Avon Mystery / HarperCollins
Date: February 2, 2004
it at Amazon
Notes: Reviewer Kristin Johnson is the author of CHRISTMAS
COOKIES ARE FOR GIVING, co-written with Mimi Cummins and ORDINARY
MIRACLES: My Incredible Spiritual, Artistic and Scientific Journey,
co-written with Sir Rupert A.L. Perrin, M.D.
& Favor Mystery
By Jill Churchill
Ready for an
escapist mystery that will take you back to a time when life was
a bit more genteel? Travel back to the Depression, where in Love
for Sale people actually seem to live richer lives than in
the modern prosperous era. Without glamorizing the hard times of
the past, this cozy mystery, starring a brother and sister team,
makes us long for the days of white gloves, croquet, and milk delivered
to the door.
But milk isn’t all
Lily and Robert Brewster find on the doorstep of the manor their
late great-uncle left them. In true cozy mystery form, the unsuspecting
amateur detectives discover a missing grade school teacher, uncover
Road to Perdition-style mob activity as well as political conspiracy
aimed at President Roosevelt’s election (and you thought the
President Bush-Senator Kerry grudge match was nasty), and figure
out who killed Charles Pottinger (a.k.a. the radio preacher Brother
Goodheart) in their very house. Seems there was more than Bible-thumping
going on among the Reverend and his friends, who include the bizarre
Nobby Hazard (reminiscent of Renfrew in Dracula, minus the vermin
eating). Who would want to kill Brother Goodheart? How about his
illegitimate son, who is tossed out as an interesting, if predictable,
red herring. Why do we detect the hint of a lesbian quarrel in the
disappearance of the schoolteacher?
And who has moved into the
abandoned Gerrit place just outside of town? How is it that Lily
and Robert take schoolteacher jobs that involve nothing more disruptive
than an occasionally surly student? Why is it that Chief Howard
Walker seems more up on crime solving than the entire modern LAPD
and Boulder Colorado Police? Do we need to recreate the Depression
in order to return to an era in which Robert Brewster shyly courts
the local librarian, Miss Philomena Exley?
Jill Churchill’s vivid tale of a bygone era, we can enjoy
genteel times again without the Depression and with the whodunit.
Much grace and favor to Jill Churchill.