Mad as the Dickens (Laura Fleming Mystery Series #7)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The seventh in this lightweight cozy series (Death of a Damn Yankee, etc.) brings amateur sleuth Laura Fleming back to her hometown of Byerly, N.C., where once again murder and mayhem prevail. Five months pregnant, Laura, an MIT graduate and computer programmer, and her English professor husband, Richard, had planned on spending a quiet Christmas at home in Boston until a call came from Laura's cousin, Vasti, who begged Richard to come down to help put on a play version of Dickens's A Christmas Carol. What begins as the fulfillment of Richard's dream to be a director soon becomes a nightmare when a series of practical jokes turns dangerous and the actor playing Scrooge gets murdered. In spite of his death, members of his family decide the show must go on. Laura and a vacationing police chief join forces to investigate the crime. Petty conflicts between the two sleuths on how this is to be accomplished almost overshadow the dramatic and well-done conclusion that unmasks the murderer. Constant reference to the raging hormones of the pregnant Laura, the clich? words of advice from doting aunts and new young mothers, the childish competition between Vasti and the town social climber (who are each vying for a place in the Junior League), eccentric moonshiners, and Richard's frequent quotes from Dickens that fall on deaf ears, all make the reader rejoice that Byerly is a fictional town. While sure to charm Kelner fans, this will have little interest for more serious crime fiction devotees. (Oct.) Forecast: The eye-catching Christmas jacket art will make this stand out during the holiday season. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Pregnant Laurie Anne Fleming's hometown of Byerly, NC, offers not only a plethora of sympathetic aunts and cousins but also an opportunity for husband Richard to direct A Christmas Carol. When the well-mannered man playing Scrooge is murdered, suspicion naturally falls on the other cast members some of them kin to Laurie. Laurie winds up sleuthing again, with a little help from Richard and from her friend Junior, the "vacationing" police chief. Lots of small-town bickering, family gossip, and not a few private agendas make for an entertaining Southern mystery, the seventh in the series. For all collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575668390
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Series: Laura Fleming Mystery Series, #7
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 7.02 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2003


    This is the first, and only book, I've read in the 'Laura Fleming Mystery' series. I put this book down once and walked away disgusted with it, but since I can't let a book go unfinished, I forced myself to pick it up again and read it to the end. Not only was the book very slow going throughout, but I didn't find the Burnette clan amusing at all. Ms. Kelner goes overboard on pointing out the difference in personalities and culture with us 'Hahvad pahkah's'. I dare you to count how many 'y'all's' there are.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    absorbing down home regional mystery

    Laura and Richard Fleming should be getting ready for the Christmas holiday in their Boston home especially with Laura five months pregnant. However, her cousin Vasti from Byerly, North Carolina pleads with the Flemings to come visit her and neither one can say no. <P>Vasti wants Richard, a Shakespearean professor at Boston College to direct the production of A Christmas Carol. Richard is eager to take up the challenge. During a rehearsal, Seth, the actor portraying Scrooge is found bludgeoned to death. Laura teams up with Junior, the town¿s chief of police, who is on enforced vacation, to find the killer before he can do any more harm. <P> MAD AS THE DICKENS is a down home regional mystery starring a cast of eccentric characters that add atmosphere to the story line. The trials and tribulations of a five month pregnant woman will bring smiles to the faces of those reader who were pregnant as well as their spouses. Toni L.P. Kelner has written another absorbing installment in her long running and enjoyable mystery series. <P>Harriet Klausner

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