Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Kill of It All by Diane Vallere

First Line: The pitch made it sound glamorous.
After legal troubles that dragged on far too long, Madison Night and her Mad for Mod interior design firm are back in business. She's busier than ever thanks to some TV spots she made, and the police commissioner wants her to replace the original actress in his feel-good campaign for local law enforcement. But when the first woman's body is found on the set, the last thing the police need is publicity.

At first, Madison steers clear of the investigation by focusing on Mad for Mod's relaunch, but when gossip links the victim to someone special in her life, she finds herself getting involved.


I walked into this series with the fourth book, The Decorator Who Knew Too Much, which I loved so much that I went back and snapped up the first three books to read. Since then I haven't looked back. This series is one that I keep up with, gobbling up each new book when it's released. With all the series mysteries that I read, that's saying something: Madison Night is very special.

The wait to get Madison back to work in her design firm seemed to drag on forever, but The Kill of It All shows readers that her creative mojo is just as strong as ever. Diane Vallere has led me to a better appreciation of both the actress Doris Day and of mid-century modern furniture and design, and when she shows Madison deep in her creative process, I'm totally absorbed.

There are so many pieces the author puts together to make The Kill of It All such a satisfying read. The work Tex is putting into making his police force better. How reading obituaries leads Madison to estate sales that add to her inventory (and what those purchased inventories say about the people they belonged to). Readers even get to see some of what goes into the making of television commercials. And there's one scene in particular that brought a very wet James Garner to mind.

If there's anything I'd want to change in this book, it's the fact that Madison never gets a chance to go back to that old furniture warehouse; it sounded as though it was filled with treasures. But I suppose I can always hope that Madison can get back to it in the next book.

If you're a reader who's come across these books and decided not to give them a try because the covers look too "cute," think again. Madison Night is fiftysomething,  a strong, intelligent woman with plenty of life experience, common sense, and talent. It is altogether possible to get a great deal of enjoyment from reading these books even if you don't care for Doris Day movies or mid-century modern furniture and design. This is some fine storytelling that should not be missed. You can start at book one (Pillow Stalk) or do what I did and jump in midstream. Whatever you do, just give this series a try. I'm pretty sure you're going to turn into a fan just like me.

The Kill of It All by Diane Vallere
eISBN: 9781954579286
Polyester Press © 2022
eBook, 235 pages

Cozy Mystery, #9 Madison Night/Mad for Mod mystery
Rating: A
Source: Purchased from Amazon.


  1. I already really like the sound of Madison Knight, Cathy. I like main characters who are - er - not in their twenties any more. And although interior design is not my thing, I do appreciate people who are really good at it. Glad this one was up to the standards of the others you've read.

    1. This is one of my favorite series, Margot.

  2. I keep hearing good things about this series. I need to take the plunge...

  3. This does sound like a fun series to read. Your enthusiasm for it is clear and that's an excellent recommendation.

  4. I am a book behind, but fun to have two to read now. I encourage anyone to give them a try as well, for all the reasons you said!

    1. That's at least four enthusiastic thumbs up, folks!


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