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A Smart Chick Mystery #3

Elementary, My Dear Watkins

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Mindy Starns Clark's first two books in the Smart Chick Mystery series--The Trouble with Tulip and Blind Dates Can Be Murder--are followed with more love and adventure in this final, suspense-filled book.

When someone tries to push Jo Tulip in front of a New York train, her ex-fiance, Bradford, suffers an injury while saving her--and the unintentional sleuth is thrown onto the tracks of a very personal mystery.

Jo's boyfriend, Danny Watkins, is away in Paris, so she begins a solo investigation of her near-murder. What secret was Bradford about to share before he took the fall? And when Jo uncovers clues tied to Europe, can she and Danny work together in time to save her life?

320 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2007

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About the author

Mindy Starns Clark

54 books567 followers
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.

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5 stars
278 (33%)
4 stars
308 (37%)
3 stars
202 (24%)
2 stars
35 (4%)
1 star
6 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 49 reviews
Profile Image for Linda.
1,844 reviews31 followers
March 19, 2023
I finally gave in and read this without reading the books prior to it in the series. I enjoyed this overall and it was a bit different than what I’m used to. Definitely a Christian mystery. No murder but I enjoyed the mystery, the different viewpoints and seeing how everything fit together.
Profile Image for Maureen.
350 reviews
November 23, 2021
This was a great wrap up to the series. As always, the mystery was complex and it was fun to follow the twists and turns. The parts about ADHD were a little off-putting, but this was published in 2007, so it’s just that the information and attitudes are outdated. Great finish for Jo and Danny!

I don’t usually finish book series, but have read through both of Mindy Starns Clark’s series this year. These cozy Christian mysteries have been just right for a mind-occupying and calming read during another unprecedented year. :)
Profile Image for Amy Binkerd.
Author 1 book7 followers
June 2, 2012
These 3 books were hilarious! Mindy Starns Clark has a good sense of humor. I am super sarcastic and often times clumsy, so this "trilogy" was good for me as I found myself picturing myself as Tulip many times! Light reading, nothing that you have to REALLY think hard about.
658 reviews
December 16, 2018
This was a decent end to Clark's chick lit series, with my main complaint here being that there were times it felt like she was giving a dry summary of an encounter/conversation to try to hurry things along.

Danny has hurried off to Paris for a photography internship almost immediately after Jo's profession of love. While he is busy following his career dreams, Jo is getting mysterious emails telling her that her life is in danger. When she's nearly shoved in front of a train, she seeks help from her grandmother, as they try to figure out who might be attempting to kill Jo--though she tells nothing of the situation to Danny. Meanwhile, one of Danny's coworkers seems to be acting strangely, ultimately saying some things that make him worry about Jo's safety.
Profile Image for Claudia.
709 reviews6 followers
September 20, 2022
I finally finished Clark's Smart Chick Mystery series starring Jo Tulip and Danny Watkins. The final book, Elementary, My Dear Watkins, was by far my favorite in the series. Jo's life is in danger, and Danny is working overseas. There are strange things going on at Jo's grandmother's estate and in the family business, providing additional suspects to a growing list of people who may wish to do Jo harm. Clark definitely saved the best for last in this series.
Profile Image for Theresa.
144 reviews9 followers
November 26, 2009
This is the third and last book in the "Smart Chick Mystery" trilogy.

Jo Tulip’s boyfriend, Danny Watkins, is off to Europe for his big break in photography and working with a world renowned photographer who Danny greatly admires. When he returns Jo hopes that he will marry her.

In the meantime, Jo is staying at her Grandmothers while she goes through physical therapy from the injuries she sustained when her house blew up. She has also been getting some e-mails requesting help cleaning a really dirty toaster oven and advice on how to let someone know their life is in danger anonymously. The police don’t take her seriously until the e-mailer reveals that the person in danger is Jo.

And, her former fiancé, Bradford, is trying to woo her back.

Her grandmother has taken in a young teen-age girl, Alexa, who has been living a very disadvantaged life, and for some reason Jo’s Grandmother has decided to be the young girl’s benefactor. In her new environment, Alexa is thriving, but she still has a lot of questions and doesn’t completely understand why she is where she is.

In this book, Jo and Danny’s paths cross despite the Atlantic in the middle and Jo learns the real reason why Bradford was engaged to her, left her at the altar and who is out to get her.

Once again, another fun and light read.
Profile Image for Melissa.
19 reviews
September 6, 2016
Unfortunately, I didn't like this book as much as the first two; I actually thought the first half was kind of boring.

The mystery wasn't very believable to me. Jo gets an anonymous email telling her that someone is trying to kill her and, at the end of the message, asking her how to clean a toaster oven. Weird. Then how everything unfolds in the end - which I won't say and spoil it for anyone - was unrealistic.

Also, I found Danny and Jo annoying at times with some of the things they thought/said. I didn't feel that way about Danny in the other books.

Overall, I thought it was just okay. If you don't mind plots that are somewhat unrealistic, you might enjoy Elementary, My Dear Watkins more than I did.
52 reviews3 followers
January 5, 2010
Quality has definitely gone down. Not inappropriate, just not good writing. By this one, there are so many things that don't even connect or get resolved that it's plain disappointing. Quite poor writing. i was glad to get the overall story of the trilogy resolved (both the jilting and the romance with Danny).

