Thursday, November 10, 2022

Book Review: Lover Come Hack by Diane Vallere (Madison Night #6)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery and characters
Cons: Some minor issues, but nothing that truly damped my enjoyment
The Bottom Line:
Murder and contest
Not to mention some hacking
Entertaining book

Killer Hacks

The titles in Diane Vallere’s Madison Night series are all nods to Doris Day movies, but I love how they also give us a pretty good clue about what the plot will contain.  For example, when you read a title like Lover Come Hack, you know Madison will be dealing with a hacker.

A quick introduction to Madison Night.  She’s a decorator in the Dallas, Texas, area with a specialty in mid-century modern designs.  Since she shares a birthday with the actress Doris Day, she has loved the actress’s movies, and that has driven her eye for that specific design style.  Unfortunately, she’s found her life complicated by murder from time to time.

As this book opens, Madison has been blindsided by an email from a new friend.  She and Jane Strong had really hit is off recently, and they’d even agreed to enter the Very Important Projects (VIP for short) design competition together.  Now, Madison has to scramble to get her own individual entry in before the deadline, but she also wants to confront Jane and find out exactly what is going on with the person she thought was her friend.

The confrontation doesn’t go well, and a few hours later, Jane is dead.  The police think that Madison had something to do with it.  Now Madison has to figure out what happened while juggling the competition.  It doesn’t help that her computers have been hit by a virus.  As have her fellow contestants.  Does that have anything to do with Jane’s murder?

The virus is a small part of the set up to the mystery, I’ll admit, but it really does play a large part in the story.  And what a mystery.  It leaps right in, and I was kept turning pages, trying to figure out what each twist and turn Madison encountered would mean.  The ending and explanation were a bit rushed, but that is a minor complaint since we do get the answers we need.

Likewise, we do have some issues with timing.  It’s minor, but things that a good edit should have caught.  It’s nothing that will impact your understanding of the story but something that irritates me.

Since this is book six in the series, we’ve already gotten to know Madison quite well.  She’s actually been dealing with a romantic quandary for several books now, and that added an interesting sub-plot here.  I’m curious to see what happens moving forward.  I continue to enjoy catching up with the supporting players.  And the suspects were just as strong as the characters we already know.

I will say that I wish Madison were a bit more trusting.  I get that she has hurts in her past that keep her from that, but there are times when she makes decisions based on partial information.  It’s a flaw we’ve seen since book one, and it would be nice to see some growth in that area.

Doris Day fans will recognize the title of this book as a play on her movie Lover Come Back.  While the plot is obviously wildly different from the film, there are some fun nods to the movie hidden in the book.  I’ve already mentioned one of them in my review.  I caught another couple, although I wouldn’t be surprised to learn there are others I missed.

None of the things I mentioned truly hampered my enjoyment of Lover Come Hack.  This is a fast paced and fun mystery that will keep you reading until the very end.

Enjoy the rest of the Madison Night Mysteries.


  1. I love Doris Day movies, so this sounds especially good to me.

  2. I agree about Madison's unwillingness to trust though at times she accepts answers without questioning and I want to scream at her. I've really enjoyed every book I've read by Diane Vallere and need to read more from this series.

    1. This actually helped clarify things for me. She seems willing to take things she learns from people she has rocky relationships with over people she should be able to trust based on past experiences. She should at least give them the benefit of the doubt and ask them about it.


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