Cover image for Fear of frying
Fear of frying
Churchill, Jill, 1943-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Avon Books, 1997.
Physical Description:
216 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Jane Jeffry mystery"--Jkt.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



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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

In this third Jane Jeffry mystery, Jane and her friend, Shelley Nowack, are deep in the cold and rainy Wisconsin woods with a committee inspecting a possible summer camp for their suburban Illinois school district. On the first night at the camp, Jane and Shelley find one of their colleagues bludgeoned to death with a skillet. After they report the murder, the body vanishes, and the victim reappears--alive and well. The duo start investigating, hoping to dispel their fellow committee members' doubts about their sanity. The solution to the mystery is hidden in the characters' pasts, and the narrative occasionally bogs down as Churchill doles out all the necessary biographical details. Nevertheless, this is a pleasant, hard-to-solve mystery, with evocative autumnal atmosphere (a good Halloween read), lively writing, and often humorous dialogue. The murder, mayhem, and bad weather have the added benefit of making even your worst camping trip seem like a garden party. --John Rowen

Publisher's Weekly Review

The search for a murder victim who turns up safe and sound after being bashed with a frying pan livens up a weekend in the Wisconsin woods for suburban Chicago housewife and amateur sleuth Jane Jeffrey and her best pal, Shelley Nowack, in Jane's ninth adventure (after War and Peas). The duo are on a fact-finding mission with members of the school board and town council‘all well-drawn, distinctive characters in Churchill's hands‘to investigate a summer camp for the children of their town. The troubles start their first evening at camp when Jane and Shelley return to the picnic area after the cookout to look for a missing watch. There, next to the fire pit, lies the body of their neighbor, prosperous car dealer Sam Claypool. But the corpse disappears by the time the sheriff arrives. Later, when Sam is found alive and well back at the lodge, the two women, along with their neighbors, begin to wonder if they were hallucinating. Their sanity is vindicated the next day when a very dead Sam turns up, which leaves only two problems: Who was the man they all believed was Sam Claypool? Who among the group is a murderer? While the mystery's solution will be more than obvious to some readers, Jane and Shelley are a lively pair, and Agatha and Macavity Award winner Churchill's evocation of their damp weekend at camp will speak to anyone who has ever spent a few days slogging around in rain-soaked woods. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In Churchill's ninth Jane Jeffry novel, the amateur sleuth and single mom journeys to an isolated Wisconsin camp and conference center as part of a group to check it out for their school board and city council. All goes well until Jane and best friend Shelley find one of their own dead in the woods. The body disappears, however, and the "dead" guy turns up alive and well. Jane, of course, investigates: she suspects trickery by local environmentalists. A basically familiar plot, told in a breezy, familiar style. For larger collections or where the series is popular. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.