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179 Reviews
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked on Jillian and Teddy
From the first book, I was hooked. Who can imagine a female protagonist-our age-Baby Boomers-who gets into so much trouble? At every turn, Jillian is engrossed in a mystery. Her little friend, Teddy, (whether one likes dogs or not) is another character in this fantastic series. I can't put them down once I begin. I read quickly...then read them again--on my Kindle, of...
Published on April 2, 2011 by Brenda Burke

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58 of 66 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Illogic
Why would a hotel employee ask a guest he doesn't know to talk to his father about the father's problem? What kind of police chief would ask a garden columnist that he doesn't know to help him with a police investigation, tell her everything that's going on, let her sit in on the interviews, and let her see all the records, evidence, etc.? This was the most absurd...
Published on August 14, 2011 by passionatebooklover


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58 of 66 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Illogic, August 14, 2011
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Why would a hotel employee ask a guest he doesn't know to talk to his father about the father's problem? What kind of police chief would ask a garden columnist that he doesn't know to help him with a police investigation, tell her everything that's going on, let her sit in on the interviews, and let her see all the records, evidence, etc.? This was the most absurd mystery that I have ever read. I felt cheated in having bought it. How do people get things like this published?
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too unbelievable to keep reading, April 7, 2012
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I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. Newspaper columnist Jillian and her plant-raising cronies are set to enjoy a gardening convention when the organizer's assistant turns up dead. Police chief Frank Viscuglia works with Jillian and company to find the killer.

Involving storyline but could have used proofreading as well as a dose of reality. The major flaw, that smacked me in the face on nearly every page once the murder had occurred, was the police chief's eager cooperation with Jillian in finding the killer. Not only do the professionals not welcome amateur involvement in crime-solving, in most jurisdictions they are not allowed to release details of the investigation to the public. And Jillian was logically one of the suspects! But this character practically acts as Jillian's assistant in the investigation, allowing her to rummage through the victim's belongings, calling her "partner," and even asking her to be present while he questions the other characters. The story itself was pretty interesting, but this was so blatantly unbelievable that I only got about halfway through before I couldn't take any more. The dialogue was awkward. There were lots of little flaws, such as a 2am murder being reported in the morning paper a few hours later - not enough time for a paper to be published unless they did a rare "special edition." Spelling/grammar/formatting were fairly decent, except for Thames' belief that to make a word or name plural, you add an apostrophe. For example, at one point, the chief exclaims "Rat's!" and at another, Jillian has "an appointment with the Westover's."
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars shallow, illogical, and unbelievable, October 9, 2012
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I can't quite follow the plot, just when a new character gets introduced the scene changes for no apparent reason. The writing is like in an outline that never gets filled out. Characters hint at their problems but walk away in the middle of telling their stories and the main character doesn't seem to be bothered by this. She just stays aloof from it all and is very superficial. Emotions are hinted at but not experienced.

A young hotel porter asks a customer(the main character) who writes a horticultural column to help his dad with a problem; but the boy doesn't know what the problem is. Why does he think a columnist could help? Maybe the father has a medical issue, or financial problems? What is even dumber is that when she learns the problem she thinks she can help with it with no qualifications to do so. The problem is a missing $8000. Why doesn't she just have her rich friends each donate some money and get the guy out of trouble and call it good? I'm at 19% of the story and I've fixed the problem; job done.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but disappointing, March 5, 2012
By 
Jacquie (Bainbridge Island, WA, USA) - See all my reviews
I found this book to be too much on little details (like who cares who ate what for tea and too many details about apparel).
Also, the author hasn't mastered the difference between plural and possessive. Seeing a surname written with an apostrophe throughout the whole book got annoying after a while. Hadn't someone edited the book?
Truly, I cannot recommend this as a good read - too much undeveloped plot. How many sheriffs allow a citizen to "help" with murder investigations and let them sit in on a meeting with FBI agents?? Way too unrealistic.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Do it, January 1, 2012
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This review is from: Murder in Half Moon Bay: A Jillian Bradley Mystery, Book 1 (Paperback)
This was awful. I purchased it for the home town view, seeing as how it is set down the street. It gets one star for that. Improbable story line (as Illogic noted), incredible leaps of logic, incorrect word choice (sheik instead of chic, who is your proof reader) I handed this to a friend after I read it, asked their opinion. They jumped in to the middle, put it down after 1 page, and was far harsher than I. She thought the author was a 5th grader. So many over used adverbs and adjectives................

