Cover image for It had to be you : a Grace & Favor mystery
It had to be you : a Grace & Favor mystery
Churchill, Jill, 1943-
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, ME : Thorndike Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
256 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print Mystery/Suspense
LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print
LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print - Closed Stacks
LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print Large Print

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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

The plucky siblings Robert and Lily may live in Grace & Favor Cottage, on the Hudson, in 1933, but they must work to keep it. A local woman has turned her own home into a nursing home, and both Robert and Lily are hired to replace a sick nurse. When a difficult and crabby inmate is murdered only days from his expected natural death, the siblings join forces with the local police to try to solve the case. While this installment lacks some of the energy and plotting of earlier whodunits in this series, it is rich in period color: the inauguration of FDR and his first Fireside Chat, the repeal of Prohibition, and a homey subplot chronicling the installation of a dumbwaiter in the three-storied nursing home. A solid entry in a series that effectively merges the historical mystery with the village cozy. --GraceAnne DeCandido Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

It's March 1933: FDR is inaugurated as president, Prohibition is repealed and Brewster siblings Robert and Lily must solve two puzzling murders in Jill Churchill's It Had to Be You: A Grace & Favor Mystery, the fifth entry in this gently amusing cozy series (after 2003's Love for Sale). Churchill, who's won both Agatha and Macavity awards, is also the author of Bell, Book, and Scandal (2003) and other titles in her Jane Jeffrey series. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The fifth entry in Churchill's Depression-era series featuring the sibling heirs of a land speculator shows the pair working at a nursing home near their own "Grace and Favor" mansion. Robert's and Lily's jobs require laundry toting, floor mopping, and little-old-lady sitting. Unfortunately, one old man on the verge of death is found smothered. The nurse suspects something immediately, authorities are informed, and statements are taken. True to form, Lily and Robert contribute their own sleuthing, especially after another corpse appears. The narrative seems a bit forced, the conversations mundane, and the transitions abrupt, but undemanding fans may appreciate the historical references. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



It Had to Be You A Grace & Favor Mystery Chapter One Friday, March 3, 1933 Here's another one," Lily said, putting a letter down on Mr. Prinney's desk at his secondary office at Grace and Favor. This one was on brown bag paper, carefully folded and addressed to The Honerable Mr. Horatio Bruster. Mr. Prinney carefully pulled it apart. Written on the inside of the envelope to save wasting paper, it said, Deer Sir, my wife is writing this for me. I aint got much edication. But Im a darned good farmer. Sad to say that the hale kilt our been crop last fall and we aint had no rain atall this year. We're sory we havent payed the morgage for a cuple months now but hope you understand. We will try to pay as soon as we kan. We hope its gonna rain this year. Jimmy Brubaker in Gardan City Kansas This was the sixth letter they'd received this spring. Most of them said virtually the same thing. Lily and Robert's great-uncle Horatio had bought great tracts of land in Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma long before the stock market crashed, and sold it to farmers. For the first four years the venture had been profitable. But the good weather had turned bad in 1929, and had progressively become worse. There hadn't been rain for two or three years. Mr. Prinney, the executor of Horatio Brewster's estate, sighed. "Lily, would you write back. The usual wording." Which was that Mr. Brewster had passed on and that Mr. Prinney was in charge of the estate on behalf of Mr. Brewster's great-niece and great-nephew. On their behalf he was communicating that the mortgage payments didn't have to be paid this year, and that the penalty clause in the contract would not be enforced. He hoped the weather would get better this summer and that the mortgage holder could resume payments next year. ♦ While Lily was typing the letter to Mr. Brubaker, Robert was preparing to go to Washington, D.C., to see President elect Franklin Roosevelt's inauguration. Even Mr. Prinney reluctantly agreed that Robert deserved the trip. On Election Day the previous November, Robert had worked every hour the polls were open, driving around town in his beloved Duesenberg and gathering up loads of voters, who got the car so dirty it took him nearly a week to get it clean again. He was this very day standing with a huge crowd at the Hyde Park railroad station watching Roosevelt being lifted into his private train in his wheelchair by his sons. Hundreds of people from surrounding counties cheered as the next president appeared at the window of the train. The mobs of photographers hadn't taken his picture until then. Roosevelt was leaning out of the open window, waving, and grinning with his cigarette holder in his mouth. Robert was waving back madly. When the train pulled out and Roosevelt's window was closed against the cinders and smoke from the coal, some of the people drifted away. Many more, including Robert, waited patiently with their tickets for the next train to pull into the station, and piled on gleefully to follow. Robert snagged his reserved seat that he'd booked weeks earlier, and realized how thirsty he was. He hadn't had anything to eat or drink since going to bed the night before, for fear he might have to give up his seat to go to the bathroom and lose his place to some of the people jostling him in the aisle. A small price to pay, he thought. He'd consulted the alumini address list his college sent out every year to graduates and discovered that several old acquaintances from his school days had moved to Washington, D.C., and hoped he could bunk down with one of them for a couple of days. He'd even managed to find a Washington phone book at the Voorburg library and looked up their phone numbers. It was two years old, but a few friends were certainly still at the same place. When the train arrived in Washington, he found a bathroom first, washed his hands, and bought a sandwich and a cup of very bad coffee. Then he gathered his change and found a pay phone. The first number he tried didn't answer. Neither did the second. The third old friend answered on the third ring. "James, this is Robert Brewster. A voice from the past. I'm down here to watch the inauguration. I wondered if I could sleep on your sofa or floor for a couple of days?" "Robert Brewster?" the voice asked. "I remember you. Have you gone mad? Why would you want to come here for that? Most of us campaigned and voted for Hoover and wouldn't waste the time. In fact, I'm just going out of town to avoid the radical Commie crowds. I can't help you out." Two more phones weren't answered. One number was answered by a woman who'd never heard of him. The next number was no longer in service. The only other person he reached said much the same as the first had. This old school chum said he was sick at heart at Roosevelt's winning. Robert was disappointed. He'd have to find some fleabag hotel. Or sleep in a homeless shelter. He cringed at the idea of what a shelter would smell like. He'd rather buy a blanket and sleep in a park somewhere. ♦ There was a knock on the front door of Grace and Favor, and Lily went to see who it was. They weren't expecting company. A smiling young man with curly red hair was standing there. Behind him was an odd vehicle, designed like a smaller version of a Greyhound bus, but without the windows down the sides. It was white with a painted sign on the side saying "Kelly Connor's Notions." "I hope I'm not disturbing you, but I have some things in my bus that you might not be able to find anywhere close by. May I bring my sample case inside?" It Had to Be You A Grace & Favor Mystery . Copyright © by Jill Churchill. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from It Had to Be You by Jill Churchill All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.