Mad Money Mass Market Paperback – Dec 1 2004
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White-collar crime turns nasty when stockbroker Madeline Carter's best friend, Jack, is shot to death right at the New York Stock Exchange. Unnerved by his murder, Madeline quits her job and moves to Los Angeles, where she rents an apartment on the Malibu property of a famous movie director. An insider's tip from Ernie, her former lover, causes Madeline to lose her money, something that shouldn't have happened. Unfortunately, she had passed the tip on to her mother, who also passed the tip on. Feeling responsible for several people's investments, Madeline goes to Langton Regional Group, the company in question, to find out for herself what's happening. She discovers that Ernie, their CEO, has been kidnapped, and the more Madeline investigates, the deeper into the whole mess she gets. On the upside, she finds unexpected love with Steve, a young Langton salesman. On the downside, someone uses her for target practice. Murder, mayhem, humor, romance, and great characters make this first book in the Madeline Carter series hard to put down. Shelley Mosley
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"Mad Money is a breezy debut..." -- Adam Woog, The Seattle Times
... does what many have tried and few have managed -- to turn stock swindles and corporate crime into a fun, roller-coaster read. -- Alafair Burke author of Missing Justice
Linda Richards' Mad Money doesn't disappoint. Fast paced, nuanced and enormously witty, this is a writer to watch and a book to read. -- M.J. Rose author of The Halo Effect
Murder, mayhem, humor, romance, and great characters make this first book in the Madeline Carter series hard to put down. -- Shelley Mosley, Booklist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Mad Money is the first in a series. Like other reviewers of this book, the second Madeline Carter book can't come quickly enough!
When a crazed shooter murders Madeline's friend Jackson in the middle of their office Madeline abandons New York for Los Angeles, where she ends up renting a room from the famous director Tyler Beckett. While Tyler hopes that Madeline will mentor his daughter Jennifer and keep her out of the Hollywood life, Madeline finds that she enjoys accompanying the young woman on visits to clubs. It's at one of these that she meets her old ex, and her involvement results in her becoming a suspect in his disappearance as she infiltrates the Langton Regional Group offices building and their parties. Along the way she meets an attractive but young LRG employee, gets tailed by a private eye, and discovers yet another kidnapping. And the move to California seemed to be so relaxing.
Richards excels at making the financial complexities of the stock market both understandable and exciting, with a plot that speeds right along to a very realistic and satisfying ending. The writing is sharp with a strong element of humor, making this a very enjoyable and fast read. The descriptions of California, from the wealthy mansions to the clubs and the cars are detailed and dead-on. Richards has created one of the most likeable, fully developed, and original characters this year, and we can hope that Madeline Carter will be making more appearances.
*** Multi layered and complex, this novel offers comedy, drama, and a rather unusual setting for a romance novel. If you are tired of the same old thing, then this will be what you are looking for. ***
The story line sounds really exciting. The author certainly knows her way around the financial world. What bogs the book down is the unnecessary details and the over-reliance on coincidence to cover some plot holes.
It takes a loooong time to get to the main plot. The book would have been much stronger if the author started with Madeline's move to LA and skipped all the pre-LA details. Later on, there are multiple, overly detailed conversations about psychopaths between Madeline and a psychiatrist she meets socially that add nothing, and the whole story line surrounding the psychiatrist could have been left out without impacting the plot.
Madeline feels compelled to investigate Ernie's disappearance, the reason being that she is a shareholder who's been wronged. I don't understand why she would even bother to invest in a small company run by her ex-lover, especially when we later find out she loathes the guy, and why she would care enough to investigate. This is where I felt the plot really falls apart.
While the pieces of this book were really interesting, they didn't always fit together well, making this just an ok read, when it could have been better.