Left the book at a rental property, didn't want to inflict it on anyone I knew, even with the home town view
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of Time!, March 3, 2012
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This review is from: Murder in Half Moon Bay: A Jillian Bradley Mystery, Book 1 (Paperback)
I expected to enjoy this book, but in no time I found many elements of the plot completely unbelievable. No in depth development of characters or scenery or plot. Just lots of conversation, almost like a screenplay. Very disappointing and a waste of money.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars idiotic plot. poor writing. formulaic characters and boring to boot., October 7, 2012
By 
the author seems to have researched all "the elements" and tried to create a trendy supermarket seller.

We have:
Heroine, an indepent widow of undeterminate age with whom all the baby boomers are supposed to identify;
Cute and intelligent companion animal (get real - a quiet Yorkie?);
Specialized topic for background (the city of Half Moon Bay and gardening)

The author is a sloppy researcher who has developed a superficial and limited understanding of the environment in which the book is set(not all the plants mentioned in the book will grow in Half Moon Bay because it is too close to the ocean and the air too salty; begonia flowers are not poisonous -- the roots are, etc.)

Additionally, she appears to have done no research whatsoever into police or legal issues: would a police chief really discuss an ongoing investigation with a witness? And take suggestions from said witness with the admiring comment "you don't miss much, do you?" And allow her to attend the interrogation of other witnesses and suspects? Not hardly!

All that is missing is recipes, knitting patterns and some soft ladies' porn of the "warmed by the nearness of his throbbing manhood" variety to make this a candidate for an award for "book with the most exhaustive use of hackneyed devices in its year of publication."

Although not juvenile fiction, it appears to be written at approximately a sixth-grade reading level. Sadly,the writing and characterization are too wooden to qualify for consideration for the Bulwer-Lytton, although some hotelier may admire the almost obsessive descriptive detail of the hotel amenities (was the author paid by the word? Was this possibly plagiarized from a Radisson brochure? The writing sounds like it.)

Save your money!

If you are at the supermarket and considering this book as a purchase, you'll find better research, crisper writing and more carefully constructed fiction in The Globe, The Star or The National Enquirer.

PLUS you'll have enough $$$ left over for a candy bar.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Happy it was free, June 27, 2013
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I'm happy I did not have to pay for this book. If I had, I'd be asking for a refund. First of all, I'm the type of reader who, although I have a fertile imagination, I like to know the main characters I'm reading about. Jillian Bradley: I don't know anything about her. She behaves as though she's financially well off, however, other than writer of a column, I have no idea where she gets her income. The same applies for her three co-horts, Dominique, Ann and Nicole. What do they do? How do they make a living? They must have some expertise in something, since they seem to be able to do a lot of research for Jillian and get a lot of answers for her. However, I know nothing about these women. I don't know their age. I don't know any of their physical characteristics, so it's difficult (at least for me) to picture them in my mind. Are they married? Do they have children? Where do they live? Next, the most disturbing part of this story: the chief of police investigating the murder, allows this woman he just met, who has no qualifications in police procedure, to investigate alongside him. He shares all the information he has with her. He lets her sit in interrogations of suspects and allows her to ask questions (and the interviewees don't seem to mind). In closing, I feel I wasted a lot of my valuable time reading this awful book. I will not purchase any other books in the series.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked on Jillian and Teddy, April 2, 2011
By 
Brenda Burke "hurricanewv" (Hurricane, WV United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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From the first book, I was hooked. Who can imagine a female protagonist-our age-Baby Boomers-who gets into so much trouble? At every turn, Jillian is engrossed in a mystery. Her little friend, Teddy, (whether one likes dogs or not) is another character in this fantastic series. I can't put them down once I begin. I read quickly...then read them again--on my Kindle, of course.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good plot line, needs more research, October 4, 2013
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This is an enjoyable story and I loved that it is "clean"--no cursing or sex! The plot line is engaging and I was unsure of who the guilty party was until the end.
While I enjoyed the story line and will probably read more of her books, there was one major research problem with the book. The execution of the plot wasn't realistic in that there is no way this would happen in today's world. It goes against every police procedure for a non-law enforcement person to be given access to evidence, to be allowed to participate in interviews, and to actively pursue leads in an ongoing investigation like the main character is allowed to do. This was distracting to me and it did interfere with my enjoyment of the story.
If you can get past that aspect, you will enjoy this book. It's like being able to enjoy most of today's crime shows even though you know they are not realistic examples of forensic procedures.
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Details

Murder in Half Moon Bay: A Jillian Bradley Mystery, Book 1
Murder in Half Moon Bay: A Jillian Bradley Mystery, Book 1 by Nancy Jill Thames (Paperback - April 10, 2012)
$10.99 $9.89
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