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It Had To Be You
A Grace and Favor Series, No. 5

By Jill Churchill

     Robert and Lily Brewster are struggling to make ends meet in their late uncle's Grace and Favor mansion. To supplement their income, Lily agrees to help their neighbor, Miss Twibell who has converted her mansion into a nursing home. She has several patients: one of which, Mr. Connor, is a cranky unpleasant old man. When Robert returns exhausted from his trip to Washington, D.C. where he witnessed the inauguration of FDR, she enlists his help. After carrying laundry up and down three stories, he persuades Miss Twibell to build a dumbwaiter.

     Mr. Connor is murdered. Even though he wasn't well liked, no one could understand why anyone would murder him as he only had a few hours to live. The Chief of Police, Howard Walker, isn't able to give his complete attention to this case. He has his hands full with a body, which had spent the cold months under the iced over pond and has now surfaced with the spring thaw. Robert and Lily bring their investigative talents to his aid.

     This is an entertaining read with mystery really secondary. Set in the 1930's, the years of the Great Depression, it is rich in period color. We witness the FDR inauguration; the Fireside chats; the repeal of prohibition. We meet a traveling salesman who dispenses samples of Bisquick, Listerine, Fels Naptha Soap, and many other products which provoke nostalgia. The characters are believable. The era description is excellent with names and dates of this period well researched. The focus of the book is more on the daily life of the characters and the portrayal of village life in the Great Depression than in solving the mystery. A quick read and a trip down Memory Lane.

     If possible read the series from the first book to establish the continuity....

The Book

Avon/Harper Collins
April 1, 2005
Historical mystery / cozy
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The Reviewer

Barbara Buhrer
Reviewed 2005
© 2005