A Bad Reputation by Jane Tesh is the fourth book in the “Madeline Maclin” mystery series. Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press, February 2014
When Wendall Clarke announces plans to open a new art gallery downtown, it’s both the talk of Celosia, North Carolina and the envy of its residents. But the news is upstaged when Clarke is found murdered, prompting beauty queen turned private investigator Madeline Maclin to take on the case. Faced with a laundry list of suspects including a furious ex-wife, a competing business owner, and jealous local artists, Madeline’s also struggling to keep her con man husband, Jerry Fairweather, out of handcuffs. If Jerry wasn’t enough trouble on his own, enter Honor Perkins, dead set on luring him back into a life of crime. Between foiling Perkins’ plans, stabilizing her marriage and possibly being pregnant, Madeline juggles her responsibilities as she races to solve the crime before the killer strikes again – or her life falls apart.
This is a fun read that was hard to put down as I missed the adventures of Mac and Jerry. This time around, while trying to keep Jerry on the straight and narrow, Mac gets involved in a murder case; and finds themselves helping one of their young friends. I love the tone of this story and the quirkiness of the people that surrounds them. The author did a great job in keeping me entertained with a good solid mystery that kept me glued to the pages and good dialogue that was both amusing and enjoyable. I hope there are more adventures with this duo in this delightfully engaging series.