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The Accidental Florist [Mass Market Paperback]

Jill Churchill
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 8 2007 Jane Jeffry Mysteries

Here comes the bride!

Suburban supersleuth Jane Jeffry and her detective beau Mel VanDyne have finally decided to tie the knot. While Jane's planning the wedding of her dreams—with no overbearing mother-in-law to steamroll the entire event and tell her what to wear—Mel convinces her and her best friend Shelley to take a women's self-defense class. But before Jane and Shelley can learn the karate kicks and mean moves to fight off even the perfect purse-snatcher, their class is cut brutally short . . . when two participants are murdered.

Between her new writing project, an addition to the house, and battling mothers-in-law, she's got her hands full. But she'll have to make time to help Mel find the killer if she wants to walk happily—and safely—down the aisle.


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The Accidental Florist + Grime And Punishment
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

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.


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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother Oct. 15 2007
Format:Hardcover
Don't waste your time reading this book. There is no mystery, no motive and the title doesn't even make sense. The murder is accidental to whatever plot there is and Mel solves it in half a page towards the end. The "story" is about Jane and Mel getting married, her dog dying, Thelma having a stroke and dying and Mel's mother interfering in the second "fake" wedding. I realised 2/3 of the way through there is NO MYSTERY and it's just about the wedding/s. When I finished, I felt ripped off and that I had wasted my time reading it. If you must read it because you like the series, borrow it from the library. Don't waste your money on buying a copy. I can't believe this was published; Jill Churchill really phoned this one in. There's also a lot of repetition, some conversations are repeated three times! It feels as if the author wrote the first half, the editor wrote the next quarter and then the author wrote the final quarter. I can't believe an author can get away with writing something as poor as this, even if she is an established author. It's so hypocritical, because it's hard for new authors to get published even if their book is one of the best.
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3.0 out of 5 stars No mystery. June 18 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not much mystery; a lot of personal interaction with problematic relatives and descriptions of menus, recipes and daily routines which we all can relate to, but look for more in a mystery book.
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Format:Hardcover
She did it again. Jill Churchill, an admirably incorrigible author, repeated what she did in BELL, BOOK, AND SCANDAL, # 14 in her Jane Jeffry series. In THE ACCIDENTAL FLORIST, # 16 in the series, Churchill stretched a toe out of the confines of the mystery genre, entertaining and intriguing this reader more than she would have if she had stayed within staid boundaries.

I wonder, though: Does this type of breakout appeal to me only because I've written novels, which allows me to identify with Churchill's creeping beyond containers of her craft, especially when making the first cracks in a long revered egg shell incorporates more of her author life into established appeals of Jane and Shelley? This time, the daily-life-and-work-of-an-author was inserted into the story with bravo perfection, in my copy of the book with a lusciously-fluffy, lemon-souffle aura, cat and bouquet included.

It's true that the author is expanding a recent trend in this series, a trend which has placed the murder and its resolution by amateur sleuth-hood on the back burners of subplot stews, so far back, in fact, that the murder and its investigation didn't take its usual active space in the story. Somewhat because of that fact, I enjoyed THE ACCIDENTAL FLORIST even more than I've enjoyed each of the prior 15 books.

Churchill is such a subtle genius at flowing undercurrents of cultural issues, that she's able to keep me above those undertows, at a level of an easy-flowing, craved type of reading entertainment. She accomplishes this through a narrative style of such natural grace that I doubt even Santa Clause could see the insights intended, until the final page is turned and cerebral spotlights are surged, and lighten up the cerebellum-gestalt of plot machinations.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 1.4 out of 5 stars  121 reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pitiful Excuse for a Mystery April 18 2007
By Lateia E. Sandifer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I love Jane and Shelley. I wanted to love this book. Really I did. For the past ten years, I have waited for each new book to come out so I could savor every page. I have read every book in this series over the years and I have to admit, the last few have been a little disappointing, but this one should be an embarrasment to the author.

This "mystery" doesn't seem to be a mystery at all, but rather a mindless list of how to add a room to your house, pick the right fabric swatch for a wedding and change cat litter pans. Even worse than this boring grocery list of pointless actions, there are glaring contradictions in the story. First Jane is glad she changed the litter pans when the architect comes over and then, five pages later, she's buying litter pans becasue the cats have been "outside " cats that have forgotten how to use them.

