Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Book series

I've been rereading the Jane Jeffry series by Jill Churchill. These are some of my favorite mysteries, but I'm starting to think now (while I'm in critical mode) wasn't the best time to read them. Little mistakes become glaring faults. The first that struck me was when the widow on a tight budget bought her teenage son a brand new pickup for his first vehicle. Any frugal person knows that buying new is not the smart way to manage money and no sane parent would do so for a teenager (imagine the insurance cost)!

Much of the appeal of the series is in Jane's domesticity and relationships with her children, but in the later books those details fade away far into the background. I remembered the story located at a mystery book convention as being very disappointing and found it just as bad this time. The final book (published five years ago) makes an effort to bring back those important parts of her life and is easier to enjoy, but story line errors are more obvious. One is that she never told her fiance a major detail of her past even though she had in a previous book. The worst example I just found: on page 37 Jane mentions cleaning the cat litter boxes that morning, but by page 61 there is pain-staking detail on her buying litter boxes and new clumping! litter and hoping the cats remember how to use them. Oh, the joy at the description of scooping out the first mess.

My mother was complaining that Churchill wasn't writing any new books. I suspect she lost her storytelling magic.


Tanya Walton said...

I really hate it when you are reading a series of books and the flow is wrong or previous things said or done then claim not to have been done, even more so when it is something that happened in previous books as I then have t go back find that book and re-read it as I start to doubt whether what I have remembered is right and then this spoils the reading for me.

Having said all that, I do love to read!!

tpals said...

I love reading also! It's frustrating to see a good series go downhill to the point they're unreadable. Why does an editor allow that?