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4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual neighborhood, Jan. 15 2002
By 
Fred Camfield (Vicksburg, MS USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In this and other books in the series, Jane Jeffry seems to have an unusually high number of oddball neighbors. The series, at times, is like a situation comedy run amok. While contending with the usual household problems, this widowed mother of three teenagers (plus a large yellow dog and two cats) must deal with the Christmas crunch, neighborhood activities, an unwelcome mother-in-law, the visiting mother of her significant other, new neighbors who appear to be obnoxious rich white trash, and a sleazy investigative reporter who is inserting himself into the neighborhood activities.
When the sleazeball is skewered on the antlers of a plastic reindeer, fingers point in many directions. Who was he investigating, and where are his notes? Skeletons begin emerging from various closets. The "clue" that leads Jane to the killer is a bit of a stretch.
Jane Jeffry appears to lead a chaste life. The novels in the series are written for a general audience with some violence, little sex, and no bad language. There are some minor editing problems typical of publishers pushing books into print (whatever happened to proofreaders?).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, July 6 2000
By A Customer
Jane and Shelley always work better for me when they're at home, with the kids, and the neighbors, and the daily disasters. This time, Jane is frantically trying to pull together not one, but two holiday parties, keep the kids on an even keel, and deal with an unexpected house guest in the form of Mel's mother, dumped on her without warning. Add to that a muck-raking, or muck-inventing local TV reporter, who falls, or is pushed? to his death from the roof next door, a pair of "hillbillies" with the worst taste in the world, and you have another great Jane Jeffry adventure. Particularly touching was Jane's evening making ornaments with her teenage daughter, a sweet lull in the usual mom-daughter running battle. Don't miss this one!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun-filled holiday mystery., Nov. 8 2000
This is a fun book to read during the Christmas season (but would be just as enjoyable year-round.) The holidays are busy for suburban mom and part-time sleuth, Jane Jeffrey. She's hosting two neighborhood parties, back-to-back, and trying to get her house and family ready for Christmas. Of course, just like Jessica Fletcher, someone around her always turns up dead. This time is a muck-raking reporter who falls off her neighbors' roof. Added to the mix is her detective boyfriend's mother who's "temporarily" staying with her. Luckily she has her good friend Shelly to help out with keeping her sane and with her sleuthing. This one will keep you guessing and laughing until the final pages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of her best!, March 18 2002
Jill Churchill wins again, with another suburban mystery. In Merchant of Menace, the mystery arises out of, and fits seamlessly into, Jane Jeffry's suburban milieu. Who did kill the sleazy tv expose reporter? And why? And what's up with the hillbillies who moved in next door and their wonderfully tacky Christmas decorations? The neighborhood events, the recurring characters, including some neighbors we've seen before, like the inimitable Susie, even Jane's potential mother-in-law, all ring hilariously true. I'd love to have seen more of Mel's mother, though. Seems like there should have been a denouement to the simmering conflict between them. Maybe we'll see her again some day? (Some book?)
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4.0 out of 5 stars This is the second book from this author, Feb. 18 2002
I just love her books- they are a fast read and I thoroughly enjoy them. Jane Jeffry's great and I love her friend Shelly Nowak. I read this one in three days. I am excited to read her others.
Pick one up today!!
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The Merchant of Menace
The Merchant of Menace by Jill Churchill (Hardcover - Dec 2005)
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