Generally I don't plan to go backward with reviews, so I probably won't post about them here, but if you're going to read Mindy Starns Clark, read the Million Dollar Mysteries series. Those I really liked!!
Profile Image for Elizabeth Midgley .
281 reviews3 followers
January 23, 2010
This is book #3 in a 3 part series. I read #2 and really liked it, and then started into book 3. I didn't like #3 as well as #2 but I think it ended the series well.

The book is about Jo Tulip, a household tips expert and her photographer fiance and her unusual family. The relationships between all these people revolve around a mystery. I think the reason I liked #2 better was because it was a much better and more believable mystery. The #3 mystery lacked and felt forced. The relationship part of the book was good.
687 reviews8 followers
February 13, 2009
(Genre: Christian fiction/mystery) Pretty good mystery that once again had me guessing as to who the "bad" guy was. It was also a fun way to wrap up the series. This mystery actually began in the first book (there wasn't full closure on it) so if you read the first one, you really should read this one. I liked Jo a lot more in books 2 and 3 than I did at the beginning, so it was worth staying around to finish it off.
729 reviews1 follower
September 2, 2011
This final book in the Smart Chick mysteries ties up the loose ends of Tulip and Danny's relationship. While Danny is pursuing the dream of a lifetime internship in Europe, Tulip finds her life is in danger and uncovers a conspiracy involving her family and the family business. A side plot involving a cure of sorts for ADHD involves a young teenager Alex, currently living with Tulip's grandmother. This was a good story better than the midwife stories also by the same author.
Profile Image for Kaitie.
42 reviews
June 20, 2013
Well what can I say?! I'm glad I read it and finished the trilogy. There was one reviewer who said same book as the first two, but different plot and I tend to agree. Also, I did read the first two, and have to say I wasn't expecting anything more then a fun, easy, sweet, chick lit and that is exactly what I was in the mood for. Probably why I finished it in two days.
Profile Image for Mark Baker.
2,059 reviews152 followers
March 3, 2014
The final entry in the trilogy finds Jo trying to figure out who wants her dead and why. Entertaining as always, but Danny's storyline slows down much of the first half of the book.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Profile Image for Tanx.
180 reviews8 followers
August 2, 2016
oh how I love this series!
It's a bit funny, has relatable and down-to-earth characters and the mystery is fun and light yet not fluff stuff. This series has transformed me into a cozy mystery fan and i'm on the lookout for more books of this genre.

Thank you Mindy Starns Clark, I hope you will never stop writing, i'm eyeing the Million Dollar Mysteries next :)
Profile Image for Sheryl.
59 reviews
October 7, 2007
This is the third book in the "Smart Chick Mystery" series by this author. It's about a smart chick who solves the problems that somehow always land in her lap. Maybe not always the most probable of storylines, but it's a fun read nonetheless.
Profile Image for Jessica.
87 reviews
October 6, 2008
What I enjoyed most about this series is the relationship between Jo and Danny. They are great characters to read. There is a religious undertone that was a strength of the characters, but not "in your face." The relationship with Jo's grandmother is great in this book.
Profile Image for Karen Hsu.
470 reviews4 followers
December 15, 2008
I enjoyed the last book of the Smart Chick trilogy. It was a little predictable in parts, but I still enjoyed Jo's characterization. Plus, because Danny, Jo's boyfriend, was in Paris, I said, "Ooh, la la," every time I cracked open the cover.
Profile Image for Kate.
21 reviews8 followers
December 17, 2008
It probably would have helped if I had read the first two first. But I'm not totally convinced I would have finished the series had I started with the first. It was pretty typical for Christian chick-lit even with the mystery twist.
Profile Image for Lynn.
312 reviews
May 3, 2009
An excellent end to the series. I really like the way the author weaves the stories together and draws them all to a successful and satisfying conclusion. I wish there were more as I really enjoy my visits with Jo and Danny and everyone else.
November 8, 2010
Picked up at a friends of the library book sale. Overall the book was fine just had some awkward faith based lines in it. It almost felt like the book was written as a regular mystery book and then the author went back and added some key phrases Christians might say.
15 reviews
September 17, 2012
I was sad that this was the final book in the series. I really loved Tulip and Danny, and all the ins and outs of the mysteries they are involved in. In this one, I wished Tulip and Danny had been together a little longer in the book, but that is my only complaint. LOVED this series!!! :)
Profile Image for Cathleen.
1,071 reviews38 followers
February 8, 2008
Couldn't wait for it to be over. Tres disappointing for a promising series and for a previously enjoyed author.
17 reviews1 follower
July 21, 2008
clever!!! love the twists with bradford!!
Profile Image for Jessica.
354 reviews31 followers
December 18, 2009
Loved it, loved it, loved it! All three books in this trilogy were so fun. Quirky, quick reads that made me smile. Clark is one of my favorites for sure.
Profile Image for Cyndee.
263 reviews7 followers
August 10, 2009
Very good story, would have gotten 4 stars if not for the religious themes and dialogue that sometimes got in the way.
Profile Image for Heather Miller.
291 reviews
January 6, 2010
This was the best of this trilogy. It wasn't as predictable as the first two. This is a fun series if you are looking for something light.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 49 reviews

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