Morrow, Nov 2003, 23.95, 224 pp.
When aspiring novelist Jane Jeffry gets a brochure in the mail about a writing conference coming to her town, her best friend and neighbor Shelley Novacks persuades her to go. Shelley also decides to attend. She and Jane register for the plush free suite that is available to the Novacks at all times. Jane is so motivated that she finally completes the mystery she has been working on for years.
On the opening day of the conference, Jane meets one of her favorite writers who turns out to be a very sweet and friendly person. At the opening ceremony the speaker editor Sophie Smith falls ill and is rushed to the hospital where she has her stomach pumped. A little while later, Zac Zebra, writer turned reviewer, is found unconscious in the hotel parking lot. In between agent and editor conferences and seminars, and costume parties, Jane tries to figure out the link between the two incidents and who is responsible.
It is always fun to read a new Jane Jeffry mystery and BELL, BOOK AND SCANDAL is strong evidence of why. The author captures the ambiance of a writers' convention to perfection, using it as the back drop for an enjoyable mystery. Fans of cozies and amateur sleuth who-done-its in which nobody is killed and no blood is shed will find this work charming and entertaining. The story line is lighthearted filled with humor and does not take itself too seriously.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner