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THE ACCIDENTAL FLORIST:
A Jane Jeffries Mystery
By Jill Churchill
Avon, 2007 ($7.99)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
Jane Jeffry and her police detective man friend, Mel VanDyne, are going through lots of changes. Jane’s elderly dog dies, her kids are moving on, her first book is being published, and she and Mel are finally engaged. Now there’s a wedding to be planned, Jane’s house needs a new addition to make room for Mel’s office -- but wait, there’s more. Jane’s unpleasant mother-in-law from her first marriage seems to have gone completely bonkers. She’s never liked Jane, but now she’s taking steps to try to cut Jane out of her share of the family’s prosperous pharmacy business, and Mel’s mom wants to pay for the wedding, with the right to do anything she wants -- a proposition Jane absolutely refuses to accept. As a compromise, she and Mel decide to have a small, private ceremony in front of a judge, and let Mrs. VanDyne throw a second, "fake" wedding with all the trimmings.
In the meantime, crime marches on. Mel convinces Jane and her neighbor/best friend Shelley to take a self-defense course at the local community center. One morning they arrive for class to find the police, including Mel, on the scene. One of their class members, a young woman with an abusive boyfriend, has been murdered, her body found in the classroom. Another murder follows soon after. Jane’s family friend, "Uncle Jim," is the detective on the first case, and Mel takes on the second.
In most books with amateur sleuths who have police boyfriends/lovers/husbands, the lady jumps into the investigation with both feet, but in this case, although Jane does come up with some helpful information, she seems content to focus on her family, the house renovation, and the wedding plans.
This is the sixteenth book in the Jane Jeffry series. Her fans will not be disappointed in this light cozy, especially with Jane and Mel finally taking the plunge into marriage.
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