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Hot Scheming Mess

(Madison Cruz #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  355 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Secrets, spies, sexy guys.
Staying alive is hard.

Especially since Madison Cruz must try to connect with her FBI mother, yet hide evidence for her grandfather. Out of her league, and out of control, she won’t stop trying to unmask the treacherous villain who endangers her family. As the mystery heats up, so does her attraction to a couple of sexy guys who vie for her affecti
Paperback, 436 pages
Published August 7th 2015 by Fevered Publishing LLC (first published July 29th 2013)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  355 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Sherwood Smith
After reading several fairly grim non-fiction books (two reported here and a couple on-going) I felt I needed something fun.

Well, this fit the bill! I call it romantic suspense because there are spies and secrets and near-kidnappings and dangerous escapes, but it's also zany, featuring an aspiring actress, Madison, who takes any gig that pays the rent, from singing telegrams to being The Clumsy Waitress at restaurants to punk someone, to singing to a corpse while wearing a pregnancy outfit.

Her l
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a typical cozy for sure but a good intrigue story

I'm rating the story, action, humor and how good and fast-paced this was. I really could picture it as an action thriller with lots of comedy. Madison is hilarious, that girl will try anything. I was surprised at the twist which was a good one. I had suspicions but wasn't sure why so I let it go and just read the book. In some places I would say there was a little TMI as far as (to me) unneeded romance stuff. I like a hint of romance but hey y
Remington Rand
Aug 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This debut novel brings a fresh voice to the "madcap mystery" genre as author Lucy Carol unleashes an army of distinctive characters into the reader's imagination.

Madison Cruz has defiantly chosen an acting career, against the wishes of her straitlaced mother, an FBI agent. That rebellious choice looks less glamorous as weeks pass without income. Madison is getting by on "singing telegram" gigs and, as the story opens, desperately agrees to serve as an audience plant in "Fight Cabaret," a low-br

Story was ok but didn't flow very well. The author kept switching between 1st and 3rd person which drove me nuts! Not interesting enough for me to bother reading any more of the series
Coffee Chat
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy, humor
A quick easy and entertaining story. It has humor, a little mystery and just enough romance.. Madison is funny, sassy and likable. I like the additional quirky and entertaining characters. The storyline is fun with a little mystery keeps you turning pages. I enjoyed reading this book and can recommend to everyone that wants a light easy and fun read.
Jun 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 3.5 stars.
Lucy Carol dubs this a "madcap mystery," and that's just a spot-on description. Madison Cruz is a struggling actress who picks up temp gigs while she waits for her big break. She does singing telegrams (even one at a funeral) and birthday parties and whatever else her agent throws at her while crossing her fingers for callbacks. Her personal life is just as messy as her professional life: her mom essentially dumped her on her grandparents when she was a kid, running off to jo
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Madison Cruz lives life on her own terms, regardless of what her essentially-estranged mother thinks. This is not a book about zombies, but zombies play a major part during part of the story. All kinds of zombies, the most intriguing being the zombie fairies.

The story starts with Madison going to visit her grandfather. Much ado about lots of things.

I enjoyed the story very much. I would love to see this on the big screen, especially the zombie fairies. Lots of humor, intrigue, attempted murder,
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hot Scheming Mess Madison Cruz #1 Lucy Carol

Just what I needed. Hilarious with a touch of love. Madison is an up and coming..actress? Well thats what she tells everyone. But her agent has her doing singing telegrams and other things. She hasn’t seen her mother in…how long? But she’s just transferred to the FBI office near Madison. And she manages to catch her in a crazy bar helping out the wrestlers in their routine.
She grew up with her Grandfather and Grandmother. Her Grandfather is there also
Kat Taylor
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Family Politics

Lucy Carol sure knows how to showcase the most comical and mysterious dysfunctional family. You throw in a bunch of entertainers that dress in skimpy clothes throwing each other around a ring hitting each other with furniture,while another draws zombies writing zombie storeys ,you get the idea Madison is at the center of all these friends when things get even stranger and every one comes to her aid wether she asks or not. This truly is cozeymystery that keeps you reading from sta
Genevieve Bomes
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has been on my list for a while now and I am so glad I finally got around to reading it. Madison Cruz is an actress who does all sorts of wierd gigs and is a daughter of an FBI agent. When she walks into a fight her grandfather is having with a stranger Madison's life certainly gets turned upside down.
This book is really great. I found it a bit slow at the beginning but then I couldn't put it down. The characters are great and the story line was really good. Madison went with the wrong
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title says it all in terms of describing our heroine, Madison. The poor girl just can not catch a break. Bumbling through the story by the seat of her pants, we follow Madison, and a plethora of interesting characters navigate the pitfalls of Zombie Prom, while trying to figure out what's happened to her grandfather and her mother. A lot of action, a lot of laughs and Toonie is such a great character!
Merry Chapman
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Fun, fast paced mystery with crazy likeable characters

This is a wonderful first book in this series! If you like a fast read with spies, mystery, humor and a snarky main character, Madison, who has trouble with relationships and a group of quirky friends who stand by her then this is your series! Although I figured out the who and what before the end, it did not in any way distract from the storyline. I highly recommend this book!
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I got this book as a freebie and promised to give a fair and honest review. It was a bit hard to get into at first but later came to really like it. It is a bit quirky at times but that keeps it interesting. I think I would enjoy more of Ms. Carols books. It had just enough FBI things to keep it interesting but not enough to be overpowering.
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hot Scheming Mess

