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The Trouble with Tulip

(A Smart Chick Mystery #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,259 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Josephine Tulip is definitely a smart chick, a twenty-first century female MacGyver who writes a helpful hints column and solves mysteries in her spare time. Her best friend, Danny, is a talented photographer who longs to succeed in his career...perhaps a cover photo on "National Geographic"?

When Jo's next-door neighbor is accused of murder, Jo realizes the police have the
Paperback, 293 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Harvest House Publishers
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,259 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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Apr 16, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
I really wanted to like this book. In fact, I read it first, expecting a wonderfully trashy murder mystery with a love story attached. What I got, however, was a book filled with God-isms, an awful love plot line and too many other plots to count. You would think that this book would be good enough with one or two plots, but between the murder, the love, the wedding, her career, his career, his life, the brothers life and everyone else involved, I was left sort of confused and rather letdown. I ...more
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love, love, love this book! I had previously read the Million Dollar Mysteries Series by this author and I loved them. I love mysteries and it can be hard to find clean ones, but this is a Christian mystery so it didn't have anything that would be objectionable. Well-written and engaging and I love Jo. ...more
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, cozy-mystery
Josephine Tulip is definitely a smart chick, a twenty-first century female MacGyver who writes a helpful hints column and solves mysteries in her spare time. Her best friend, Danny, is a talented photographer who longs to succeed in his career...perhaps a cover photo on National Geographic?

When Jo's next-door neighbor is accused of murder, Jo realizes the police have the wrong suspect. As she and Danny analyze clues, follow up on leads, and fall in and out of trouble, she recovers from
May 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: trilogy
Josephine (Jo) Tulip writes a syndicated helpful hints column, Tips from Tulip, that she's "inherited" from her beloved Grandmother, who wrote the column with the help of her chemistry-loving husband. In addition to inheriting the column, she has also inherited their home. Her best friend, Danny Watkins, an aspiring photographer, bought the house behind her and lives there.

Because she can't sleep on the eve of her wedding to Bradford, a rising-star executive at the company where her father is th
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Trouble with Tulip is the first book I have read by Mindy Starns Clark. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Clark expertly interwove several sub-plots with the main plot setting the stage for future books in this series. The development of the main characters was not deep; however, I trust she will continue to develop them in future books.

Clark also included a Christian aspect to the book with her characters making the mystery good, clean fun. I recommend reading this book for pure enjoyment and an se
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
charming with an interesting enough plot to want you to know what happens next!
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book filled the same role for me as a Girls' Movie Night. It was very definitely chick lit.

The description of the plot is pretty awful. I mean, for most of the book Jo is the only one who believes that there was actually a murder committed: while everyone else thinks the death of Edna, who lived a couple blocks away from Jo in her small Pennsylvania town, was an accident, Jo can't believe that such a die-hard fan of her Tips from Tulip cleaning column would ever do anything as obviously wro
Erica Warren
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a really cute little book. Clark tells a believable story without being too cheesy (though there were some moments) and presents a wonderful mystery that kept me guessing. Every time I thought I knew what had happened or who had done it, she proved me wrong, and it just kept getting more and more intriguing. I was disappointed with the ending, though.
Wendy Jones
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Tulip is a superb character - feisty, funny, tenacious and invincible. I also loved her sidekick, Danny. Together, they form a detective lair I cared about and wanted to succeed. The mystery is strong and the Christian viewpoint enhances, rather than overwhelms, the narrative. An excellent example of Christian fiction which I can highly recommend.
Ellen White
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jo has taken over the column which her grandmother had started, the answers to household problems. Danny, taking the photos, suggest she may know the answers..Victim's house had been a tribute to the cleaning ideas of Jo's, but what about the bump to the head. ...more
Dana Miller
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
funny investigation in murder and love
Melissa Rhoads
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not bad for Christian fiction. The murder mystery was enjoyable enough, just slightly hokey.
Teena Garner
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a cute little fun read.
Kristin Leppen
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Love this book! This is actually the second time I’ve read it and it was as great as I remembered! Mindy Starns Clark does a great job with her books! Definitely one of my favorite authors!
Kimia Wood
Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Josephine “Jo” Tulip is an independent, take-charge kind of young woman. Her house is organized and spotless, and she’s considered an expert of household tricks, partly because of the newspaper column she writes about everything from removing stains from clothes and carpets to getting more use out of your cleaning supplies.

