Cover image for The accidental florist : a Jane Jeffry mystery
Title:
The accidental florist : a Jane Jeffry mystery
Author:
Churchill, Jill, 1943-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [2007]

©2007
Physical Description:
209 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780060528454
Format :
Book

Available:*

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FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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FICTION Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
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Summary

Summary

Jane Jeffry and longtime beau Detective Mel VanDyne finally decide to marry, but Mel's overbearing mother wants to take charge of not only the rehearsal dinner but the actual wedding. Since Jane half expected Mel's mother to steamroll the entire event, she agrees--but with rules of her own. No bridesmaids, no groomsmen. And she can't tell Jane what to wear.

But during what should have been a blissful interval between the engagement and the bouquet toss, several other occurrences take place. Mel convinces Jane and her best friend, Shelley Nowack, to take a women's safety class. They learn a lot, but the class is cut short when a dead body is discovered. So between Jane's wedding planning, her new writing project, and a battle between both mother-in-laws (which Jane encourages), a murderer must be found before this bride can walk happily down the aisle.


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

After dancing around the subject for years, Illinois single mom and amateur sleuth Jane Jeffry and her fella, Detective Mel VanDyne, are finally getting married. But Mel's mother, for whom the phrase control freak is a bit of an understatement, insists on taking charge of the proceedings. If this wasn't stressful enough, Jane and her good friend Shelley are taking a self-defense course, and series fans have no doubt seen this coming one of their classmates is murdered. Can Jane find time to solve the crime, what with her soon-to-be mother-in-law sticking her nose into the wedding plans at every opportunity? Well, of course she can; as longtime readers know, Jane is a resourceful and relatively even-keeled lady. A worthy entry in the popular series.--Pitt, David Copyright 2008 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

At the start of Agatha-winner Churchill's middling 16th cozy to feature Chicago-area amateur sleuth Jane Jeffry (after 2004's A Midsummer Night's Scream), Jane and her best friend, Shelley, decide to take a class on women's safety at the urging of Jane's long-time beau, Mel. Before the course is concluded, their teacher, Miss Welbourne, is murdered by a blow to the head. Jane's personal life overshadows the search for the killer: she and Mel decide to get married, so there's a wedding to plan, a house addition to design and an annoying almost-mother-in-law to handle. The domestic escapades make for enjoyable reading, and the safety tips Jane and Shelley learn are also helpful to the reader. But the plot is a little thin and much of the dialogue rings a false note. The book's most literary aspect is the wordplay of the title. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In the midst of wedding planning, a writing project, and a battle between mothers-in-law, Jane Jeffry still manages to solve a murder in her 16th cozy. The best-selling Churchill lives in the Midwest. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

The Accidental Florist A Jane Jeffry Mystery Chapter One Jane pulled into her driveway. She'd just driven to Kansas City and back to drop off Katie at a culinary school at a junior college and get her set up in an apartment with two other girls. Jane had made a quick stop at a liquor store to buy a bottle of champagne on the way home. She was mixing it with orange juice from the fridge when Shelley knocked at her kitchen door. As Jane opened the door, she said, "You carry the pitcher and I'll bring the glasses. We can sit out on the patio and catch up." They settled in with Jane's favorite champagne flutes and Jane said, "The trip was easy and rather pretty. So much is blooming along the highways in late May." "You didn't get lost?" "Of course we got lost. Several times. But Katie's turned out to be a pretty good map reader. I got her settled into a little apartment close to the junior college. She has two very nice roommates who are taking the same classes and it's within walking distance." "She'll do well, I know. Is she still hoping to use the experience to apply to the CIA?" "Don't call it that!" Jane said with a shudder. "It's the Culinary Institute of America in New York up the Hudson River from the city. And yes, she is. She felt that with the experience of taking summer classes, she'd be better qualified to apply there." "But she'll miss her senior prom from high school," Shelley said with a laugh. "She will. It will save me from having to attend another dreadful prom night." "You've raised good kids," Shelley said, pouring herself a second glass of mimosa. "So have you, Shelley. Denise is going to go far and so is John. They're both good students and ambitious." "Ambitious to get out of the house, you mean?" "Aren't you anxious for that, too?" "Sort of. But I have longer to wait than you do. My John is a year younger than your Todd. And what is Todd doing this summer?" "He's looking into colleges on the Internet. He'll only be a junior this fall, but wants to go somewhere where they teach higher mathematics. He's also moved his bed and desk into Mike's room because it faces the street and has better light. He's still working on breaking the code on prime numbers." "Prime numbers? I've heard of that. But what are they?" Shelley asked. "The ones that aren't divisible by anything. One, five, seven, eleven, thirteen, seventeen, nineteen, twenty-three, and so forth. He has a fancy grid program and put in numbers up to twenty¬ ¬thousand; he left all the ones that can be divided by two in black, and highlighted the ones in red that can't be divided by three, five, seven, and so on." "So what's his conclusion?" Jane sighed. "He doesn't have one yet. But the higher the numbers the less frequent they are. He's trying them out on all sorts of different grids to see if he can find a pattern. So far he hasn't." "He's a dogged kid, isn't he? I remember when he was obsessed with building the biggest thing possible with Legos." "But, Shelley, that cost me the earth and created huge storage problems. This costs me nothing and if he ever finds out the secret to prime numbers, he'll become rich and famous," Jane said with her fingers crossed and wearing a big grin. "So Katie's gone, Todd's obsessed, and Mike's in graduate school in Indiana for the summer. It must be a lot quieter at your house. I envy you." "Thank you. I can't remember you ever saying that," Jane said, still smiling. "I'm also a better driver than you, but you'd never admit that." "You're just a slower driver," Shelley said, watching Jane's two now-elderly cats, Max and Meow, heading for the field behind their two houses. "Do they ever catch anything back there anymore?" "Not anymore. And you notice they clawed their way over the fence instead of bounding over it like jackrabbits the way they used to." Shelley laughed. "Wouldn't we both do that if we were as old as they are in cat years?" Jane had just taken a sip of her drink and had almost snorted it out her nose. "I hope we'd have a little more dignity than the cats though," she said when she quit coughing. Jane poured herself a second mimosa. The goblets were tall but narrow and one wasn't enough. Besides, the pitcher would lose its bubbles if any were left over. "We have to finish this pitcher," Jane said. "It won't keep fuzzy and tickle our noses." "Might as well. Neither of us are going anywhere tonight, are we?" By dusk, when the cats climbed back over the fence, Meow limping a little, both Jane and Shelley were tiddly. Jane stood up to call the cats in and almost lost her balance. "Jane, you're drunk." "No, I'm not. I drove all day long and then sat out in the setting sun drinking diluted champagne. That's all. Let's see how you find your own way home." "I just live next door, Jane," Shelley said, standing and waving her arm, nearly tumbling over her chair. "Coffee," Shelley pleaded. "Strong coffee. I'm not sure I can get home without crawling across both our driveways." Holding on to each other, with the cats wreathing around their ankles, they made their way to Jane's kitchen. "I have to feed the cats first or they won't leave us alone." Jane spilled a third of the cat food on the floor. She looked down and giggled. "They'll eat it anyway." Shelley had also spilled some of the coffee mix on the counter. They sat down at the kitchen table, listening to the cats crunching their food and smelling the coffee brewing. Every now and then, one or the other of them laughed softly at nothing. The Accidental Florist A Jane Jeffry Mystery . Copyright © by Jill Churchill. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Accidental Florist 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.