Thursday, March 18, 2010

Anything Goes by Jill Churchill

Title: Anything Goes
Author: Jill Churchill
ISBN: 0380802449, Avon Books, 1999
Genre: Amateur Sleuth, #1 Grace and Favor mystery
Rating: C+
Source: Paperback Swap

First Line: Lily was hot and cranky.

Lily and Robert Brewster enjoyed being members of the idle rich, until their father lost everything in the crash of 1929. Now they're part of the disillusioned poor and very tired of scrimping and saving for every crust of bread. At first they jump for joy when they are told that an uncle has died and left them a Hudson River mansion. They jump higher when they're told that a fortune goes with the mansion. They stop jumping when they learn that they have to live in the mansion for ten years before they can get their hands on a penny of the money.

They pack their bags and arrive at their new home, which they swiftly name Grace and Favor Cottage. They're settling in and getting to know the people in the area when they discover that their uncle was murdered aboard his yacht during a storm. Since Lily and Robert inherited the money, they are now suspects, and when another body turns up in the kitchen of Grace and Favor, they know they have to be the ones to clear their names.

This was a pleasant little read that moved right along. I liked the time period and the Hudson River setting, and Lily and Robert were fun characters who provided a laugh or two along the way. However, the villain was not difficult to spot, and I didn't find Lily and Robert as engaging as I thought I would. Probably because this poor kid has an innate suspicion of rich kids. (I have to admit to a bit of a smirk when Lily moaned about her awful job and working conditions. Poor baby.)

I don't think this is a series that I'll continue to read, but I can certainly see where it would be a favorite of many other readers of cozy mysteries. If you like the time period and are in the mood for a pleasant afternoon's mystery, you could certainly do a lot worse than picking up Anything Goes.


  1. It's been a while since I read this book, and it hasn't really stuck with me. My impression is that my opinion was similar to yours-- a nice enough book, but it didn't really grab me. I did read at least one more book in the series, and my opinion didn't really change.

    I liked Jill Churchill's Jane Jeffry books. I should see if there have been any new ones recently-- it's been several years since I read one.

  2. I was aware of this series but have not read it yet. Maybe at some point. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. Laura-- I may have to give her Jane Jeffry series a try. Thanks!

    Kay-- You're welcome! :)


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