Morrow, March 2003, 23.95, 256 pp.
Mad Bean Events is one of the industry's most well known event planners but with the economy in a downward spiral and the international scene so frightening, business is hurting. Co-owner Madeline Bean has only one more affair to cater before she faces an empty calendar. Greta Greene, the producer of the famous quiz show Food Freak, offers her a temporary job as a writer for the production because the head writer Tim Stock is missing.
At first Madeline enjoys the research needed for the show but when her office is ransacked, the taping has to be delayed because the script and the answers were there. When Madeline starts fixing up the room, an unknown assailant conks her over the head and she comes to the conclusion that someone is looking for something. Maddie goes over to Tim's home to see if he is there but what she finds is a burning building and a body that might be Tim. She's determined to get answers to all the questions surrounding the people associated with Food Freak and Madeline always get her answers, even the unpleasant ones.
Jerrilyn Farmer has developed a first rate series starring a strong heroine. The story line moves along at warp speed so that readers became quickly involved in the plot. The audience will be fascinated by the hard work it takes to get one segment of a game show into production. Madeline is a very credible amateur sleuth who solves crimes by persistently asking questions and usually getting the answers so she can put the pieces of the puzzle together leading in the case of MUMBO GUMBO to a scrumptious treat.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner