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War and Peas (Jane Jeffry Mysteries, No. 8) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1997

3.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
Book 8 of 16 in the Jane Jeffry Mysteries Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If the sub-category of mysteries called "Cozies" are your passion, then you probably know all about Churchill and her series of paperbacks about a cat-loving Chicago housewife and amateur detective named Jane Jeffrey. (The last one was called -- ready? -- The Silence of the Hams.) Now Jeffrey is making her hardcover debut, in a story full of the same kind of homey, light-hearted stuff. The head of the Snellen Museum, founded by pea king Auguste Snellen, has been shot to death during a Civil War battle reenactment at the annual pea festival. Jane -- single mother of three troublesome teenagers -- helps her policeman boyfriend solve the case in typically clever style. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The intuition, wisdom and penchant for prying of Churchill's series heroine Jane Jeffry (The Silence of the Hams) make her an invaluable ally to police detective and significant other Mel VanDyne in this swift and agreeably perplexing tale. Regina Palmer, director of the Snellen Museum (dedicated to the study of rural history and founded by pea king Auguste Snellen) near Chicago, has been shot with an antique derringer during the Civil War reenactment that is a highlight of the small town's annual pea festival. Jane, who was one of the reenactors and who has her hands full as a single mother of three teenagers, utilizes her volunteer hours at the Snellen Museum to relentlessly pry beneath the surface of small-town respectability in hopes of finding Regina's killer. Was the murderer a rejected suitor? Was the insufferably arrogant Snellen family enraged that the museum took most of their inheritance? Was the killer (who strikes again in a particularly grisly fashion) seeking an heirloom pea? A slew of suspects?smarmy, lecherous, devious and greedy, but never dull?are queried by Jane and her equally nosy friend Shelley, with relevant information passed on to Mel. This is the eighth appearance for Jane and her first in hardcover. Churchill's cozy setting, beguiling plot and three-dimensional characters will keep readers fully engaged?and amused. 30,000 first printing; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380787067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380787067
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,630,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book starts off with a reenactment of a historical battle.

Jane, the main character, and her best friend Shelley are doing volunteer work at a museum. The museum's main focus is peas because the founders were pea growers. At the gift shop, there are pea t-shirts, pea jumpropes, etc.

There is a murder or two. And some very interesting things that happen along the way. Jane and Shelley are mystified, but they are determined to figure it out.

I love museums and history, so needless to say, I enjoyed the setting. Unlike some of the other books in this series, very few scenes were at Jane's and Shelley's houses; most of the action took place in the museum.

This book took a very interesting twist at the end. I was surprised.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anyone who has read a book by Jill Churchill will recognize that she is a very talented author who provides mystery with a wonderful sense of humor.

This book is exactly that, a mystery filled with terrific humor.

As the story opens, Jane and Shelley are in the hot sun, crossing a field during a Civil War re-enactment. The conditions for both women are very uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as it is for the woman who is dead.

This re-enactment is part of the celebration sponsored by the Snellen museum. The Snellen museum is dedicated to peas, farming and local lore.

The dead woman was the director of the Snellen museum. And the suspect list is filled with people connected to the museum. Although Regina Parker was generally well liked, it is apparent that there may have been people who were not so fond of her.

The story is well plotted and things move along in an interesting manner. Each new event gives the reader more information about the people and events of the story. Ms Churchill has provided humor along with the plot. There are situations which provide the reader with laugh out loud moments.

Jane and Shelley are terrific women. They are smart women who devote time to good causes and that is what has brought them to the museum. While at the museum helping catalog items, they also spend time doing some detecting. Both of them want to find out who would murder a good woman like Regina Parker.

The secondary characters are fun and interesting people who add depth the story. Since each of them is a possible suspect, their personalities and actions add interest for the reader.
I must admit there were parts of the solution I had figured out before I got to the end.

This is another fun book by Jill Churchill and as always, I had a terrific time.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is the annual Pea Festival in Jane Jeffrey's hometown and Jane and her friend Shelley Nowack are participating in a number of activities including sorting through items at the Snellin Museum and taking part in a Civil War reenactment. Jane thought the reenactment would be interesting, but she wasn't expecting museum director Regina Price Palmer to be murdered during the battle. Jane's boyfriend, police detective Mel Van Dyne, is investigating the case, but Jane's work inside the museum gives her a good way of also investigating the murder since most of the suspects are involved in the museum. When there is a second murder, Jane is even more eager to solve the case before there is yet another victim.

"War and Peas" is an enjoyable, yet somewhat light cozy mystery. The book gets off to an interesting start with the Civil War reenactment and having the murder take place during the battle is a great touch since it provides plenty of suspects. Having the novel set around a pea festival and a pea museum is a very funny touch and not meant to be taken seriously by readers although the characters in the book are serious about it. There is a nice gentle sense of humor throughout the book with a few laugh out loud moments - one involving notes Jane's children leave her and when Jane cleans out her car. At this point in the series (this is the eighth book in the series) Jane is a fully developed and rich character as are the supporting characters in the book. The mystery is well written and well plotted and readers will have fun trying to figure out who the murderer is.

"War and Peas" is another nice cozy mystery by Jill Churchill.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is one of the reasons why I didn't read as much on vacation as I might have. It's a short book, only 250 pages, but it was far too easy to put down and not tempting enough to pick up again. It took me over two days to read it.

The title is awfully clever and cute, referring to the setting of the mystery: a pea museum and Civil War reenactment.

I suspect I'd have liked the book more if I'd read more than just one other book in the series--if I'd already known the cast of characters and looked forward to spending time with them again. Unfortunately, the characters weren't developed enough in this particular volume of the series to make me care about them.

The story did have potential--the pea museum's director is murdered during a Civil War reenactment, in front of scores of witnesses, none of whom saw anything suspicious.

But the solving of the mystery consisted of Jane Jeffry, the series protagonist, periodically speculating with other characters about who might have killed her and why. There's no gathering of clues, no gradual unfolding of the plot. The solution, when it's presented, comes completely out of left field with no foreshadowing, the motive not even so much as hinted at throughout the story.

And there was zero reason given for the bizarre method of the second murder, which was the last straw. Not that I'd intended to seek out more books in this series before that, but at that point, I wasn't just disappointed, I was mad.
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