FEAR OF FRYING by Jill Churchill


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 Repairing to Camp Sunshine, Wisconsin, to check out its suitability as a possible summer-school site, perky Jane Jeffry and her sidekick, Shelley Nowack, are soon up to their armpits in hiking blisters, hearty meals, enviro-Nazis, minor acts of sabotage, and fretting about electricity (limited) and plumbing (unexpectedly opulent). There's a bigger glitch when they stumble on the body of overgroomed car-salesman Sam Claypool, brained by a frying pan. But when the body disappears and Sam turns up on his wife's arm apparently none the worse for wear (if anything, they're more lovey-dovey than before), everybody in Camp Sunshine breathes a sigh of relief. Everybody, that is, but Jane and Shelley, who feel first embarrassed (Shelley suggests that it's exactly like the time Jane's cat horked up a hairball during the PTA meeting at her house), then vaguely threatened by the new and improved Sam, the theft of a falcon costume from one of the environmental demonstrators, and the washing out of the only bridge back to civilization. Finally, when Sam II is at the point of coming clean about the whole mess, he's murdered, too, or again. In other hands these cornball devices would evoke menace, however unrealistically; in the amiable, workaday prose of Churchill (War and Peas, 1996), they merely signal that it's time for the chitchat to focus on the Claypool family, whose mild irregularities seem hardly capable of provoking any of these campers to murder. (First printing of 25,000)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-380-97324-3
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1997


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