by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of this book, along with a link to purchase it where a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy.
Everyone in Lakewood, Texas is on edge: over the past month, four women have disappeared. The Dallas police are attributing their disappearances to the Lakewood Abductor, whom they believe masquerades as a law-enforcement officer. Mid-century decorator Madison Night shares the community’s nervousness, but her concern stems mostly from the suspicion that falls on Lakewood Police Department’s Lt. Thomas Rexford “Tex” Allen, a womanizing flirt Mad has nevertheless come to trust after their first meeting a year ago over a dead body.
While Tex is administratively sidelined (but still off investigating on his own), Mad is busy with her Mad for Mod’s latest assignment. She’s renovating the home of Cleo and Dan Tyler, the owners of an LA movie development studio. While Mad’s life may be worthy of its own film, she would rather continue to funnel her obsession with Doris Day into a profitable decorating business specializing in 1950s and 1960s renovations. When one of Mad’s tenants, and then Cleo, are believed to be the latest victims of the Lakewood Abductor, Mad doesn’t know who to trust—and is terrified that she may be the link connecting the attacks.
The novel’s title is a twist on With Six You Get Eggroll, Doris Day’s last movie from 1968, a period of national upheaval. Mad is in a similar state of turmoil as she assesses her feelings for two different men. She’s attracted to the contractor she’s attempting to keep as a business relationship; and then there’s Tex, with whom she’s forging a closer connection.
While there’s subtle humor in the writing, the tone of this series is somber and far darker than the author’s Material Witness and her Style & Error fashion mystery series. Much of this darkness stems from Mad’s state of distrust and her sense of isolation that began when she lost her family when she was a young adult. At forty-four, Mad started her life over by moving from Pennsylvania to Texas and creating a business that provides her with an outlet for her admiration for—and style obsession with—the movie star who shares her birthday.
This third Mad for Mod mystery continues to highlight Mad’s unique fashion business and focuses on her extremely strong skills as a decorator and renovator. Mad is a woman who proves to be more than competent as an investigator even while uncertain and unsettled in her personal life. A sense of danger and menace pervades the entire novel, but it is lightened by Mad’s genuine likability and strength. Vallere has crafted a unique mystery series with an intelligent heroine whose appeal will never go out of style.
To enter to win a copy of With Vics You Get Eggroll, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Eggroll,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 2, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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