It is my hypothesis that social conventions are created to test our fortitude.
Rockland circa 1900-
As the mayor’s daughter, Madeline Brown enjoys a rich social life that many might envy. But a sharp mind and a growing talent for observation leaves Madeline torn between avoiding social censure and exploring the world around her.
With an aunt who considers higher education and employment equally unsuitable for the mayor’s daughter, there is little to amuse her save endless committee meetings, evening socials, and her favorite pastime: curling up with an exciting detective novel. The temperance and suffrage movements hold little interest for a young woman who has just endured the rigors of her father’s mayoral campaign.
So when a young man shows interest in her friend, Madeline’s interest piques–until his actions hint that he might not be the upstanding gentleman everyone presumes him to be. Unable to ignore her concerns, Madeline finds herself in the middle of an investigation into his character and discovers a side of Rockland she’s never encountered.
Will her new hobby reduce the tedium of her life, or will her “meddling” create tension for herself and her father? Will she be forced to squelch this budding skill of hers or has Madeline finally found her calling in life?
Meddlin’ Madeline: Welcome to Rockland’s infancy.
Madeline Brown is not a typical female of the early 1900’s. In fact, Russell Barnes, the brother of her best friend, Amy, points out her conundrum; Maddie is too traditional to be modern and too modern to be traditional. She also is intelligent and not afraid to show it. Also, she is keenly observant, which causes her to aspire to be a Sherlock Holmes “wannabe.”
I enjoyed getting to know Madeline. Chautona Havig writes in a very unique and intriguing style. I even learned a few new words! Her portrayal of Maddie as a fiercely loyal and steadfast friend is refreshing. As you get to know the main characters of the book, you feel a kinship and an affinity towards them. The young people in the story are realistic and true to life. Their stories will resonate with many readers, and the villains will leave you outraged at their audacity. However, you will be cheering, and in some cases laughing out loud, at how Maddie is able to manufacture a way to keep a friend’s heart from being broken.
Sweet on You by Chautona Havig is book 1 in the Meddlin’ Madeline Mysteries. Join us on Wednesday, when I link up with Celebrate Lit’s Blog Tour highlighting the second book, Such a Tease.