A slightly ditzy heroine with family issues, provides for a very interesting read. Lucy Carol has a fabulous way of putting her words together to paint a very interesting picture. Great character development, a lot of red herrings, and some very good laugh-out-loud moments.
Janet Graham
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars
Hilarious Cozy Mystery
This wonderful story has it all! Spies, double agents, double crossing, romantic comedy and crazy people fill this well-done plot. Many laugh out-loud moments. It is fun and cozy, but not quite sweet and not quite clean. This author paints a great word-picture. I can’t wait for book 2.
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
i wasn't expecting much out of this to be honest, i had nerve heard of the author. i was pleasantly surprised. it was pretty well written and kinds funny. i am looking forward to the rest of the series.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty easy book to read, a bit of fun and laughs with mystery thrown in, Madison can't seem to stay out of trouble and trouble does seem to find her! If you're looking for a light madcap mystery this may be the one for you.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Action-packed and funny mystery. The characters are unique and very likeable. The mystery is a good one. I loved the relationships between the characters and the growth as the story developed. I will be reading more from this author.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

"Hot Scheming Mess" has a plot full of humour, sneakiness, blackmail, and romance with a wonderful cast of characters that will have you chuckling. An outstanding mystery with intriguing twists and turns.
Diana Rieck
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of action...

...which surprised me - did not expect that. There are lots of ups and downs, twists and turns and a little romance thrown in too.I really like ExBoy and hope Madison ends up with him. Looking forward to book 2.
David Vander Plaats
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This book develops the plot too quickly. As soon as she thinks some answer is possible, it becomes so with little or no explication of why.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I've just found a fun new series! Great start and I'll be looking for more!
Sherry McWilliams
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this madcap book. I laughed out loud through some it. Planning to read more of Lucy Carol's books. Recommending it to everyone who wants to read a fun, laugh out loud book.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
laugh out loud funny mystery
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great laugh from page one! This book has loving but dysfunctional families, crazy friends, secret agents, ‘zombies’ and much more! All wrapped up in a fantastic well paced cozy mystery!
Ron Hogan
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spy vs Spy vs Spy

Interesting story about Family, Friends and Espionage. This story had quite a few characters with lots of twists and turns.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 star read

I rather enjoyed this one. Excellent distraction that kept a touch of humor even when things were tense. Plenty going on also.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it, freebies
Great Treat👙

This was so much fun to read. I read it straight through laughing all the way. This is my first story by this Author, but it will not be my last!
Christine Gevas
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book for an honest review. Secret agents, double agents, improv wrestlers, two hot guys, lies, and family secrets lead to a Hot, Scheming Mess...This book was fast-paced, and humorous. Madison Cruz, aka "Madness", gets involved in a mess that started before her birth when Madison finds her grandfather fighting with a man in her childhood home. This fight leads to the uncovering of all the secrets and lies that have surrounded this family for decades. With help of h ...more
M.A. Kropp
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Madison Cruz is an actress, trying to make a living in Seattle. Well, she wants to be an actress, but all she seems to be getting are singing telegram gigs. But a girl's gotta pay the bills, so she does what she has to. Even if it puts even more strain on her already less than close relationship with her FBI agent mother. Now, her grandpa is in some sort of trouble, and he gives Madison a confusing set of old papers and photographs, telling her to keep them safe until he comes for them. And then ...more
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Lucy Carol's top priority is to entertain you, and keep you turning pages. She writes mysteries for those who like it fun, fast, and don't mind losing a little sleep. Living and writing in the Pacific Northwest, she loves martinis, flowers, dancing, a good lipstick, and cake. Her background is in the performing arts, having been an actress, voiceover artist, choreographer, and singing telegram.

Other books in the series

Madison Cruz (5 books)
  • Kill the Crazy (Madison Cruz Mystery #2)
  • Stiff Competition (Madison Cruz Mystery #3)
  • Hit That (Madison Cruz Mystery #4)
  • Standing O (Madison Cruz Mystery Book 5)

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“wants to be a zombie, but finds that she can’t get bit to save her life.” Madison thought about that for a minute. “You are a strange man. But I mean that in a good way.” She looked up, seeing the surprise that she had arranged for him walking down the aisle toward his booth. With a little prodding, Spenser and Target had agreed to be zombies hanging around ExBoy’s booth. Target in particular was quite eager. But best of all, Crystal had agreed to try to get Toonie out of the house by bringing her to the convention, and Madison could see now that they were doing more than just attending. They, too, were walking toward them, made up as zombies. Crystal, her beautiful complexion drained to a deathly pallor, was dressed like a cheerleader with her little pleated skirt and sleeveless shell top in bloody tatters, carrying what Madison had thought was a dirtied pom-pom but now realized was a head with long bloody hair. Spenser wore a nurse’s old fashioned white uniform, with a little white hat attached to her blonde hair pinned up like Tippy Hedren’s in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Choosing to keep her face its prettiest, she sported a bloody gouge on her left forearm. Instead of sensible nurse’s shoes, she wore high heels. The blood on her uniform” 0 likes
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