I sincerely hope this is the last installment of the series because it was terrible. It makes me very sad to see what once was a delightful series slide into such junk. It makes me sad also to see an author, with an established name and publishing career, submit a book like this to the marketplace and actually take people's money for it. I would rather imagine Jane and Shelly somewhere actually solving a mystery than to see the characters turned into boring ninnies. If the author can do no better than this, I hope she will do the ethical thing, put down the pen and stop preying on those of us who have been faithful readers over the years.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother April 18 2007
By Ted Mullin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Well, this will be my last Jane Jeffry mystery. I forced myself to finish the book because I was waiting for the mystery to appear but unfortunately it didn't. This book was a complete waste of my time. Don't even bother borrowing it from a library.
51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars skip this one March 13 2007
By tregatt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Given that I had resolved never to write another review for one of Jill Churchill's Jane Jeffrey mystery series ever again, especially if the book failed to meet expectations, need I add my voice to the chorus of disappointed readers? I think that I need to, given that both author and publishers expect us (the reading public) to shell out hardcover prices for book that had very little to offer at all.

This latest Jane Jeffrey mystery reads like the last installment in the series, and I, for one, rather hope that it is. As other reviewers have already mentioned there isn't any mystery to speak off. Mel convinces Jane and Shelly to attend some safety causes (which actually has some useful info but came across more as an exercise in scaring the living daylights out of women). Their instructor is found dead, but neither Jane nor Shelley ever get involved in figuring out why the woman was murdered and by whom. That whole mystery gets solved "off-stage" by Mel (Jane's fiancee and a police detective) and his assistant. Jane and Shelley, in "The Accidental Florist" never really get involved in the case at all. No, Jane and Shelley spend most of the book consulting over fabric swatches, and discussing how awful Mel's mother is. Why exactly are we expected to pay $23.95 for this?

The Jane Jeffrey series used to be something I really looked forward to reading; unfortunately, the last few installments have been sad disappointments, and "The Accidental Florist" really takes the cake. I couldn't even figure out why this book was entitled so. All in all, this was a sad, sorry read, and I'd advise anyone who hasn't already bought or borrowed the book to believe all of us reviewers so far and steer clear of this book!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please boycott this book March 8 2007
By Sunnyvale Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
There is NO EXCUSE AT ALL for this book.

The author, the editor and the publisher should all be ashamed that this amateur effort made it into print. I started flagging all the contradictions and errors in the text - and ran out of slips of paper. For example, on p. 37, Jane says "Thank G*d I just cleaned out the kitty litter boxes this morning." and then on page 57, Jane dashes out to buy kitty litter bins and tells us far, far more than we want to know about kitty litter.

There is NO MURDER MYSTERY in this book - Jane's cop finance has a case and solves it mostly off-stage. So what? We never meet the "perps" and have no understanding at all of how the case was relevant to the book. Instead, we get more kitty litter details, contradictions, and, worst crime of all, Jill Churchill uses this book to pimp for her other series of books (which is also going downhill rapidly).

Jane and cohort Shelley come across as petty-minded, long-winded airheads in this book; who wants to read about such people? Jane repeatly boasts about her wealth, and both speak in semi-archaic, high-flalutin' language that pretty much turned my stomach.

Thousands of unnecessary adjectives padded this book out to measely 209 pages. Properly edited, it would have been a short story.

Please boycott this book, and send the message to William Morrow that they should have the courage to tell some writers when it is time to quit.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing March 30 2007
By M. L. Clements - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I LOVE the Jane Jeffrey series. I have read them all and own several. I'm glad I checked this one out of my library rather than buy it. It is disappointing, for all the reasons mentioned in other reviews. I, too, have a problem with the *SPOILER* old dog's and the mother-in-law's death. The dog is mourned for approximately 2 pages and then never mentioned again. Jane's treatment of her mother-in-law, in my opinion, borders on hateful. When her mother-in-law meets her at a restaurant for lunch, and comments "I see you have already ordered a drink", Jane responds "It's just a mild Chianti. I won't get falling down drunk, if that's what you mean."!!!! Seems a little uncalled for, to me. I know her MIL is hateful to her, but she is elderly, and sometimes hateful behavior is a precursor to a stroke or other serious health condition. Even her own son doesn't mourn her. It just seems, again, hateful behavior on Jane's part. I also caught the part mentioned in another review, about Jane being glad she cleaned the cat box before the contractor goes into her basement, and then several chapters later runs out to buy cat boxes and kitty litter.??!?

Overall, disappointing. Hope the next one's better!
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