Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Review: Sympathy for the Devil by Jerrilyn Farmer (Madeline Bean #1)


Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters, great story, funny narration
Cons: Ending a little abrupt
The Bottom Line:
Starts a fun series
Awesome characters and plot
Can't put this one down




Amazing Debut that Will Have You Hooked

Sympathy for the Devil is the first book in Jerrilyn Farmer's Madeline Bean series. Madeline is a caterer to the stars in Hollywood where she finds herself involved in murder cases in between top of the line events.

This Halloween, the place to be is producer Bruno Huntley's party. Every one who is any one has been invited, and Madeline Bean Catering is pulling out all the stops to impress the potential clients. In the middle of the big party, the host drops over dead. Bruno Huntley had no shortage of enemies, including his own family. But Madeline's business partner and best friend, Wesley, is the police's prime suspect. Being at the party, he had opportunity. Bruno had recently cheated him out of a huge real estate profit, which the police view as motive as well. Knowing that Wesley could never murder a man, even Bruno, Madeline starts nosing around to find the real killer. But everywhere she turns, she just gets more questions. Can she stay alive long enough to unravel the personal and professional secrets and clear Wes?

This is a truly wonderful book. The plotting is superb, with never a dull moment and some surprising twists. The ending was a bit abrupt, but it did make sense. The characters are well rounded and truly come alive. Even though we've never met Wesley before, I cared immediately for his fate as the chief suspect. Madeline's assistant Holly is crazy but in a realistic way. And Madeline herself is determined and resourceful, even when being chased through parking garages. On top of this are an observer's view of Hollywood and a wonderful sense of humor all told with an engaging first person narrative that is hard to put down. After finishing this book, I immediately went out and bought the rest of the series.

Sympathy for the Devil is a must read if you haven't found the series yet.  You'll race through all of them and then wish there were more.

And once you've met Madeline and her friends, be sure to read the rest of the Madeline Bean Mysteries in order.

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