About some things, however, she’s woefully clueless. The newspaper column she inherited from her grandmother is just that: an item in a newspaper (sometimes called the “dead-t
Shirayuki Zen
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Best murder mystery series I have ever encountered in all my years on this planet. I love it's reminder to let go and give God the steering wheel. ...more
Alexis Gilmore
Feb 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
I thought this book sounded like a light, fun read - it was light all right, but nowhere near fun. I could not even finish the book. I found both the plot and characters to be exceedingly annoying. All of the plot threads (and there were too many) were cliched, making the outcomes tiredly predictable. Even the letters to Tulip were disappointing. If done well, they would have made the book more tolerable. Instead, they were scattered haphazardly throughout and were so bad that they were laughabl ...more
Oct 04, 2008 rated it liked it
(Genre:Mystery/Christian fiction) This was an okay read that I would probably give 2 1/2 stars (If that were possible). It is about a young woman named Jo Tulip who is following along in her grandmother's footsteps with a household hints/advice column. Jo has an answer for any household problem or dilemma, but her personal life is a bit of a mess. Her fiance backs out of their wedding, leaving her at the alter. To make things more complicated, a neighbor dies in a suspicious way and it is up to ...more
Jul 26, 2010 rated it liked it
It is a book that in the beginning makes you think it will talk about house shore things, but latter in introduce you to a police plot, which involves the main character a day before of her big wedding. It is interesting, as I keep reading I will say my point of view, for the moment, it is a nice story.

Now I am in page 240, the story about the dead of the character gets more interesting each time, Jo Tulip interests more on find it out why Edna Prats is dead, since she thinks is a murder. Jo sta
Nora St Laurent
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it

I really liked this book. It is about this girl named Tulip that writes this column for the newspaper about cleaver ways to do things and save money etc. She finds herself in the middle of this murder investigation. IT is scary and fascinating all at the same time. Tulip learns about live and love. It was a fun book to read.

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have express
Jun 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
After reading Mindy's other detective series earlier this year, I was happy to see that she also writes chick lit, which is becoming my new favorite genre. So, I picked up this book, which is the first in her new "Smart Chick Mysteries." It was hilarious, and I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series (which came out two days ago, and I am on the hold list for the library already. :)

Jo Tulip writes a household hints column for a newspaper, and solves mysteries. In this book,
Apr 06, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a cozy mystery series with a definite Christian slant. Jo Tulip has inherited her grandmother's job of writing household hints for the newspaper along with a call-in radio show and lives in the place she was happiest - her grandparents' house. After being jilted at the altar, Jo discovers a dead body and works with best friend Danny, a photographer who also performs in a family band for local churches to solve the murder even though the police are convinced it was an accidental death. Si ...more
Aug 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Fooled me! It's a Christian romance-comedy murder mystery...and here I thought it was chick lit. Fairly good plot and pretty well written. Wasn't as obnoxious as most christian fiction as the characters weren't busy testifying every chapter, & people of faith in my world do seem to pray about every little thing so that seemed real but when I read Christian fiction the "I'm saved" passages do get tiresome. ...more
Bookishnymph *needs hea*
I don't like writing bad reviews, because I don't like being cruel . . .but this book was annoying.
The main character is so freakin' anal I just couldn't take it. And when she says things about her guy friend being messy I was like "Seriously? He's a GUY." The only guy that would be as clean as this woman would be Mr. Clean--and even he might not live up to her standers. Tulip was just too OCD to make this novel enjoyable. (BTW, I'm not exactly a messy person, myself.)
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
All in all a good book! It was a light and easy read and made me want to finish... Although I knew I was going to be disappointed that I was done the book, I went to the library to pick up something, and found book two! Didn't even realize it was a series :) so I'm diving into the second book immediately!! :) "Blind Dates can be Murder" by Mindy Starns Clark. I have really come to realize how much I love discovering new books at the library! ...more
Mark Baker
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, 2005
Jo Tulip is called on her wedding day to visit a crime scene. The victim is a fan of Jo's household hints column. When her personal life goes south, Jo begins her own investigation into the murder. Can she figure out what happened? The book overcame a slow start to grab me. By the end, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Jul 27, 2014 rated it liked it
If your child walks in from school with a tough grass stain on his or her pants, you may wonder how to remove it. Jo Tulip, short for Josephine Tulip, answers these types of household problems in a syndicated newspaper column called "Tips from Tulip," which she took over writing from her grandmother.

While Jo can easily solve these types of situational problems, her personal life is in continual crisis.
Jan 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sarah Zawada
Good clean fun christian chick-lit. I had previously read "Whispers in the Bayou" and found it pretty good, so thought I would try another book by Clark. I liked this one better than the last. It had a bit of humor in it, which made it more interesting for me. I plan to read the next book in the smart chick mystery series. ...more
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What a fun read! So many books' storylines all run into one another after a while. That will not happen with this unique story. Starns has such a way with words and storytelling. This is such light-hearted chick lit. A fantastic heroine, a silly mystery, and a budding romance are at the heart of this great tale. I'm beginning book two today already!! ...more
Heather Miller
Aug 28, 2009 rated it liked it
This book was witty and funny. I loved Jo's newspaper column and her household tips followed by a good dose of common sense. Jo is not only a writer, but also an amateur sleuth caught up in a murder investigation. She also has a little romance on the side. If you like murder mysteries and you're a "smart chick" this is an fun, easy read! ...more
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Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 30 books, both fiction and nonfiction, and has received numerous literary honors, including two Christy Awards and RT Book Review Magazine’s 2012 Career Achievement Award. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Other books in the series

A Smart Chick Mystery (3 books)
  • Blind Dates can be Murder (Smart Chick Mysteries, #2)
  • Elementary, My Dear Watkins (Smart Chick Mysteries #3)

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