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A Hard Bargain (Madeline Maclin #2)
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A Hard Bargain (Madeline Maclin #2)

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  106 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
After solving her first big murder case in the small town of Celosia, North Carolina, Madeline Maclin hopes at last to be taken seriously as a private investigator. She's opened an office in the home of her best friend Jerry Fairweather, a man haunted by his past who enjoys running harmless scams. Jerry doesn't feel worthy of anyone's love-bad news for Madeline-although sh ...more
ebook, 229 pages
Published May 27th 2010 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published 2007)
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Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second in the series. The story underscores the old saying, "You can't go home again" as Josh Gaskins goes back to small town Celosia to film a movie about Mantis Man, a local legend. Gaskins has several reasons. He wants to show off, he needs financing, and he has subject matter that has not been used previously. Unfortunately, in his climb for prestige, Josh was not entirely honest, which is the motive for his murder. In the end, Madeline solves the crime. Jerry did go home again a ...more
The movies are coming to Celosia! A former resident is back and has written a horror movie about the local legend. Not everyone is excited.
Madeline Maclin is a former beauty queen who is trying to make a name for herself as a private investigator. She just solved her first big murder and is looking forward to her next case. But there's not much going on. She's been hired to track down an eccentric inventor who left some boxes at a woman's house.
And then... there's a murder on the set. The former
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not up to snuff with the Grace Street Mysteries. Need lots more of those. I'll continue to read these though. Does Goodreads have a way to notify us when your work comes out? I'd like that. It'd also be great if they listed series in order & added published dates. Keep them coming!
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice beach read; romance, mystery, well plotted and narrated. No offensive stuff.
This second in the Madeline Maclin series is a continuation of Madeline's struggle to make it as a private detective in a small town in North Carolina. Like many small towns in murder mysteries, there is an inordinate amount of crime there. In this case, Madeline is trying to track down the Mantis Man, the subject of Celosian myth and a current extremely low budget horror movie. As Madeline tries to maneuver her best friend Jerry away from small-time conning and his evil girlfriend and toward le ...more
Madeline Maclin and her best friend (would that he were something more!) Jerry are back, solving crimes in the little southern town of Celosia. A graduate of the local high school is returning to film a horror movie, using Jerry's house in the exterior shots. Private investigator Madeline also has other cases, but none is as interesting as the murder that occurs during the filming. But almost more important to her is the mystery of Jerry's parents, who died when he was six, and whose deaths have ...more
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the first one, A Case of Imagination, enough to try the second one. It was good and I'll definitely be reading more of this series.

It moves quickly, usually witty/humorous, no offensive content, stays focused, and other good qualities. Not sure I particularly relate with any of the characters, but I certainly don't dislike any of them.

I recommend this book, and what I've read of the series.
Apr 06, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started to listen A Hard Bargain randomly with no expectations, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it an amusing book to listen. The story of an ex-beauty queen turned private investigator in a small town was nothing special, but still interesting enough to keep me listening. Marguerite Gavin has a pleasant-enough reading voice, the plot is decent and the characters sympathetic.
Jun 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Madeline Maclin is a retired beauty queen pestered to get back into the pageant scene but concentrates on her new PI business, taking such cases as tracking down library books, looking for an umbrella that's gone missing, and then dealing with the murder of a filmmaker who has come to town to incorporate a local legend--Mantis Man--into a horror flick.

Nothing I hated, nothing I loved.
Mar 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's much fun to read an author you've met at a conference as I did with Jane Tesh at Murder in the Magic City, Birmingham. I enjoyed the first book in this series even though I know nothing about beauty pageants. Loved learning more about Mac, Jerry, and their new town with all its quirky inhabitants in this second installment. Will look forward to the 3rd, Jane!
Jul 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an easy read, and proved to be a very enjoyable story. The main characters are charming, and how they interact with the more eccentric townspeople around them makes for a fee laughs. Good story!
Mar 12, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've tried twice to read this but Madeline annoys me so much that I can't finish it.
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-mystery
A fun read! I love cozy, quirky, small town mysteries like this!
Apr 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
I liked this book; it's not my usual crime-fiction fare but a change every now and then is good to shake things up a bit.
Debbie Mckee
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy and enjoyable read with charming characters. Written by the librarian in the elementary school where I taught.
Sep 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Better than the first in the series. Maybe because the main characters are more fleshed out. I will go one more in the series to see.....
Oct 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Characters are a little more fleshed out in this one. It's a predictable story but still enjoyable.
Becky Holtan-Brohn
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Oct 02, 2013
Adelina Esquibel
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Oct 12, 2016
Wendy Neville
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Aug 06, 2017
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Oct 30, 2015
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Oct 09, 2012
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Nov 09, 2012
rated it it was ok
Aug 31, 2016
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Aug 01, 2016
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Sep 12, 2016
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Apr 18, 2016
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Mar 18, 2014
Julie H
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Nov 24, 2013
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Sep 02, 2015
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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 Case of Imagination (Madeline Maclin #1)
  • A Little Learning (Madeline Maclin #3)
  • Bad Reputation (Madeline Maclin #4)