The Sunday Salon is a Facebook group that has become an
informal week in review gathering place for bloggers.
It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.
You can also link up weekly on Readerbuzz.
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
~ It’s a chance to share news~
A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.
HAPPY SUNDAY EVERYONE!
Instead of talking about my happenings this week, I want to share with you one of the authors that started my love of cozy mysteries and taught me something too.
After my accident in 2001, I couldn’t do many of the things I used to do like work, crafts, go for long walks, and basically doing anything on my own. I will admit I was kinda lost. But a good friend brought me some books. Before I had a family I was an avid reader and made weekly trips to the local library. I loved mysteries. After the kids came, we still made trips to the library but checked out mostly books for them and I was lucky to read 1 book myself about every two weeks. When she arrived with those books I realized I didn’t need two hands to read a book so the books she brought me were the greatest gift.
One of those books was Grime and Punishment by Jill Churchill. There were sixteen books in that series and six books in her other cozy mystery series. Between the library and PaperbackSwap I read them all and many are in a keeper box. Her character Jane Jeffry gave me a little kick in butt adjusting to the different life I now had to lead. I was also now hooked on cozy mysteries. It took a few years but that love and insight grew and with the help of another friend that love blossomed into a earlier version of this blog.
This week, I learned that Jill Churchill, real name, Janice Young Brooks, passed away on July 12. I wish I would have reached out to her when I started blogging to tell her how she affected my life but I was still learning this crazy internet world and building my courage to contact authors. In hindsight, I am kicking myself but reading her obituary I learned she affected many people’s lives and has left behind a strong legacy in her children and grandchildren. She was quite a lady.
Janice Brooks Obituary
Janice Young Brooks
January 11, 1943 – July 12, 2023
Overland Park, Kansas – Janice Carol Young Brooks, local author, beloved mom, sister and grandmother passed away peacefully at home on July 12, 2023.
Best known nationally for her award winning Jane Jeffry and Grace and Favor mystery series, Janice is the author of 39 published books, including 12 historical fiction books written under her name, 22 mysteries published under her pseudonym “Jill Churchill” (because, as she would have explained, “Churchill is next to Agatha Christie on the bookshelf.”), and is co-author, under the pseudonym “Valerie Vayle” of three bodice ripper romances (that her adult children still won’t crack open for a read). Janice’s historical fiction book Seventrees, was set primarily in Kansas City during the 1800s, and appeared on many local high school recommended reading lists through the 1980s and 1990s. Her World War II historical fiction book Guests of the Emperor, followed female prisoners of war captured in Singapore and was produced as an NBC movie of the week in 1993 under the title Silent Cries. She received the American Association of University Women’s Thorpe Menn Award in 1982 for Seventrees and Malice Domestic’s Agatha Award and Mystery Readers International’s Macavity Award, both in 1990, for her first published mystery book Grime and Punishment.
Janice loved her steaks medium-rare and her opinions expressed. Consequently, her books are filled with impressively strong, well-informed women, who never stood in anyone’s shadow – and always had more than a hint of Janice’s own personality written in between the lines.
Janice was born on January 11, 1943 to parents Dr. Jesse W. Young and Louise Freiler Jones Young and lived in Fairway, Kansas for all but the last few years of her life. She attended Roesland Elementary, Old Mission Junior High, North High School and graduated high school in 1961 from The Barstow School. After high school, Janice continued her education at University of Kansas and graduated in 1965 with a B.S. in Education. While at KU, Janice met and married her former husband, Larry. Her son David Lawrence followed in 1967 and her daughter Amy Louise was born in 1969.
Prior to her accomplished writing career, Janice taught elementary school in Turner, Kansas. She loved puzzles and crafts of all kinds, and she was an expert gardener, genealogist, cat and bird lover, avid reader and actual genius/MENSA member. Janice was a founding member of Novelists, Inc. and was its first national President in 1989. She was an active member of Sisters in Crime, an occasional guest instructor at Avila College, frequent contributing book reviewer for the Kansas City Star and often presented and instructed at regional writers’ conferences.
Janice was proceeded in death by her mother and father and is survived by: her brother, John David Young (and his husband Brian John Feehan) of Wilton, Connecticut; her son, David Lawrence Brooks (and his wife Kate Hanson Brooks) of Olathe, Kansas; her daughter Amy Louise Brooks Harper (and her husband Michael Henry Harper, III) of Denver, Colorado; her former husband Lawrence Edward Brooks (Mary Ellen Brooks) of Overland Park, Kansas; and nine amazing and awesome grandchildren Rose Louise Lucas, Jude David Lucas, Mallory Katharine Brooks, Emily Jayne Brooks, Owen David Brooks, Jesse William Brooks, Ruth Elizabeth Brooks, Helen Marie Brooks and Margaret “Maggie” Elise Harper.
Janice famously wrote about her mystery detective Jane Jeffry, “The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” This simple truth about “Jane” is a lasting reminder to her family that perfection is over-rated and doing “good” is enough. Her family will miss this incredibly strong-willed, opinionated, intelligent, talented, funny, good woman in a million ways and her children thank her for making them read, think, laugh, imagine, memorize poems when they said they were bored and making them generally do things for themselves.
Rest in Peace Janice/Jill and thank you.
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