Cover image for Mad as the Dickens
Mad as the Dickens
Kelner, Toni L. P.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Kensington Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
278 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Laura Fleming mystery."
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



Publishers Weekly called Kelner's sassy Southern whodunits "lively, light-hearted and ebullient." Now, in her seventh outing, a radiantly expectant Laura Fleming heads back to her hometown of Byerly, North Carolina, for a holiday-time production of A Christmas Carol -- and murder.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Christmas finds Laura, five months pregnant, returning to her Byerly, North Carolina, hometown, where her professor husband, Richard, has agreed to help out her cousin by directing a community theater production of The Christmas Carol. Unfortunately, the production seems jinxed: not only has a prankster been disrupting rehearsal but the actor playing Scrooge has been brutally murdered. With the help of friend and police chief Junior Walker, Laura rushes to find the killer before more mayhem occurs. This seventh Laura Fleming mystery is slow in places, but the puzzle is difficult to solve, the characters are endearing, and the dialogue is witty. As bonuses, Kelner supplies interesting details about making moonshine and producing community theater. Recommend this one to fans of southern mystery series by Anne George and Margaret Maron. --John Rowen

Publisher's Weekly Review

The seventh in this lightweight cozy series (Death of a Damn Yankee, etc.) brings amateur sleuth Laura Fleming back to her hometown of Byerly, N.C., where once again murder and mayhem prevail. Five months pregnant, Laura, an MIT graduate and computer programmer, and her English professor husband, Richard, had planned on spending a quiet Christmas at home in Boston until a call came from Laura's cousin, Vasti, who begged Richard to come down to help put on a play version of Dickens's A Christmas Carol. What begins as the fulfillment of Richard's dream to be a director soon becomes a nightmare when a series of practical jokes turns dangerous and the actor playing Scrooge gets murdered. In spite of his death, members of his family decide the show must go on. Laura and a vacationing police chief join forces to investigate the crime. Petty conflicts between the two sleuths on how this is to be accomplished almost overshadow the dramatic and well-done conclusion that unmasks the murderer. Constant reference to the raging hormones of the pregnant Laura, the clich? words of advice from doting aunts and new young mothers, the childish competition between Vasti and the town social climber (who are each vying for a place in the Junior League), eccentric moonshiners, and Richard's frequent quotes from Dickens that fall on deaf ears, all make the reader rejoice that Byerly is a fictional town. While sure to charm Kelner fans, this will have little interest for more serious crime fiction devotees. (Oct.) Forecast: The eye-catching Christmas jacket art will make this stand out during the holiday season. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Pregnant Laurie Anne Fleming's hometown of Byerly, NC, offers not only a plethora of sympathetic aunts and cousins but also an opportunity for husband Richard to direct A Christmas Carol. When the well-mannered man playing Scrooge is murdered, suspicion naturally falls on the other cast members some of them kin to Laurie. Laurie winds up sleuthing again, with a little help from Richard and from her friend Junior, the "vacationing" police chief. Lots of small-town bickering, family gossip, and not a few private agendas make for an entertaining Southern mystery, the seventh in the series. For all collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.