Go to Homepage   Jill Churchill: Anything Goes
(A Grace and Favor Mystery)

 

Avon Books Inc. (Paperback)
ISBN: 0-380-80244-9
Honeysuckle Cottage looks like it belongs in Transylvania not Voorburg-on-Hudson, a summer home enclave only a few hours by train from New York City. Vines and ivy, but not a twig of honeysuckle, cover the manor house's façade, obscuring even the windows and door. But Lily Brewster's late Great Uncle Horatio left Honeysuckle Cottage and oodles of money to Lily and her brother Robert, provided they live there and support themselves in the house for ten years.  

It wasn't the sort of life Lily envisioned during her debutante year, but needs must. The Depression robbed her and her brother of everything except an antique pier glass and an $800 nest egg. Lily's check-sorting job and Robert's haphazard waiter gigs paid for their New York City hovel but not much more.  

Renaming the house "Grace and Favor," Lily and Robert settle in with a wonderful, lively assortment of characters. Uncle Horatio's attorney, Mr. Prinney (who has to live with them for ten years, so he can witness that they are, indeed, living there); Prinney's wife (who offers to do all the cooking because Lily burns water), and Mimi Smith, the maid. And Lily soon discovers her old schoolmate Sissy and Sissy's father, Major Jonathan Winslow living next door.  

Even if supporting themselves in the back of beyond for the next ten years presents a problem, Uncle Horatio did save Lily's and Robert's bacon, so they should be grateful. Shouldn't they? And inquiring into the circumstances of Uncle Horatio's death is just one way for Lily to show her gratitude. And since Mr. Prinney, Mimi, Mimi's estranged husband and Major Winslow were all on the 45-foot boat with Uncle Horatio when he died, they should answer Lily's questions; shouldn't they? Surprise! No one wants to talk, even though there's a body in the kitchen and the sheriff is looking for suspects.  

Watching Lily tiptoe to and fro gathering facts and wheedling information proves a delight. Anything Goes sparkles with personality and plot. I'd love to meet Lily and dally with Robert, every woman's dream of a fun weekend. (Notice I didn't say husband.) In Anything Goes, Jill Churchill created a world I'd like to return to often. Ahem, when did you say the next book would appear? 

Suzanne Frisbee

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