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A Case of Imagination (Madeline Maclin #1)

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  195 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
"On this nice July morning in Parkland, North Carolina, the office of Madeline Maclin Investigations might as well have been an Egyptian tomb: hot, dusty, and dead." It doesn't help that her landlord Reid Kent, does a brisk business...and briskly hits on Mac to rejoin his agency. He maintains no one will hire a former Miss Parkland as a serious PI.

Mac has been friends fore
Kindle Edition, 241 pages
Published May 25th 2011 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 480)
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Carl Brookins

It’s an interesting idea, but in the development, author Jane Tesh could have used more of her imagination. Madeline Maclin, an ex-beauty queen, opens an investigations agency. She does it in an office building practically next door to her landlord—who also runs an investigations agency. He constantly hits on her. He has plenty of business, she has none.

Madeline has a friend, a sort of free spirit, who claims to be a psychic. His name is Jerry Fairweather! Jerry has a girl friend, a lawyer named
Pretty good start to the Madeline Maclin series. Ex beauty pageant Madeline moves to a small town in North Carolina with her old college buddy Jerry, a small time con artist who has inherited a house from his uncle. Going as far from pageantry as she can get, she wants to become a private detective, but Madeline finds it hard going. I enjoyed the characters of Madeline, a no-nonsense private eye trying more or less successfully to live down her past and Jerry, her best friend who is being dated ...more
Jun 09, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most books should receive three stars, by definition most books are average. A few deserve four starts if they're really good. Five few books deserve. This was more than four but less then five, but given a five point scale, it lies on the five side, not four.

I usually put the "bad" evaluation first then the "good" evaluation, but I would be nitpicking to find "bad." It moved quickly, it did not let the "romance" part, or other less related, to clutter up the speed at which this story moved. I d
Sep 06, 2012 JoAnne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'd like to know how this book got so many stars. The heroine is an ex-little girl beauty pageant winner, and soooo gorgeous that she cut her hair and wears no makeup so people will take her seriously as a private investigator. Really? Is being unattractive a requirement for an investigator? I hadn't heard that one. And how did she get to be an investigator? I would think that a background in beauty pageants wasn't a qualification to just go and get your license and decide this is what you want ...more
Mar 11, 2014 Marcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story revolves around a beauty contest, which is not the most serious situation, but the fluff side is not emphasized. Madeline Maclin, the major character & detective, has escaped the pageant world only to find herself trying to discover who is sabotaging the set of the small town contest. The conversations and Maclin's insights into the characters are well done. At the end, Madeline solves the case but doesn't quite get the guy.
This was a very nice, fairly quick read. Interesting cozy featuring an ex-beauty queen and her boyfriend, who’s a little bit of a wild card. I think it was this wonderfully delightful and refreshing mix of characters that really made the book stand out.

