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The Accidental Florist Mass Market Paperback – Nov 27 2007

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (Nov. 27 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006052846X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060528461
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #723,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa39d5840) out of 5 stars 126 reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa388f3d8) out of 5 stars Pitiful Excuse for a Mystery April 18 2007
By Lateia E. Sandifer - Published on
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.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa388f42c) out of 5 stars Don't bother April 18 2007
By Ted Mullin - Published on
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.
53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa388f864) out of 5 stars skip this one March 13 2007
By tregatt - Published on
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!
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa388fc24) out of 5 stars Please boycott this book March 8 2007
By Sunnyvale Reader - Published on
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.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa388fd08) out of 5 stars Disappointing July 17 2007
By drebbles - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With an almost empty nest and after years of dating police detective Mel Van Dyne, Jane Jeffrey decides it's time they get married. Jane is determined to have the wedding she wants even if it means battling with her late husband's mother Thelma and her soon to be mother-in-law Addie. While Jane easily deals with Addie by setting ground rules and refusing to let them be broken, she has a harder time dealing with Thelma who is becoming increasingly nasty and doing her best to try and take away the money Jane inherited from her late husband. When she's not dealing with Thelma and Addie, Jane is preparing to write her next book and also overseeing the addition of an office for Mel onto her house. Also, Mel wants Jane and her best friend Shelly Nowack to take a women's safety class. Jane and Shelley agree and learn some useful tips until their instructor is murdered. Now Jane really has her hands full as she adds helping Mel solve the murder to her long list of things to do.

While I used to enjoy Jill Churchill's Jane Jeffrey series, it's gone down hill the last few books and "The Accidental florist" is no better. The writing is clunky and the dialogue awkward. One example of this is when Churchill has Jane, who has been dating Mel for years, tell Mel exactly how much money she has and how her husband died, something she should have told him years ago. There are continuity errors like when Mel says he is taking the day off to attend a meeting with Jane and a few pages later Jane checks to make sure he has the next day off to attend the meeting. Later on Churchill has Jane running out to buy litter boxes for her cats saying she didn't have any, even though in an earlier chapter Jane had cleaned their litter boxes! Ironically enough, Churchill stresses how carefully Jane researches her books before writing them, perhaps Churchill should do the same. While I found some of the advice Jane and Shelley got during their safety class to be useful, after a while it felt like filler for the book as did the many details of the building of Mel's office. The mystery plot line is poorly done and written - Mel does all the investigating (and most of that is off-page) instead of Jane and Shelley. And the recurring gag of Shelley's husband not being seen in the books wears too thin in this book when he misses Jane and Mel's wedding for the flimsiest of excuses.

"The Accidental Florist" has some touches that reminded me of what I used to like about the series - little things like Jane's sneaking a cigarette when she felt stressed; a touching moment involving her dog; interesting glimpses into the world of book writing, publishing, and promotion; and Mel and Jane's decision to forego wedding gifts and having money sent to various charities instead (one of the few times in the book that Jane was likable). But these were only brief glimpses that make it even sadder to realize how good the series used to be and how much it's gone down hill.

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