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THE MERCHANT OF MENACE
A Jane Jeffery mystery
By Jill Churchill

Twilight, October 5, 1999 $6.50

Reviewed by Sue Johnson

As we began the 10th book in Jill Churchill's series, we find Jane Jeffery, the neighborhood Mom, with Christmas fast approaching and she is stretched to the limit once more. She is hosting two parties back to back. One is the neighborhood caroling party and the other a Christmas cookie exchange.

The idea behind these gatherings is to bring this little suburb of Chicago closer together. However, finding a TV reporter dead at the caroling party seems to do anything but.

Jane, along with her sleuthing partner Shelley, must try to find out why one of their neighbors would feel the need to shove a reporter off the roof while she also tries to deal with the motherhood terror of raising teenagers.

Which is worse...murder or the terror of raising teens (teaching them to drive, to get their homework done, or suffering through the dating game)?

Jill Churchill makes all of her books fun with the play on words she does for the titles. We can also count on Jane to give us a healthy dose of suburban life along with our daily mystery fix. I truly look forward to each new Jane Jeffery offering and this book was no disappointment.

EDcom: Here's a note from the author. (10/4/99)

I'm pleased to let you know that A GROOM WITH A VIEW will arrive in the bookstores this week. I had so much fun writing it. A guest of Jane Jeffry's at the cookie party in MERCHANT OF MENACE (also released in paperback reprint this month) has asked Jane to plan her wedding. Shelley can't resist helping Jane when she learns the site for the wedding is a monastery-turned-hunting lodge just outside Chicago.

The staff, the immediate family, the bridesmaids, and Jane and Shelley go a few days early to make the final preparations in this gothic, rustic setting. There's the dotty seamstress who hasn't finished the bridesmaids' dresses; the florist, who spends most of his time looking for a hidden treasure that's rumored to be in the house or grounds; the ghost of a monk; two badly bewigged aunts; a violent storm and lots of scary bumps in the night. And of course, a couple of murders.

This one is really fun. Hope you'll enjoy it.

Best wishes,
Jill Churchill


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