Park, renting out rooms to make ends meet until the gargantuan Grace and Favor Cottage is legally theirs ten years on. Though the adjustment has been difficult, the struggling siblings are finally getting used to small-town life. Lily has recently been accepted into the local Ladies League, and while she is away helping the organization do good works, Robert decides to do some much needed renovations...with rather disastrous results.

Robert is tearing down a dilapidated icehouse on the property when he inadvertently stumbles upon the last thing he expects or wants: a mummified corpse. The nameless cadaver is well dressed and the obvious victim of foul play with no identifying marks except the label of an exclusive New York City tailor sewn into his "burial" clothes.

While Lily works hand-in-hand with the disarmingly attractive Chief of Police Howard Walker on the local front, Robert pursues the Manhattan connection in search of an identity for their wellheeled, deceased John Doe. But a second dead body-combined with the World War I Veterans Bonus March on Washington by disgruntled ex-soldiers and a bizarre rash of vegetable pilfering -- is complicating an already complex, murderous matter in this quaint upstate community. And soon the many disparate threads of the investigation are tying up the amateur sleuthing Brewsters in a knotty mess of deception and betrayal...and leaving them dangerously exposed to the watchful eyes of a killer.

Joining Jill Churchill's immensely popular Jane Jeffry novels in hardcover, and deliciously rich in vibrant period color and atmosphere and peopled with an unforgettable cast of unusual characters, Someone to Watch Over Me is yet another unmitigated delight from the bestselling author. It's a wonderful journey back to a time of hope undimmed by national calamity, and innocence undeterred by deadly adversity.

Author Notes

Jill Churchill (born Janice Young Brooks) on January 11, 1943 in Kansas City, Missouri. She earned a degree in education from the University of Kansas in 1965 before teaching elementary school. Between 1978 and 1992, she was book reviewer for the Kansas City Star. She published several historical novels under her real name before introducing a new series in 1989. This mystery series follows Jane Jeffry, a widow with three children in Chicago. With her neighbor and best friend, she gets involved in murder cases. The novel titles are puns on literary works and reflect Jeffry's cozy domestic life which she leads between crime-solving episodes.

Churchill is the winner of the Agatha and Macavity Awards for her first Jane Jeffrey novel and was featured in Great Women Mystery Writers in 2007.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Lily and Robert Brewster were carefree and very rich siblings until the Crash of 1929; now they live in Grace and Favor Cottage, a lovely mansion in Voorburg-on-Hudson, New York. They don't own anything: their great uncle Horatio's will permits them to live amid splendor, but they have to spend 10 years proving they can actually support themselves. Times are hard; many of the men in town have no work at all in 1932, and the women are doing what they can. A body in the icehouse is exciting but very long dead; when a local woman's ne'er-do-well husband also turns up dead, Lily and Robert find sleuthing to their liking. A subplot involving the veterans who camped out in Anacostia Flats in Washington and were dispersed by government militia adds a darker historical note to the marcelled hair, yellow Dusenbergs, and other, more frivolous signs of the 1930s. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

After two paperback originals in this cozily charming series (Anything Goes and In the Still of the Night), Churchill makes an auspicious move to hardcover. In the long, hot summer of 1932, lovely Lily Brewster and her elegant brother, Robert, who've been left penniless by the 1929 crash, are living at a Hudson River estate, thanks to the generosity of their late Uncle Horatio. They must oversee their uncle's interests with the aid of lawyer Mr. Prinney and his hardworking wife, mindful that nothing will be officially theirs until they've occupied the place for 10 years. While Lily joins the Voorberg Ladies League to do her charitable best for the local village, her brother tends to the estate grounds. Robert discovers a long-dead body in an old icehouse, and no one knows who he was or how or when he was put there. Then a fresher body turns up, that of the out-of-work husband of one of Voorburg's hardest-working Ladies Leaguers. As Lily pursues one puzzle and Robert the other, Jack Summer, editor of the local paper, treks to Washington, D.C., to investigate a gathering of veterans seeking government relief from the Depression. Churchill neatly ties the disparate threads of the story together, all the while underscoring with subtle compassion the era's tragedies of daily life, major and minor. In contrast to the author's long-running Jane Jeffry series, which has become predictable, this one is still fresh and winning. (Nov. 13) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-When the stock market crash of 1929 takes the family fortune with it, Lily and Robert Brewster are lucky enough to inherit their great-uncle's home in New York state. Under the provisions of the will, they must live there for 10 years and earn their own salaries before the inheritance will legally be theirs. They take in boarders and begin plans to renovate the estate, until a mummified body of a murdered man is found in the ice house. Robert begins working on solving the crime just as Lily becomes involved in solving the murder of an acquaintance's husband. Churchill aptly describes the day-to-day life of people coping with the hardships of the Depression. She details the roles of wives, mothers, and single women in this era of poverty and harsher moral standards. Men face the challenges of finding employment and providing for their families. The result is a historically accurate portrayal of the people and the time. The mysteries add another dimension to the historical novel, each plot complementing the other.-Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.