A Midsummer Night's Scream: A Jane Jeffry Mystery
William Morrow, 2004 (2004)
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Reviewed by Theresa Ichino
his latest Jane Jeffry mystery is set during an extremely hot summer, but fans of Churchill's engaging amateur sleuth might want to escape, vicariously at least, winter's cold and snow. This time out, it is Jane's best friend Shelley who embroils them in murder. Shelley's husband donated a theatre to the local college. The drama students are presenting an original play (of dubious quality, written and directed by their egotistical instructor). Shelley comes into all of this because she is to arrange for catering for cast and crew, an opportunity to '
' some local catering services. Naturally, she ropes in Jane to assist her.
espite her faithful adherence to her writing schedule (Jane has become an author) she finds time to help Shelley, enroll in a needlework course, and befriend the charming '
' actress who is lending her talents to the play. She definitely does not have time to snoop into the murder of the handsome leading man. However, Detective Mel Van Dyne, who is also Jane's lover, most uncharacteristically asks for her opinions. As always, Jane, with Shelley's unwavering support, gets to the bottom of the mystery.
n outing with Jane Jeffry is always fun. Churchill's lively protagonist has much going on in her own life but is also interested in the people around her. It is a pleasure to encounter a smart, competent, well-rounded woman whose life is not a series of unending disasters and whose children follow their mother's example, rather than falling into every chasm that yawns to engulf them. In short,
A Midsummer Night's Scream
delivers what Churchill's fans have come to expect - an entertaining visit with likeable characters who cope efficiently with what life throws at them.
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