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.)
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Jill Churchill has won the Agatha and Macavity Mystery Readers awards and was nominated for an Anthony Award for her bestselling Jane Jeffry series. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed Grace and Favor mysteries and lives in the Midwest.