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Love for Sale (Grace & Favor Mysteries, No. 4) Mass Market Paperback – February 24, 2004

3.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
Book 4 of 6 in the Grace and Favor Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Agatha and Macavity winner Churchill once again brings the Depression era to appealing life in her latest well-plotted cozy (after 2001's Someone to Watch Over Me), set in Voorburg, N.Y. Siblings Robert and Lily Brewster, genteel victims of the '29 crash, run a guesthouse at Grace and Favor Cottage. On the eve of the 1932 presidential election, a "Mr. Smith" offers Robert and Lily $500 as a down payment on rooms for himself and three of his "business associates," who wish to hold a private meeting over several days. Can these men be gangsters, desperate Hoover supporters plotting to stop FDR at the last minute, or even Reds out to disrupt the election? Badly in need of cash, brother and sister reluctantly agree to the arrangement. When one of their mysterious guests gets murdered in his bath, Robert and Lily have even more cause to regret their decision. The victim turns out to be Brother Mark Luke Goodheart, a scoundrel who preached love and goodwill on the radio while fleecing the poor, the indigent and orphans. Lending some mild suspense are the disappearance of a local school teacher, the brief kidnapping of the boy Joey Towerton and Joey's mother's wait to learn whether her husband has been killed while working on Hoover Dam. Older readers will especially enjoy this look at dire times now safely past.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In November 1932 siblings Lily and Robert Brewster are excited about the upcoming presidential election: Will Governor Roosevelt win? The two share Grace and Favor Cottage with boarders in part to prove they can support themselves before the house actually becomes theirs to own. When a mysterious party of men offers a lot of cash to stay at the cottage just for the weekend, Lily wonders but accepts. Then one of the party is murdered. Lily and Robert assist in the investigation while also substitute teaching at the local school. Meanwhile, their attorney assists a local woman whose husband has died working on the far-off Hoover Dam project. Set pieces about the construction of the dam, Robert's rounding up folks in his Duesenberg to go vote for Roosevelt, and the difficulties of making a living along the Hudson River in the 1930s brighten the corners where a few cardboard villains lurk. Lots of period and local color, and not a few stalwart women. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books; Reprint edition (February 24, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061031224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061031229
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,270,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By WIAPilot VINE VOICE on March 24, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"Love for Sale" is the 4th book in the "Grace and Favor" Mystery Series by Jill Churchill and it is WONDERFUL.
Frankly, after reading the Amazon reviews I was hesitant to buy the book. But I had enjoyed the first three books of the series so much that I took a chance and I am very glad that I did.
I reread the first three books before continuing with this book and it didn't skip a beat. I am amazed at Ms. Churchill's ability to portray her characters of Lily and her brother, Robert Brewster as they are evolving and maturing. Robert is NOT as flighty as he was when younger. They are in the midst of the Depression, poverty is rampant and Americans are worried about the fate of their Nation and he is gaining some maturity.
One of my favorite scenes is when Robert drives "Voters for Roosevelt" to the polls in his Duesie when he didn't even VOTE in the previous election!
There is plenty of excitement in the book as a group of mysterious guests arrive at the mansion for a few days. A murder ensues and the plot thickens. "Love for Sale" also brings a new boarder and a few more husbands die.
Readers MAY have been disappointed by the book because due to the title, they may have been expecting a big romance for Lily or Robert. (Lily DOES need to have some romance soon and hopefully with a new man who is from a similar background.) The book does alternate between several characters, but to me it just makes them multi-faceted and doesn't focus on just one or two individuals.
I LOVE these characters and this town. I enjoy how they are maturing and how Churchill so expertly weaves historical facts into the plot. Her dialogue is amazing and so believable.
Don't expect a deep romance and I think that you will find that "Love for Sale" is Churchill at her finest.
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Format: Hardcover
In 1932 in Voorburg-on-Hudson siblings Lily and Robert Brewster recover from their sudden fall from wealth by turning the mansion they can live in for life (according to their late uncle's will) into a bed and breakfast. When an obviously masqueraded stranger leases a room for the outrageous price of $500, Lily hesitantly agrees though she suspects the worst from this individual and his cronies coming for the weekend.
However, Lily misread what the worst is when someone stabs and subsequently drowns radio preacher Brother Mark Luke Goodheart in one of the B&B bathtubs. While Police Chief Walker investigates the homicide, Lily and Robert begin work as a substitute teacher temporarily replacing Millicent Langston who seems to have vanished. Meanwhile someone abducts young Joey while his mom waits for news whether her husband died while working on the Hoover Dam project. Lily being Lily cannot resist making inquiries into the murder, the misplaced teacher, and the kidnapped child.
Though this is a Grace and Favor mystery, the suspense elements take a back seat to the Depression Era ambiance of the story line. Readers can feel the mood at least near the Hudson River of the change in presidential administrations from Hoover to the New York Governor Roosevelt. The intrigues tie together, but never really hook the reader as deeply as the historical perspective as LOVE FOR SALE is more a strong 1930s fiction that contains mystery subplots.
Harriet Klausner
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By A Customer on June 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have been a big fan of hers since her very first novel. I was really looking for this new Grace & Favor Mystery... and it was a great book. I learned a lot about the US history from this book too (I just moved to the US recently). I started to do some research about Hoover dam myself. A great book to read for your summer vacation.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Oh my. Another one of those yummy covers which makes me want to leap into its picture and soak up the art.

The luxurious color-combo is literally healing in its delicious hue-intensity with primal-contrast; the design paints an addictive, nouveau-uplift on historic mysteries; the tangy texture of raised print nudges fingers to slide over the face; the extra flap-under-cover is welcoming, exposing the publisher's commitment to the book's value. Love the way the crescent moon leads the eye to the yellow light in an upstairs window on the brick mansion, then to the flapping pink curtain. Love how these image icons are repeated from the external scenes into the upstairs bathroom as itchy fingers open the flap. Drool. Slurp.

Churchill's confidence gracefully shows itself as the plot rhythm and character development eases off to a tattoo of Lilly, John, and support cast unhurriedly discussing life and politics. The story doesn't need to surge into a mystery mode until around page 37 of the paperback, when the murder is up. The event is staged with panache, and the characters hop to; shifting effortlessly into a hot-step jazz. I didn't quite notice I had been taken for a ride; but, of course, that's what I was there for.

The mystery kicks in, a la Agatha Christie; it's easy to see why Churchill's been compared to Miss Christie, even said to have surpassed the Master.

The story hums along smoothly in a snappy beat; so much so that, once the story ends, the reader is left with the stillness of true silence. The feeling is like that of a refrigerator compressor, humming as un-noticed "white noise" in the background.
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