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Mumbo Gumbo: A Madeline Bean Novel Hardcover – Mar 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Canada / Mystery; 1 edition (March 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038097889X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380978892
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,712,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Booklist

Farmer's culinary detective Madeline Bean returns, and this time the L.A. catering queen joins the writing staff of Food Freak, a ratings-topping television quiz show (a sort of Iron Chef crossed with Who Wants to be a Millionaire ?) whose chief writer has suddenly disappeared. Then the newly arrived Maddie's office suffers a break-in. Shortly after, Maddie endures an assault while at work at her desk. A full cast of oddballs staffs the quiz show, so there are plenty of suspects lurking about. Discovery of a secret door behind a bookcase leads to a very private office and to a food magazine whose address label takes Maddie to the scene of a deadly fire. Along the way, readers learn about the history of Hollywood's movie and television studios and about the regulations governing television quiz shows. Farmer's easygoing prose makes for fun reading, and fans of her earlier works will be eager to follow Maddie's newest adventure. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Jerrilyne Farmer, the author of five 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.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hollywood caterer Madeline Bean is looking for a temporary job to tide her over during a lull in her event planning schedule. It seems like a stroke of good luck when Maddie's friend Greta Greene practically begs her to take over as the head writer on the nation's No. 1 culinary game show "Food Freak". The staff of the show thought the show had wrapped for the year, but suddenly the producers have decided to add one last special show to top off the season. The show's head writer, Tim Stock, is nowhere to be found. Gleefully, Maddie learns about writing for the culinary game show and is even given TIm's office to use as her own. However, Maddie's new job quickly becomes complicated when her office is looted, with books, files, and scripts spread everywhere. After the office is ransacked, the final episode must be rescheduled and a new script written. Meanwhile, Maddie and the entire staff becomes more and more concerned as the days turn into weeks, still with no word from missing writer Tim Stock. The plot in this story is a real page-turner, and was a thoroughly enjoyable mystery.
"Mumbo Gumbo" includes a lot of interesting Hollywood studio history, as well as details involved in producing a reality TV show. Each Madeline Bean mystery is set in a different "world" of Hollywood, which helps make each book in the series so fresh. Ms. Farmer does a good job of developing the supporting characters in the story, most of whom are staffers on the game show. Madeline and her friend Holly slways seen to have a sassy comeback. The hilarious dialogue in this book rivals a Stephanie Plum movel. Particularly hysterical are Maddie and Holly's "men troubles". Maddie is trying to make sense of her on-again, off-again relationship with LA policeman Chuck Honnett.
Whether you are an old friend of the Madeline Bean series or not, I highly recommend this fun mystery.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I finished a fun read a week or so ago. It was Mumbo Gumbo by Jerrilyn Farmer. Farmer's books involve a caterer named Madeline Bean who finds herself involved in crime mysteries not of her own choosing. In Mumbo Gumbo, she is called on to do some writing for the final episode of a hit show called Food Freak when the head writer disappears. No one knows where he took off to, but the people who write, produce, and star on the show all seem to have something to hide when it comes to his disappearance. Bean's cop boyfriend is working on some serial killings that appear to be drug-related, and the two stories start to intertwine when a body is found in an arson fire of the head writer's home. I'll stop there to avoid giving away any more of the plot...
The writing is well done and the dialog is fun. The story seemed to get a little muddled in the middle, but I'm not sure if it's because it really was or if it was taking me some time to finish the book and I lost continuity. Regardless, readers of the amateur female detective genre will enjoy this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Madeline Bean is a Hollywood event planner and caterer to the stars. Her company is Mad Bean Events. They are scheduled to cater the big wrap party for the new TV hit food game show "Food Freak." As her staff is preparing the food for the party, Greta Greene the producer of Food Freak tells Maddie that the party is canceled for that night. The network wants Food Freak to produce one more episode. That's the bad news. What Greta doesn't know is that this is the last event on the schedule for Mad Bean Events. With the economy slump, people aren't having extravagent parties. Maddie isn't sure what she will do to try to raise money to pay her bills. Most of her staff has found other temporary positions for this slump. One good thing, Greta agrees to pay for the food that has been purchased and the wrap party will be rescheduled. Greta also asks Maddie to come be a writer for the last episode of Food Freak. Apparently the head writer, Tim Stock is missing. Maddie agrees.
Maddie enjoys learning the ropes of writing for a food game show. She is intrigued by all the different personalities behind the scenes of this show. Especially Chef Howie and his wife Fate.
She starts uncovering clues about the missing head writer. As the web of puzzles grows, Maddie works hard at solving them. Her assistant at Mad Bean Events, Holly, comes to help her. Plus Maddie's relationship with police detective Honnett becomes more confusing.
I always enjoy reading a Madeline Bean novel. There are always a lot of escapades and food involved. Jerrilyn Farmer has a winner in this series.
The characters are well written as is the plot and setting. She makes me feel like I am there in the story. There is a lot of intrigue and mystery but a lot of fun. This is a quick and easy read.
I highly recommend this book and series.
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Format: Hardcover
Madeline Bean, caterer and events planner to the stars, is a bit concerned as she and her team work on this evening's wrap party for the mega-hit gameshow, Food Freak. The company calendar is empty; the pages are all blank. That's right, this is the last party on the schedule, and until things pick up again, she's going to have to find some part-time work to pay the bills. As luck would have it, work finds her. It seems the network has ordered one more Food Freak show, an over the top, cook-off extravaganza to end its first, number one ratings season, and the head writer, Tim Stock, has disappeared. Who better to fill his culinary shoes than our girl, Maddie Bean? Of course the grateful producer is willing to pay big bucks and big perks for two weeks work, so Maddie finds herself saying yes to the glitz and glamour of T.V. gameshow land. But in no time, it becomes obvious that something very sinister is hard at work behind the scenes, and there's a lot more cooking on Food Freak, than clever contestant questions and new recipes. And as the mysteries and mayhem hit closer and closer to home, Maddie's determined to find answers and head off disaster before the show wraps up, maybe for good..... Jerrilyn Farmer is back with another wonderful gastronomic mystery, and fans of her Madeline Bean series won't be disappointed. The well paced plot is filled with wit and humor, marvelous dialogue, vivid scenes, and a quirky cast of delightful, original characters. Ms Farmer's breezy prose is engaging, and rich in Hollywood history, fun facts, and trivia that not only entertains, but adds real credibility to the story. Add to that her indepth knowledge of game shows and the ins and outs of food preparation and the kitchen, and you have the makings of a delicious treat.Read more ›
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