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The House of Seven Mabels (Jane Jeffry, Bk 13)
The House of Seven Mabels - Jane Jeffry, Bk 13 Author:Jill Churchill Harried suburban single mom and delightfully incorrigible busybody Jane Jeffry returns to do some dangerous housecleaning in another charming whodunit from America's Agatha Award-winning answer to Dame Agatha Christie: Jill Churchill. — Homemaking is about to take on a whole new meaning for Jane Jeffry now that she's agreed to help restore and re... more »decorate a decrepit old neighborhood mansion. The home's owner, the prosperously divorced Bitsy Burnside, considers herself to be a feminist to the max and wants an almost all-female crew to do the dirty work -- prompting the quick-witted Shelley Nowack to dub the project "the House of Seven Mabels." With her best friend and decorating whiz Shelley on the estrogen-heavy team, Jane thinks this exhausting, plaster-dusty job may not be as unpleasant as it initially appeared to be.
Until, of course, things start to get very messy. It begins with a series of mean-spirited "pranks" -- strange odors, mysterious electrical shorts, a myriad of petty annoyances designed to impede the progress of the fixer-uppers. And then the pranks turn deadly, leaving one of the workers lying lifeless at the foot of a staircase.
Tragic, yes, but an accident? Jane thinks not. And with the able assistance of Shelley, not to mention a little help from her best beau, Chicago detective Mel VanDyne, Jane's hoping she can construct a solid case and nail the assassin. Suspects are certainly in abundant supply. The surviving members of Bitsy's building brigade all had the opportunity. Joe Budley -- the contractor originally hired, then fired when Bitsy had her "no men allowed" epiphany -- had a motive. But the more Jane saws away at the truth, the more complicated the criminal blueprint appears. And she may be painting herself into a comer, leaving no exit if a crafty killer decides to make Jane Jeffry the next demolition project.« less
Jane and Shelley try their hand as decorators for a group of feminists. The contractor, a woman, of course, ends up in a heap on the basement floor and no one, man or woman, liked her. All had one motive or another to see her go away but the perpetrator is a big surprise! I thoroughly enjoyed this quick read. Love Ms. Churchill's novels!
although the book was fairly well written, to me it was more comedy than mystery. The plot was very thin and very little suspense, if any. However if you like very lite reading this would be your cup of tea. To say she writes like Christie is almost an insult, more on the order of Dorothy Cannell but not nearly as well. I was very disappointed because I Love Agatha Christie.