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(The following review was written, based on the hardcover edition.)

THE ACCIDENTAL FLORIST: A Jane Jeffry Mystery


By Jill Churchill

Avon, 2007 ($7.99)
ISBN-10: 006052846X
ISBN-13: 978-0060528461

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Jane has a wedding to plan. Sort of. A dead body to deal with. Of course. And mother-in-law-to-be trouble.

This is book number sixteen in the popular Jane Jeffry series. Jane, for those who don't know, is an amateur sleuth in the "traditional" sense. She is a suburban homemaker. She constantly stumbles onto dead bodies. She has a cop for a boyfriend. (Make that "longtime boyfriend") And she has a pal, Shelley, a neighbor who fills out the sidekick role quite nicely. And if you haven't guessed already, this series would be considered "cozy" by anyone's standards.

That said, I'm surprised at the numerous negative comments I've heard and read about this book. It can't be easy for an author or an amateur sleuth to keep tripping over dead bodies. After the first ten or so, I would think citizens of any town would be wary of having Jane Jeffry visit, let alone reside in their community for fear of more unexpected corpses turning up. So. What's an author to do to fill in the odd gaps between discovering corpses? I'd say the author has to make the reader care about the sleuth, her friends, and family and get the reader involved in their daily lives. I think this author has done just that. I enjoy the comraderie Jane and Shelley share. And I loved the wicked way Jane set the mother-in-laws against each other while she planned her wedding to longtime cop boyfriend, Mel. Although I have to admit that since I had been reading one suspense novel after another, it did take me a few pages before I slowed down and got into the rhythm of the "cozy" pace.

I think THE ACCIDENTAL FLORIST will please many long time fans of this series and will garner new fans as well. It would make a nice treat on a lazy summer afternoon, reading in the backyard, with a nice cool refreshment. A mimosa perhaps? Or tossed in the tote for a day's reading at the beach.

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