Book Review: A Case of Imagination by Jane Tesh


A Case of Imagination by Jane Tesh is the first book in a new series. Madeline Maclin is a former beauty queen, with no love lost for the pageant life. In fact, she spends a lot of time trying to get people to take her seriously. She has a fledgling detective business and a best friend named Jerry Fairweather, who just happens to be just a little different. He has turned his back on his family's money, and chases schemes and acts as a psychic to make his money. When Jerry inherits a house from a mysterious uncle, the friends go check it out, and discover that the small town of Celosia is not as quiet as everyone thinks. Rumors surround Jerry's late uncle and the house, a local beauty pageant is facing mysterious accidents, and then there is the murder. Madeline, or Mac, now has more mysteries to solve than ever before, but also needs to decide on what she really wants from life, and from Jerry.

A Case of Imagination is a fun mystery, although I had my worries when the best friend as possible love interest card was played. Thankfully, because of the action surrounding the mysteries and other crises it never felt like that was the main part of the story, rather a connecting thread that will hold the series together as it continues. As the story goes on, I am not sure how that will play out or if it with get old or cliche, but so far it works. Madeline is a strong, smart character, that wants to be accepted and judged by her abilities and mind rather than her looks or history. The relationship between Mac and Jerry is complicated, and well described in the story, with both growing as people and making revelations. Although, I would like to know more about Jerry's motivations and thoughts even though that might destroy the whole tension of the will they/ wont they ploy that exists here. In many cases I am annoyed by this kind of tension in fiction, because if people would just talk to each other they could move forward rather than staring at their shoes wondering.

I would recommend A Case of Imagination to fans of cozy mysteries that turn into romantically tangled series. If I run across the next book in the series I would read it, but I am not so impressed that I will go hunting for them. however, most books cross my path a few times, so I am fairly certain I will continue on with the series eventually.
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