Morrow, April 2004, 23.95, 224 pp.
Once they were society's darlings, rich enough to live for today and not care about tomorrow; then the stock market crash of 1929 left them destitute, forced to live in a cold water tenement in New York City. When a relative dies, he makes provisions for Robert and Lily Brewster to live in the Grace and Favor Cottage in Voorburg on the Hudson and has his attorney control the money to make sure they have enough to keep the mansion running smoothly.
If they want to buy some luxuries, they have to get a job because the cottage and money meant for them is held in a trust and administered by an attorney. The brother and sister team are asked to work in a nursing home until the two people who are out sick return. While there, a patient Sean Connor dies and everyone soon learns that he was suffocated. What makes this so puzzling is that the homicide victim only had hours to live and when Lily and Robert learn of this; they start snooping, hoping to find a clue that will lead them to a murderer.
IT HAD TO BE YOU is an exciting, light-hearted amateur sleuth novel that takes place just days after President Roosevelt takes office. Readers get a sense of how the Great Depression affected people, especially the upper class many of whom lost their fortunes. It is rare for a mystery too have two equally well developed protagonists but creative writer Jill Churchill manages it. This series is so delightful that readers will find themselves eagerly awaiting the next installment.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner