First, I have to say that I don’t usually choose to start a series with the sixth book. However, that’s just what I did with “A Wild Ride“. Why, you might ask? It’s simple…because of the author! While I’m new to the Madeline Maclin series, I’m a huge fan of Jane Tesh’s “Grace Street Mysteries”, so when the opportunity to read this one arose, I was happy to take it!
As a reader who is new to this series, I can honestly say that the book works fine as a standalone. Obviously, you’ll know more about what happened in the past if you’ve already read books 1-5, but I had no trouble figuring out who everyone was, and how they relate to each other. Speaking of the characters….they’re great! Ms. Tesh has created some very clear, well-defined major characters. Many of the minor characters were unique as well, and all added something important to the story.
The main mystery was very well-written, with plenty of clues, suspects, and red herrings for the reader to follow along with Madeline. Since she’s actually a PI, she has an established and logical investigating style, which I found enjoyable. As an added bonus, the major case in this installment centers around the theft of paintings from an art gallery….which means lots of focus on the art world and the unique characters that inhabit it. I found this setting fascinating! There were some smaller/side mysteries as well, and those were also handled perfectly. For added fun, a local reporter has decided to create a You Tube show about Madeline’s life and career. He adds a dash of humor and joy to each scene in which he appears.
All in all, a great mystery! I plan to read the earlier volumes of Madeline’s adventures when time permits, and eagerly await the next book!
Five out of five dollops of the creamiest cream cheese!