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Mumbo Gumbo: A Madeline Bean Novel Hardcover – February 18, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Madeline Bean Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (February 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038097889X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380978892
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,791,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.


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Customer Reviews

I finished a fun read a week or so ago.
Thomas Duff
The characters are well written as is the plot and setting.
Dawn Dowdle
I have read all of her books and look forward to more.
Lorna Carpenter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Crammer VINE VOICE on February 5, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This amusing and absorbing mystery is also well-plotted. I wish the author would have her Madeline Bean character go to work full-time as a television writer, because the setting lends itself to comedy.

Madeline -- who owns a catering company whose business has been suffering in the post 9-11 environment -- accepts a temporary position writing for a hit television game show (based on cooking). The lead writer has mysteriously disappeared and they have been asked by the network to do one more episode. Madeline doesn't set out to try to find the missing writer, but things start happening that force her hand -- like getting attacked. She becomes convinced that there's something very wrong going on in the game show offices or among the game show staff. But which of this bizarre group of characters holds the key to the mystery? Is one of her coworkers a killer, responsible for the missing writer's death? Is the missing writer dead or in hiding or kidnapped or just off on a bender or vacation? And what does the ominous comment about Monica and Heidi dying that Mad finds on written on a post-it mean -- who are these women and are they really in danger?

This is the kind of book you can hardly wait to get back to -- Farmer creates a workplace that's funny but believable, and you get some idea of what lies behind game shows (Farmer herself was a writer for Jeopardy). I highly recommend this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on April 1, 2003
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 12, 2004
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amy Phipps VINE VOICE on March 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With the downturn in the economy, people just don't want to pay for lavish parties anymore, so Madeline Bean takes a temporary job as a writer for a food quiz TV show. Soon she is embroiled in another mystery - the disappearance of the show's head writer - and caught up in all the glamour, lies, and excesses of Hollywood.
Jerrilyn Farmer's latest book has many of the ingredients that have made her previous novels so enjoyable: quick wit, wildly inventive plot lines, and the truly likeable character of Madeline Bean. Many of the comical moments in Mad's game show romp seem truly inspired; no wonder since Jerrilyn Farmer herself worked many years as a game show writer. Although I confess that I missed the pedantic Wes, who was absent from the majority of the story, and was disappointed by some developments in Madeline's personal life, I certainly recommend this novel to those who enjoyed the previous Mad Bean books.
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