There was the landlord of her building, a private “dick,” (dick being a very appropriate word here,) who only really saw the face value of Madeline, and yet Madeline was a very smart, savvy character. A real PI who knew what she was doing, and no
Shirley Worley
Madeline Maclin (Mac), former beauty queen turned PI, follows her best friend Jerry to the small town of Celosia, where he has inherited a house from a reclusive uncle. Jerry, not wanting to stake a claim to his family's fortune, decides to reinvent the old house as either a psychic shop or a B&B, or a combination of both, much to the chagrin of his girlfriend. Struggling in her business, Mac is asked to discover who is trying to sabotage the pageant when the most promising contestant is mur ...more
Apr 17, 2013 Nikki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For a mystery novel, this one was an easy to figure out plot. I liked the novel, but was a little aggitated with the writing style. The way the romance was placed within the story line didnt flow well and the story took a few off the wall, wild turns. I will say it was an alright read as a time passer. For me, I wont throughly search for the next book in the series, but I will read it if I come across it. Mostly out of curiousity to see how the author has grown in their style of writing. All in ...more
Feb 24, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neat twist--former beauty queen is now a private investigator. Ordinarily, I wouldn't be bothered with former but Mac feels about beauty pageants as I do. Glad I've met her and will read more about her as the series continues.
Jun 17, 2014 Yvonna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the mystery was easy to follow, this book was enhanced by the characters' eccentricities. I really enjoyed this book. I'll read more by this author.
Adrienne Testa
This book is listed under Mysteries and Thrillers.. it was neither. Ms. Tess couldn't decide whether this story was going to be a romance between the two main characters or a mystery. More than you ever wanted to know about beauty pageants.. and it leaves you unsatisfied when you finally crawl to the last page. A sigh of relief that this story is finally over... you don't care if the two main characters hook up, nor do you care who the killer is in the end. Some may try it when its offered as a ...more
Kae Cheatham
Jan 12, 2011 Kae Cheatham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
When Madeline Maclin has a slump in her newly-established PI business, she takes a trip with her friend, Jerry, to a nearby town to see a house he has inherited. Jerry is pleased the house looks haunted (he dabbles in the supernatural). Within hours, Madeline has two new jobs--one to investigate the sabotage of a beauty pageant, the other two determine if a bookstore employees house is haunted. It all fits together. And then there’s the murder.
Great characters, and Madeline is a good PI.
Former beauty queen Madeline Maclin is trying to live down her career by excelling as a private investigator. But when her best friend Jerry inherits a possibly haunted house in nearby rustic Celosia, Mac goes along for the ride. She's begun to suspect that she's romantically interested in Jerry, who has a lot of baggage from his family tragedy. Coerced into helping with the local beauty pageant, Mac discovers the dead body of one of the contestants.
Brenda Kirton
I really enjoyed this book. I don't remember how I got interested in it, but I am glad I did. Madeline is a fun character. And the killer wasn't easily guessed unless your guesses just consisted of all the characters. There was one item that made you think of this person but nothing to go with it til near the end. Can't wait to buy the next one.
Jul 10, 2012 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cosy-mystery
This was a fun read. I loved the characters. They were pretty quirky and they kept the story going. I look forward to reading more about them. It is so refreshing to find an author that lets her story and her characters stand on their own merits and not feel that they have to fall back on sex and swearing. Way to go Jane Tesh!!! Keep up the good work.
Maggie Bishop
Sep 19, 2012 Maggie Bishop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful PI with a comic view pursues the sequins to find the killer of a beauty pageant contestant. Madeline and best friend Jerry (a pseudo psychic) root out the truth in a small North Carolina town. Tesh writes a witty, quick cozy.
Pepper Flanagan
I did not finish reading the book. I just could not get into the story. It was lacing in character development and plot development. I felt like it could have been a good book but it needed more meat.
Karen ⊰✿
Sep 25, 2012 Karen ⊰✿ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: free_kindle
I managed to finish it, but only just cared enough to. Not that interesting of a plot, or characters. A pretty bland book really - I'm glad I got it as a free download from Amazon!
Book Concierge
Barely okay cozy about a former beauty pageant winner turned private investigator. weak plotting. Weak character development.
Vinay Leo R.
Likeable characters, simple story, a mix of genres... :) it's a goodread for sure. I enjoyed the story.
Sep 09, 2012 Anne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

An okay read, but quite weak on plot. And the characters are rather pathetic.
Dec 10, 2012 Nelta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was an okay read. It had the potential to be more but never happened.
A fun, quirky and cozy read with just a dash of naughtiness and scandal!
Dec 22, 2011 Martha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable. Somewhat predictable. The characters are very likable.
Mar 06, 2013 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book...cannot wait to read the next one in this series.
Becky Holtan-Brohn
Easy to listen to and not much substance, but fun.
Nov 23, 2012 Katelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book left me wanting more mysteries by this author.
A cute quick mystery. I would read more in this series.
Apr 28, 2013 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A goodread!
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Jane Tesh lives and writes in Mt. Airy, North Carolina. She was born on New Year’s Eve many years ago in the town of Thomasville, NC, City of the Big Chair. Her family moved to Greensboro and then bought a small farm in the neighboring community of Summerfield, so Jane had all the advantages of city life and farm life. Her first writing efforts included a poem about a flat-footed flea and the holi ...more
More about Jane Tesh...

Other Books in the Series

Madeline Maclin (4 books)
  • A Hard Bargain (Madeline Maclin #2)
  • A Little Learning (Madeline Maclin #3)
  • Bad Reputation (Madeline Maclin #4)

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