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Perfect Sax: A Madeline Bean Novel Hardcover – January 6, 2004


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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (January 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380978903
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380978908
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,543,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

TV writer Farmer's seventh breezy culinary mystery (after 2003's Mumbo Gumbo) smoothly blends all the right ingredients - Beverly Hills money mania, tart humor, romance and, of course, murder. The Woodburn School of Music's fund-raising soiree, the Jazz Ball, catered by party planner Madeline Bean and her Mad Bean Events, looks to be a great success, until someone steals the silver saxophone that went for $100,000 at the charity auction. Later that night, one of the waitresses at the event turns up dead in Maddie's own bed - now how in the heck could that happen? Enter a flickering old flame and a brand new sparkler. A former boyfriend of Maddie's, police lieutenant Chuck Honnett, steps in to work the whodunit and to put some kindling on their relationship's embers. Dexter Delano Wyatt, a trust-fund cutie, is hoping for more immediate fireworks. Cheating hearts, insurance fraud, art theft and a second dead body have Madeline unsure whom to trust and certain that her own life is in danger. She's followed, spied on, shot at and pursued by the good, the bad and the ugly, but comes through with a taste or two of justice, and perhaps a whole new lease on her muddled love life. Farmer's menus and decorating descriptions, glimpses into the high-end Hollywood lifestyle and warmly conversational tone will delight fans of lighter crime capers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Madeline Bean, Los Angeles party planner for the rich and famous, outdoes herself catering the Black and White Ball, a fund-raiser for the prestigious Woodburn School of Music's Young Artists Program. After the ball, she lends her car to a desperate employee and catches a ride with Woodburn committee cochair, Zenya Knight, whose husband leaves her stranded downtown, late at night. Finally arriving home after being rescued by Zenya' s brother, Dexter, Madeline finds a woman has been murdered in her bed, and she may herself be in danger. A missing saxophone, a neighbor's personal papers, and possible fraud complicate Madeline's hunt for the killer. While solving the mystery, Madeline must also come to terms with her feelings for Dexter and with the fall-out from her breakup with a married police officer. A lively pace, sympathetic characters, a glimpse into the lives of the very rich, and some tempting descriptions of food add to the story line in this sixth in a series. Sue O'Brien
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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There's a lot going on in this book, making it a real page-turner.
L. Kelly
They are catering an event to raise funds for the Woodburn School of Music.
Dawn Dowdle
Ms. Farmer tells a good story with lifelike, believable characters.
S. Schwartz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Ruth Akien on August 3, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Perhapse due to the larger number of pages (when compared with the rest of the series) perfect Sax manages to bring together not only a very effective two pronged mystery but a lot of the loose ends of Miss Bean's romantic life.

One of the best in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
After thoroughly enjoying Mumbo Gumbo, I looked forward to reading Jerrilyn Farmer's latest Madeline Bean novel, Perfect Sax. And I can say it was worth the wait. Lots of stuff going on in this book...
Madeline Bean has just finished putting on a catered event for a charitable group, and she's ready to go home and collapse. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen. She finds some personal papers of a neighbor in her driveway and finds the person at the event. When she tries to tell him that she has them, he thinks that she is trying to blackmail him. His girlfriend also goes off the deep end on Maddie. A rare and expensive saxaphone which had a $100K bid turns up missing when people go to claim their winnings after the event. On her co-worker's request after the event, she loans her jeep to an employee for an emergency, but the employee turns up in Maddie's bedroom that night shot to death. When the neighbor whose papers she found also turns up murdered, she starts wondering if she's next. A number of people in her life could well be the killer and/or be involved in the theft, and she's not real sure who to trust. To make it worse, she's falling hard for this guy who might be involved, and she's still not sure how she feels about her ex-boyfriend cop who wasn't quite yet divorce from his wife.
Much like Mumbo Gumbo, the plot twists keep you guessing, and you don't get complete resolution until the end. Maddie's an extremely likeable character, and you easily identify with her as she's trying to stay alive and not lose her sanity. While her personal life is still up in the air at the end of the book, there is plenty of room to run with it in the next installment. Good read, and good job by the author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Maddie Bean's catering and events planning business is becoming very chic with the rich, powerful and famous in Las Angeles and Hollywood. Her firm is catering an event to raise funds for the Woodburn School of Music so that gifted children who can't afford the fees can obtain a scholarship. The gala is a smashing success and Maddie is justifiably proud of her role in the affair.
She leaves the affair with a couple who bought a one hundred thousand dollar musical instrument for their son. Maddie loaned her car to an employee who needs to get to her boyfriend, because to is despondent over her boyfriend failing to earn his dissertation. Maddie arrives home to find police surrounding her house. Her employee lies dead in her bedroom. Not much time passes before Maddie discovers her neighbor is murdered, an angry man who was upset that Maddie found his private papers lying in her street. She not only thinks the two deaths are linked but she believes someone is out to kill her as well but nobody will believe her, thinking she is overwrought and upset.
Jerrilyn Farmer is a fabulous writer who has created one of the most delightful and charming amateur sleuth souls in the mystery world. The plot is fast-paced and action packed but the heart of this who-done-it lies with the characters and sorting out the villains from the heroes. PERFECT SAX has several sub-plots that make this tale all the more fascinating, especially someone stealing the valuable musical instrument.
Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By just me on August 5, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
a caterer who solves murders. what could be more fun?? and jerrilyn packs a whole hoot into her novels -- cool characters, cool places, cool foodstuffs -- and it makes you want MORE.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Keene on July 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've read and loved every book in this series. But if I had to choose my favorite, PERFECT SAX would be it.

Who stole the silver sax that was auctioned off during the Jazz Ball--a swanky fundraising event catered by Mad Bean and her crew? How did one of the waitresses wind up dead in Madeline's bed? And who's that red-headed woman who keeps following Mad around town? In addition to exploring these intriguing mysteries, PERFECT SAX digs deeper into Mad's rocky relationship with the hunky Lt. Honnett.

The fast pace, tight plotting, and expertly drawn characters made this book impossible to put down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Dowdle VINE VOICE on April 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Madeline Bean owns and runs Mad Bean Catering. They are catering an event to raise funds for the Woodburn School of Music. A rare saxophone is auctioned off for one hundred thousand dollars at the Jazz Ball. Unfortunately when the couple prepares to leave with their new saxophone, it is discovered the case is empty. Someone has stolen the saxophone at the auction.

Before coming to the Ball, Madeline found trash strewn around her yard. It turns out to the papers belong to a nearby neighbor. When she sees this neighbor at the Ball, she tries to set up a time to return the papers to him. He misunderstands and thinks she's trying to blackmail them.

Can this night get any stranger? Oh, yes. When Madeline Bean is involved, nothing is simple and uncomplicated.

When she finally gets home, and I'll let you read the story to find out about her adventure in getting home, she finds a woman has been murdered in her bed. The police thought it was her. When her friends hear the report, they think it's her. Even Chuck Honnett, her ex-boyfriend the police detective, thought it was her.

She goes to stay with Wes until things can be sorted out and her house cleaned up. Soon it is discovered that she is in danger. Who is after her and why? Who can she trust besides Wes?

Then there is another murder and Madeline decides she'd better look into things before she becomes the next victim.

This is a fabulous series. I always enjoy reading about Madeline Bean's adventures. It is always a fast-paced, easy cozy to read. I can't wait for the next one!

The characters are wonderful. I always enjoy mysteries with food in them. And the writing is superb. I highly recommend this book and the whole series.
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