Friday Review: Stiff Competition (Madison Cruz Mysteries #3) by Lucy Carol

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Madison Cruz is back for her third adventure (misadventure?) here in “Stiff Competiton.” She’s been dating Jason, from book 2, but things are not going well. He wants her to conform to his idea of how their life should be, and that doesn’t include Madison’s acting career. Her career isn’t going so well, either, and she is still picking up gigs as a singing telegram to pay the bills. She heads off to one at a swank restaurant, only to find there was a mix-up in assignments by her agent, and the gig gets dangerous quickly. Trying to sort that out, Madison stumbles on what may be an illegal operation at the restaurant, as well as a missing chef. On top of all that, she gets involved in helping a friend with her speed dating business which, in typical Madison style, goes off the tracks. Add to this the hunky FBI agent she’s attracted to, who also happens to work for her mother, and you have a recipe for another zany, fun mystery to sort out.

I really enjoy these books. I am not usually a fan of romance stories, but I do love a good mystery and humor. The romance here is understated and doesn’t get in the way of the story, as many seem to do. The main mystery is well plotted and resolves nicely. There are several sub-plots that provide their own mysteries, and those are tied up nicely, as well. The writing style is light and easy to read, and the humor is never forced feeling. There are many moments that made me laugh. Characters are rounded and have depth, and there is always something new to learn, even about some we’ve seen in all three books.

“Stiff Competition” is a good addition to the series, and one that will appeal to those who enjoy mysteries and humor, with a good dash of romance.

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