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Bell, Book, and Scandal [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Jill Churchill
1.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 2004 Jane Jeffry Mysteries

One would never guess to look at suburbanite homemaker Jane Jeffry that she would be interested in murder, but she's practically an expert on the subject. Which is why, with best buddy Shelley Nowack in tow, Jane's booking down to a nearby mystery writers' convention to mingle with the agents, publishing bigwigs, and famous authors ... and to maybe drum up interest in her own recently completed manuscript.

But what would a mystery convention be without a mystery? So when a famous ego-squashing editor is undone by an anonymous poisoner, and a much hatedbook-bashing journalist is himself bashed quite nastily in the parking lot, Jane and Shelley jump right on the case, ready to snoop, eavesdrop, and gossip their way to a solution. But the would-be killer they seek is no open book. And trying to read him/her/them may turn out to be harder -- and deadlier -- than anyone initially imagined.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Review

“Jane Jeffrey is irresistible!” (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine )

“Churchill delivers a satisfying plot laced with subtle humor and some enjoyable gothic flourishes.” (Publishers Weekly )

“Churchill is the master of the suburban mystery.” (Tulsa World ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

In addition to her popular Grace & Favor mystery series, Jill Churchill is the author of the bestselling Jane Jeffry mystery series. She is the recipient of both the Agatha Award and the Macavity Mystery Readers Award. Churchill lives in the Midwest.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
On a surprisingly mild day late in February, Jane sat out on her kitchen porch waiting for her next-door neighbor and best friend Shelley Nowack to come home. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Pass on this one! June 25 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
After reading the other reviews, I took out the book from the library and I'm glad I did. Even in large print it was a quick read at 220 pages. It wasn't up to the quality of Jill Churchill's other titles in this series or the Grace and Favor books.
The dialog was stilted, the characters were one-dimentional and the writing style so different from Churchill's usual, that it was hard to believe she had actually written it. I agree with a previous reviewer that Jane is very out-of-character when she prepares for a night with Mel. Their relationship was very realistic for older adults. Now Mel seems like an old shoe--use him when there is nothing better and then he disappears. Actually, both Jane and Shelley were like two strangers in this book. I enjoyed their easy friendship and it was lacking.
Most of all, the shoddy research bothered me. Anyone who has read (or seen) Sherlock Holmes stories knows that his rag-tag group of street urchins was called the Baker Street Irregulars. Churchill mistakenly calls them the Bow Street Runners, not once but twice. All it would have taken was a quick trip to Google to discover that they were the early form of the London CID and were adult constables, not children. Wait for the next book!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing May 16 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
In the past Jill Churchill has written humorous, cozy mysteries, starring Jane Jeffry and Shelley Nowack. Shelley accompanies Jane to a mystery writers conference, where potentially interesting characters are introduced. There is a poisoning, a head bashing, and a mysterious person who writes gossip. Jane, with the help of her lover Detective Mel, tries to solve the various "mysteries." This just doesn't work. When 100 pages were read and there still hadn't been a murder, and never was one, I should have put the book aside. I'm glad I got this one from the public library rather than purchasing it. Pass it by and hope for a better Jane Jeffry mystery next time.
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1.0 out of 5 stars this can't be jill churchill May 9 2004
By bossl
Format:Hardcover
I too have enjoyed Churchill's other Jane Jeffry mysteries but this one was awful. The plot was dull, the characters unbelievable and the incessant trips to shop, buy books, and eat were boring. The whole Felicity thing, becoming best friends within a few hours of meeting, was ridiculous. Worrying about jeopardizing her friendship with Shelley over a very minor disagreement was juvenile. In fact, the whole book was juvenile. I couldn't wait to finish it only because I was angry with myself for continuing after the halfway point!
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1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of time April 9 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Tissue-thin plot, no character development, smarmy dialogue, sloppy writing, improbable circumstances. Is it significant that I fell asleep while reading this book? My only explanation for this book is that Churchill had a contractual obligation to fill and dashed the book off to fill it. Do not waste time or money on this book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Really disappointing April 2 2004
