A Bad Reputation-Jane Tesh

A Bad Reputation
Jane Tesh
Poisoned Pen, Feb 4 2014, $24.95
ISBN: 9781464202322

Former beauty queen Madeline Maclin works as a private detective in Celosia, North Carolina. She is happily married to former con man Jerry Fairweather, who seeks legitimate employment as he no longer wants to swindle people or take money from his affluent family.

Former resident Wendall Clarke returns to Celosia accompanied by his second wife Flora. He plans to open an art gallery in the downtown area. However, his triumphant homecoming ends when someone murders him at his gallery. Flora retains Madeline to investigate her husband’s death. The P.I. is shocked by the vast pool of people from his first wife to his second spouse’s former husbands to an angry rival to local artists wanting Wendall dead. At the same time, Honor Perkins comes to Celosia attempting to tempt Jerry away from Madeline as she wants him back as her partner.

The latest Madeline Maclin Mysteries (see A Case of Imagination, A Hard Bargain, and A Little Learning) is a wonderful regional investigation due to the antics of a fabulous eccentric cast. The Clarke case inquiry takes a back seat to these characters as marvelous Madeline deals with a horde of whimsical suspects containing strong motives and a con artist targeting her husband.

Harriet Klausner

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