Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Little Learning-Jane Tesh

A Little Learning
Jane Tesh
Poisoned Pen, Jun 2009, $24.95
ISBN 9781590586501

In Celosia, North Carolina private investigator Madeline Maclin is excited over opening her new private investigative office. However, she is also under immense pressure to accomplice two divergent deeds. First she has one week to resolve a riddle left in a will for a client, Nathan Fenton who, if Madeline succeeds, will receive a major inheritance. Second she needs to paint a picture also within a week so that it can be exhibited at a gallery.

Already overwhelmed with work, Madeline accepts an opportunity to teach art at the local elementary school. However, to her surprise Amelia Lever, an elementary school teacher detested by faculty, administration, parents and students, is murdered. Madeline’s inheritance case and the teacher’s homicide are tied together by of all things collectible cards. When her new spouse con man turned bookstore employee Jerry Fairweather is attacked over those collectible cards, Madeline struggles to learn what is going on and by whom?

The third Madeline Maclin cozy (see A HARD BARGAIN and A CASE OF IMAGINATION) is a fun lighthearted Tarheel romp starring an eccentric cast. The story line is over the top of the Great Smokey Mountains, but no one will care as the inexpedienced Madeline connects the dots while Jerry tries to behave in the small town. Filled with zany characters, fans of the series will enjoy assisting Madeline as she tries to solve Uncle Elijah’s riddle, Amelia’s homicide, and the collectible cards assault that seem tied together yet with no link.

Harriet Klausner