Thursday, July 19, 2018

Book Review: That Touch of Ink by Diane Vallere (Madison Night Mysteries #2)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great mystery; well-developed characters
Cons: All hidden by a touch of ink
The Bottom Line:
Mysterious bill
Puts Madison in a maze
Delightful to read

More Than a Touch of Fun

As I’m desperately attempting to catch up on all the new series I’ve started in the last couple of years, I have returned to Dallas, Texas, the home of Madison Night.  She’s a Doris Day fan who has built a career as a designer specializing in Mid Century Modern designs with a side of mystery and mayhem.  Her second adventure, That Touch of Ink, is fun from start to finish.

It all starts when a five thousand dollar bill arrives in the mail.  These bills are extremely rare, having been all but taken out of circulation fifty years ago.  But Madison knows that it is a message from her ex-boyfriend, Brad.  Two years ago, the man had lied to her, and she hasn’t seen or talked to him sense.  Suddenly, he is popping back up in her life, whether she wants it or not.

Trying to find out more about the five thousand dollar bill, she contacts a local numismatist.  When she goes to meet him, she finds a dead body instead.  Only the police, in the form of Lt. Tex Allen, don’t believe the dead man is the man Madison was going to meet.  Who died?  Where’s the numismatist?  Why has Brad come back into her life?  What has he gotten Madison involved in?

This book is impossible to put down.  Seriously, the pace is that fast.  There is always something happening to move the story forward as Madison searches for answers.  In many ways this reads more like a teen sleuth story than a cozy murder mystery.  Yes, there is a murder.  Yes, it gets solved.  But Madison is more focused on the other strange things going on in her life, and there are plenty of strange things to keep her and us guessing and confused until the very end.

Brad’s return does provide another complication in Madison’s already complex love life.  Yes, the love triangle introduced in the first book is still in place here, and honestly, I’m not sure which of the guys I want her to end up with.

That’s because, like the rest of the cast, both Tex and Hudson are well developed characters.  This cast really is top notch.  But Madison truly shines, which only makes sense since she is the main character and our narrator.  Brad’s return forces her to work through some pretty deep stuff, and the growth she shows is great.  I’m very anxious to see where she goes as a result of this book as the series moves forward.

Doris Day fans will recognize the title of this book as a play on That Touch of Mink.  While the plot of this book is nothing like that romantic comedy, there are a couple of Easter eggs that are fun to spot.  However, if you have never seen that movie, you’ll be perfectly fine reading this book and not for one moment be lost.

I can’t recommend That Touch of Ink highly enough.  You’ll get lost in the story and be finished all too soon.  Fortunately, there are still several more books in the series to go.  Now, to make the time to read them.

Looking for more?  Here are the Madison Night Mysteries in order.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great series, one of my favorites! Glad you are enjoying it!