“Teacher’s Threat” has a cute dog, Rocky, on the cover, so readers know immediately that this will be a fun read. The book is part of the “Mad for Mod Mystery” series featuring fashion and fun, with suspense thrown in for good measure; that is all any new reader needs to know to laugh along. The intrigue begins with the title; it is a “teacher’s threat” that starts people down a dangerous path of no return.
The story unfolds in Madison Night’s first person narrative. Readers learn about her life and her fabulous mid-century modern couture clothing; even her car is a classic blue Alfa Romeo. Night has accomplished a lot, but she has made some mistakes as well. Unfortunately her business is now like a broken-down car on the side of the road; she has to fix it or get a different car. To that end, she goes back to school, business school, to get her MBA where she faces an entirely different set of problems. College is a different world for Night what with students dressed in head-to-toe black Lycra, cropped sweatshirts, and neon pink sneakers, and using a vocabulary not familiar to a fifty-year-old. Events become dangerous and certainly illegal when Night finds her cantankerous professor dead in the college parking lot.
“Teacher’s Threat” is filled with characters who are focused yet spontaneous, funny then deadly serious, and driven but nevertheless adaptable; there is not a bystander in the bunch. Vallere perfectly balances comedy and tension to keep readers laughing and frantically turning the pages. Through all the ups and down in eight books, Madison Night has become a stronger, more confident, more determined person. The books are quick to read with unexpected events, and compelling relationships. Madison Night may wear mid-century modern clothes, but she has a twenty-first century attitude.