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Sympathy For The Devil [Mass Market Paperback]

Jerrilyn Farmer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 7.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

May 1 1998 Madeline Bean Mysteries

Madeline Bean, caterer to the stars, is in the middle of the biggest job of her career. She and her partner Wesley have pulled off Hollywood's most outrageous A-list Halloween party for notorious producer Bruno Huntley, complete with an eerie fortuneteller who is astonishingly accurate, and exotic food that's to die for. Before long, Bruno is thrashing and writhing out on the dance floor. Just one problem: he's not standing up, And soon, he's not even breathing.

The newly late Mr. Huntley was poisoned, that's certain. But the number of suspects with a yen to send Bruno to the devil could fill an audition for extras in the next Quentin Tarantino flick. When Wesley is arrested for the murder because of a long-standing dispute with the maniacal mogul, Madeline knows he couldn't be guilty. But to prove it, she has to wade through the muck of a mudslinging family, outrun a pair of crazed canines, dodge a pair of well-aimed bullets, and expose a slew of secrets that could put a soap opera to shame. Somebody's cooked up a murder, and it's up to Madeline to find out who--before she faces a fadeout of her own.

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About the Author

Jerrilyn Farmer, the author of seven acclaimed, award-winning Madeline Bean novels, is a TV writer who has written for game shows such as Jeopardy! and Supermarket Sweep, and sketch comedy specials for Dana Carvey, Jon Lovitz, Timothy Stack, Cheri Oteri, Tim Meadows, and others. Farmer also teaches mystery writing at the UCLA Extension's Writers Program. She lives in Southern California.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars fun mystery, great characters Oct. 24 2002
By audrey
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Madeline Bean runs a catering business with her friend Wesley and, in a town where buzz means everything, things are just beginning to take off. Their success comes to an abrupt halt, however, when Bruno Huntley -- an abusive and powerful producer, their latest client and the "devil" of the title -- dies a gruesome death at the soiree they're catering for him and his closest 600 associates. When Wesley is considered the number one suspect by the LAPD, Madeline is determined to clear her friend.
I read a fair number of mysteries, and this was the first in a long while that didn't leave me dissatisfied. The wisecracking narrative voice of Madeline Bean was unique and really fun; it was a kick to have the action taking place amid the Hollywood jet set; it was entertaining to have the author talk and tell about food; and the mystery was actually interesting and not transparent. The operative word here is fun, and even though Jerrilynn Farmer writes in a breezy way, her characters have depth and the plot is interesting. I'll definitely read more by this author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good mystery but it makes you hungry April 27 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Madeline Bean Catering is owned and operated by Madeline and her friend Wesley. They specialize in preparing events for the Hollywood elite. Bruno Huntley may be the most obnoxious producer on the scene, but Madeline has a soft spot for him because he gave her the big break that allowed her company to gain entrance to the highest echelon of society. In turn, Wesley abhors Bruno because the producer cheated him out of $50,000 on a land deal. Therefore, Madeline works with Bruno on his upcoming Halloween party.
They fix up Bruno's estate so that it looks like a haunted house. Bruno also hires a fortune teller, who predicts dark and dire futures for everyone who sits with her. However, catastrophic reality strikes when Bruno abruptly keels over into a spasm and dies from strychnine poisoning. The prime suspect is Wesley who had the motive, the means, and the opportunity. Madeline knows her partner is innocent and begins to investigate what really happened even as she places her own life on the line.
Those of us on a diet need to read the unwritten label of caution attached to this novel: Don't read this book on an empty stomach because the references to delicious food will destroy any thoughts of moderation. Jerrilyn Farmer has created a culinary mystery that rivals the best work of Diane Mott Davidson. However, with SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, the audience feels a much closer connection to the characters than in Ms. Davidson's books. The intrepid heroine contains a wicked sense of humor that pops up at any time, thereby endearing her to the readers, who will be looking forward to more tales starring Bean and company.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Debut Aug. 29 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the middle of the biggest party of Madeline's catering career, the host drops over, dead. Bruno Huntley had no shortage of enemies, including his own family. But Madeline's business partner and best friend, Wesley, is the police's prime suspect. Knowing that Wesley could never murder a man, even Bruno, she starts nosing around to find the real killer. But everywhere she turns, she just gets more questions. Can she stay alive long enough to unravel the personal and professional secrets and clear Wes?
This is a truly wonderful book. The plotting is superb, with never a dull moment and some surprising twists. The characters are well rounded and truly come alive. On top of this are an observer's view of Hollywood and a wonderful sense of humor. After finishing this book, I immediately went out and bought the rest of the series.
This is a must read. I look forward to many more adventures with Madeline, Wesley, and their friends.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I happened upon this author by accident when I was drawn to the fun cover of her latest book, DIM SUM DEAD. I loved it, read it in about three hours, and then ran out for more by Farmer. Turns out SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL was her first, and what a hoot! Madeline is catering an over-the-top Hollywood Halloween party when the host gets poisoned. Madeline can't let anyone think it was her food, so she sets out to find the killer among a hilarious crowd of party guests. That's all I'll tell you. Read this book for a truly fun time...and look forward to more from this talented author. I've already got my husband and oldest daughter hooked. (Farmer's also got out IMMACULATE RECEPTION and KILLER WEDDING.) Can't wait for what's next!
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a great read. It's a highly visual, first person mystery set in today's Hollywood. I thought the protagonist wry, charming and smart. The characters are vivid, the settings interesting, the twists surprising. The pace is fast, clues abound, but you really don't know "who did it" until very near the end. I sort of expected a "woman's" book having great sections which would not appeal to men, but I was wrong. The protagonist and her associates certainly have the potential for many more adventures.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Madeline Bean, caterer to Hollywood's most beautiful people, stumbles onto murder when the obnoxious Bruno Huntley is poisoned at his own over-the-top, star-studded Halloween bash. Madeline is truly delightful, and so is her supporting cast. Lots of suspects, numerous surprises, and writing full of wit and humor make this one of my favorite mysteries in a long time. I eagerly await Madeline's next adventure. Jerrilyn Farmer is a major new talent!!!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!!
I bought this book looking for a new mystery series. I had high hopes based on the other reviews. This book exceeded my expectations. Madeline Bean is smart and funny. Read more
Published on April 28 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Bravo... anyone who actually finished this book. Listen, it's not the worst book I've ever read, but it's certainly not worth the time, either. Read more
Published on April 4 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story!
The story is excellently woven, the characters believable, the plot amazing. I hated the title but bought the book anyway, I'm glad I did!
Published on July 20 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! Very good first book of series...
I loved reading this book. Very fast read; kept me totally focused on the mystery and story; was funny and enjoyable from the very first word with no slow-downs. Read more
Published on July 23 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! Very good first book of series...
I loved reading this book. Very fast read; kept me totally focused on the mystery and story; was funny and enjoyable from the very first word with no slow-downs. Read more
Published on July 23 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun new series
The first book in the Madeline Bean series is simply great. The characters are extremely likable, and the plot is interesting and fun. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant new writer has emerged - funny and entertaining.
It was a pleasure to read the extremely funny and entertaining new book from Jerrilyn Farmer. Her writing is descriptive and the recipes keep you hungry throughout the entire book. Read more
Published on May 11 1998
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