Fine Print by Chautona Havig – Review

Posted March 17, 2018 by Phyllis Helton in Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Giveaways /

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Fine Print by Chautona Havig - Review

Fine Print by Chautona Havig – Review

Fine Print

by Chautona Havig

Series: Meddlin' Madeline #3
Series Rating:
Publication Date March 15, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Setting: Indiana Progressive Era – US – 1890s – 1920s
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
Pages: 242


Budding detective, Miss Madeline Brown, has gained quite the reputation for “meddling” in the circa 1900 city of Rockland. With two successful “cases” under her belt, it was only a matter of time before she found something new to interest her insatiable curiosity.

This time, however, the “curiosity” found her.

Challenged by Edward Gastrel, to prove her deductive prowess, Madeline embarks on riddling out the puzzle of a journal left to him by his grandfather. If she can decode the contents, the local gentleman may find himself in the possession of something quite valuable.

As usual, however, things aren’t as they seem, and Madeline finds herself in a race against more than time and ambiguity.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

Also in this series: Dead Letter

Purchase Links

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Chautona Havig’s books are about relationships. Relationships between people and relationships with God. While they are never what I would consider preachy, each one tends to highlight an aspect of the Christian life in a new way, or maybe at least in a way that makes me think.

Russell from Fine Print is my favorite character. I have a feeling that he would have been my favorite in the previous books from the series, had I read them. His relationship with God is so natural and he seems so comfortable with who he is and so steady. His love for God and for God’s word is so real. I really appreciated the advice that he gave to Madeline regarding reading the Bible and truly appreciating it and falling in love with it. I am really looking forward to reading more about him.

While the overall tone of the book is not overtly humorous, the author injected several things that made me chuckle. Characters wishing for things that are yet to be invented (like auto-correct for letter writing) may have made me snicker, even though snickering is quite unlady-like, as I learned.

This story is jam-packed with history. Not as much about events as it is about technology, mindset, and dress. I really enjoyed being inspired to think about things that I hadn’t before from the time. One example is when they were riding in the cab, at night, in the snow, and Madeline was so chilled from the ride that they had to take care that she didn’t get sick from exposure. In all my years of my reading and watching old movies, I’ve always assumed carriages were plenty warm, but why would they be?  Hmm.  Another example was their amazement at being in Edward’s mansion when they had the lights blazing there. The miracle of technology that the circuits were not overloaded is something we wouldn’t even consider today.

Without giving any spoilers, there was a twist (related to the newspaper article) at the end that felt either unfinished or unclear.  I have not decided whether that was intentional or not. Knowing this author’s work, though, I am guessing it is an unfinished detail that will be resolved later in the series.

This is the first of the Meddlin’ Madeline series that I have read. I do want to go back and read the others, especially now.  Though this book stands alone, I think the reading would have been enhanced by knowing some of the details from the previous books.

Guest Post from Chautona

Denny’s. “America’s Diner.” It’s also my “office away from my office away from home.” Most nights I write at our local prayer house. But on Wednesday nights for a few hours, and then all night on Saturday, I sit in booth 14 and write.

It was a cold, frosty Wednesday night. With thoughts from Bible Study still swirling in my mind and heart, I ordered my loaded baked potato soup and began brainstorming with my writing and podcasting buddy, April.

She left around midnightish—as usual. And another evening regular began chatting.

Look. I like this guy. He’s a fascinating conversationalist. We have a lot of fun talking books, movies, politics, history, computers… He’s even given me a great idea for a book (without meaning to, but still).

But… that night, I needed to get a bunch done on Madeline and didn’t have time for chatting. So, when he started talking about his evening, I wanted to bang my head on the table. I kept repeating, “People are more important. People are more important. People are more important,” over and over in my head.

I can’t tell you how often this has happened at Denny’s. Employees stop to chat. Regular diners stop to chat. This guy starts a long conversation and always on nights I can’t afford to spend… chatting!

But everything shifted in an instant.

The man said something—what, I can’t remember—and my brain started churning.

I asked a question.

He answered.

The next thing I knew, he’d moved into my booth and began firing questions at me. Suggestions. Most of what he suggested wouldn’t work with the story, but he had no way of knowing that. Still, every time he did I got a new idea. And I’d ask a question. He’d answer, suggest. I’d counter—ask or answer. Ideas blossomed and exploded into seeds of even more ideas.

And right there, at two o’clock in the morning, with Angela the wonder server keeping me in fresh glasses of Coke, Fine Print went from not only my favorite of the Madelines (thus far) but also became much more exciting.

The whole thing taught me a couple of lessons. First, I always say that people are more important than the “stuff” I do. Sometimes, that’s not so easy to live. But the Lord is always faithful, like He did that night, to remind me that it sometimes helps me, too.

Second, sometimes a mid-book brainstorming session is just what I need to keep my excitement high. And, if that means a “wasted” Wednesday night in booth 14, then I’d say it’s worth it.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, March 6

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 6

Bigreadersite, March 7

proud to be an autism mom, March 7

Pause for Tales, March 8

Multifarious, March 9

Blogging With Carol, March 9

Bibliophile Reviews, March 10

Connie’s History Classroom, March 10

A Greater Yes, March 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 11

Lots of Helpers, March 12

Janices book reviews, March 13

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 13

Carpe Diem, March 14

A Baker’s Perspective, March 14

The April Journal, March 15

Kristin’s Book Reviews, March 15

Mary Hake, March 16

New Horizons Reviews, March 16

Simple Harvest Reads, March 17 (Guest post from Mindy)

Among the Reads, March 17

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 18

Pursuing Stacie, March 18

Aryn the Libraryan, March 19

Have a wonderful Day, March 19



To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize package worth over $50 that includes an antique journal, Pilot fountain pen (gold), Pilot refill cartridges, and a print copy of Fine Print!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

About Chautona Havig

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.


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11 responses to “Fine Print by Chautona Havig – Review

  1. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for your review on “Fine Print” by Chautona Havig and being part of the book tour. I have this book on my TBR list for sure.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. rj7777

    I have been seeing her books everywhere and her name! Her books look wonderful to read too! A Great Review! Rita Spratlen

  3. Thank you for a wonderful review! I’m glad you enjoyed Madeline, and yes, while I try to give just enough of past books not to have those reading out of order completely lost, you’d get a lot more out of it if you read the first. Zip me an email and I’ll get you a code for the first one, Phyllis!

  4. dedezoomsalot

    So, it sounds like there are intentional cliffhangers. Good to know in advance. Sometimes I wait til a series is finished before starting, if I know there are cliffhangers that will drive me crazy!!

    • I do that, too! In fact, it is why I hadn’t read the first couple books to the series yet. 🙂 Then I was invited to do this book tour and couldn’t pass up the chance. 🙂

      I would not say that there is a cliffhanger. It is more like a subtle nagging hint that something is not quite resolved and that we’ll be hearing more about it later. In case that helps.

  5. Thank you for the chance to win an amazing prize package. I collect and use all writing material daily. My favorite is journals so this is perfect.
    I can’t wait to read your book, it has a beautiful cover. Your new to me so I’m excited to read my first book by you.
    Thank you again!

  6. Casey Garvey

    What an awesome prize package! Love The cover design and expert! Would Love to read thru!