Format:Hardcover
As Jill Churchill herself says in Bell, Book and Scandal, "Every writer writes a bad book sooner or later." Whoops, it's your turn Ms. Churchill. The inside flap of the hard cover edition of this book mentions a "killer" and a "murderer." Whoever wrote the copy for the book's cover made the same assumption I did without reading the book: that this would be a typically good Jill Churchill "cozy murder mystery." At the risk of sounding blood-thirsty, I was disappointed to find out there wasn't going to be any murder involved in this one. But did the worst crime committed have to be malicious mischief and clumsiness?
Some of Ms. Churchill's strength as a writer is made evident by the pleasure we, the readers, derive from the simple act of following her characters through some pretty mundane stuff. A reader who started way back with Grime and Punishment understands the serial nature of the books, and appreciates being included in the happenings that form the gentle rhythm of Jane's life - in between murders that is. The purchase of her new Jeep early in the book gave us vicarious pleasure because we have all driven around with Jane in her old brown station wagon for many years. But enough is enough. I was disappointed that throughout Bell, Book and Scandal, we are treated to the excitement of one meal after another, after another. I'll bet Ms. Churchill was on a diet when she wrote the book because every other word from the main characters is, "let's eat." I'm going to go back and count how many times I endured a description of a meal or a snack or even just drinks in the pages of this non-murder mystery. Way, way too many.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Do not buy this book if you are a fan of the author's previous books in the Jane Jeffry series. This one is awful. I don't care that it set AT a mystery books convention but I do care that the author forgot she was writing a mystery. There is a lot of technical detail about how to get started in publishing your book and tips on grammar, but that was NOT what I bought the book for. It was a huge disappointment. Where is the family we've been hearing about in the past books? Where is the status of her relationship with Detective Van Dyne? Poor Mel was described in this book only as "Jane's longtime lover." Her characters were poorly developed and the "clues" weren't to be found anywhere because there were none. Had I wanted a tutorial on publishing or tips on grammar I would have looked elsewhere for that information. The emphasis on this information in this book was way overdone. If this had been the first Jill Churchill book I had ever read, I absolutely would not buy more of her books. It is not up to par in any way. Perhaps a wannabe writer (a friend of Churchill's?) has penned this book under the Churchill name. If I'm wrong and Churchill actually wrote this book to sell as a mystery, she should be ashamed of herself.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Sara Long
Do not buy this book if you are a fan of the author's previous books in the Jane Jeffry series. This one is awful. Read more
Published on March 7 2004 by Sara P. Long
1.0 out of 5 stars Has to be a mistake.
I love Jill Churchill and her Jane Jeffrey mysteries. All are well written, well plotted and just a joy to read...Until now. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2004 by Jennifer Calfa Groh
2.0 out of 5 stars Much is missing
One of the things I have enjoyed most in the earlier Jane Jeffry mysteries is the never ending supply of Mom-things that Jane attends to - the car pools, cleaning, cooking,... Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2004 by Diana Martin
1.0 out of 5 stars Was there a ghost writer here?
Wow, was I disappointed with this one. I can't tell if Jill Churchill let someone else help write it, or if maybe she's got a new editor or something who missed a lot of the... Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Jill Churchill Misses On This One!
I have read all of Ms. Churchill's books and have enjoyed them as a good light read, but this one stinks! Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2004 by Karen Vincent
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as bad as everyone says!
I agree, there turns out to be no real crime, but you don't know that throughout the book until the end. This was an easy read; I finished it in an afternoon. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2004 by Jennifer Terry
2.0 out of 5 stars BORING!
I have read every one of the Jane Jeffrey books and loved every one of them so when I realized that there was a new one that I hadn't yet read, I was on it! Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2004 by CORRIE ANN VANKAMPEN
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