Title: Such a Tease
Author: Chautona Havig
Series: Meddlin’ Madeline, book 2
Major Themes: Detective Stories
Synopsis: Madeline Brown is back—still investigating a young man who is new in town, who now has a scheme to electrify the town, beginning with the most disreputable area.
After reading the first book in the Meddlin’ Madeline series, Sweet on You, last year, I really wanted to read the second book, but it hadn’t been written yet! Now it has, and it’s better than the first book. I loved reading Such a Tease. If you enjoy light mysteries, or stories about human interactions, you’ll probably like this book.
Madeline is still wondering about Vernon’s true character. She spent the whole of the first book trying to determine if he was a fit husband for her best friend, and now she’s trying to decide if his scheme of electrifying the entire city, starting with the slum area, is truly for the benefit of the people of that poor district—or for the benefit of his pockets? How can she expose him, if he is the fraud she thinks he is? Or is he the caring, loving man he portrays himself as?
Madeline has a new job in this book; she is now working at the bank. This, of course, gives her the opportunity to observe even more people, in different ways. It also gets her into some pretty interesting situations. Because she is working for Mr. Merton, the father of her best friend, she has to walk a tightrope, being very careful what she says, to whom.
There were many threads in this story that were skillfully brought together into one cohesive whole. Russell is still paying a lot of attention to Madeline, only, of course, because his sister asked him to keep her from becoming lonely while she was away in Europe. Madeline has several other friends, too, and they have a lively social life. The president is shot, and, as the city’s mayor, Madeline’s father is quite affected. I also appreciated seeing Madeline’s spiritual life growing. I’m liking her even more than in the first book!
I really enjoyed reading this book, as I said. I loved the way Chautona Havig wrote in the style of the early 1900s, and I loved the little details that gave the flavor of the time—such as stepping around “an unfortunate package left by the passing horses.” Then there was Madeline’s statement, “That arrogance will cause mistakes. I only intend, if possible, to observe them.” I also had to chuckle at her thought, “Your pride in your humility serves only to create annoyance for all, Mrs. Hardwick.” So true! And then there was the word I was sure was a misprint—only to discover much later that it was intentional on the author’s part. I laughed out loud, literally, when I realized why she used that particular word.
WARNING: A woman is found murdered about halfway through the book.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults