Wicked Business

by Janet Evanovich (Headline Review) ISBN: 9780755384938 



Lizzy Tucker and Diesel are back. Lizzy was living a normal life baking cupcakes in Salem, until she discovered she had a secret power to find enchanted relics. Lizzy wishes she didn’t have the power. Her life was far less complicated. Now she spends her time chasing after stones that have the power to destroy the world. 

The delicious Diesel needs Lizzy to find the stones so that he can get them back to the ‘office’ for safekeeping. His evil cousin, Wulf, and his sidekick, Hatchet also want the stones. This caper continues where Wicked Appetite ended. Lizzy’s boss Clara, and her ditzy friend and co-worker, Glo play their roles. Then Deirdre Early aka Anarchy makes an appearance and I had a sense of déjà vu. 

Sound familiar? I was reading Stephanie Plum all over again. Clara is Connie, Glo is Lula, Diesel is Joe, Wulf is Ranger, The Bakery is The Bail Bonds Office. Deirdre is Joyce Barnhardt. The only difference is we have some magic added in this series. I felt duped. 
Evanovich writes as well as ever. She is easy to read, and the book is harmless fun. However, I don’t think I’m going to invest any more time in this rip-off of her other successful series. I’ve already read 18 of them. 

Amanda Patterson
3/5

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Smokin' Seventeen

by Janet Evanovich (Headline Review) ISBN: 9780755384891 R190, 00 

Life in Trenton continues for Stephanie Plum, the world’s worst bounty hunter. 

The writing is as good as ever. The wonderful characters are back.  But Stephanie’s ‘love’ for two men has been going on for too long. It’s enough. At 30-something and still acting like a spoilt teenager, Stephanie’s act is wearing thin. I wanted to jump into the book and slap her, and offer this advice: Choose Morelli. Ranger doesn’t want you. He doesn’t want anyone. 

Otherwise our favourite cast is back. Rex, the hamster, and Morelli’s dog, Bob, play their parts. 

Lula crams her voluptuous body into miniscule ‘glam’ outfits. Grandma Mazur is still obsessed with viewings at the local funeral home. Mrs Plum irons her way through stressful situations and Mr Plum reads the paper and eats dinner. Mooner’s bus has become the bail bonds office which was burnt down. Bondsman, Cousin Vincent Plum, is as creepy as ever. Grandma Bella curses Stephanie. Again. 

Enter Dave, a high school friend of Stephanie’s. Her mother just wants her married and is willing to overlook some of his alleged shady business dealings. Dave cooks and Stephanie likes food. So Dave gets to hang out in her apartment for a while. 

Add the usual murders, blown up cars, skips, fast food outlets like Tasty Cakes and Cluck-in-a-Bucket, the ‘different’ cockfighting as the crime and you have a recipe for success. By the end of the book, Stephanie has five people who want her dead. Explosive Eighteen is out in November. 

Amanda Patterson
3/5

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Island of Bones

by Imogen Robertson (Headline Review) ISBN 978 0 7553 7203 4 R180, 00

 

The hanging of his brother in 1751, and a conspiracy of the era, sends Lord Keswick into seclusion.

 

Thirty years later, as Gabriel Crowther, he is called back to uncover the mystery of a nameless tomb discovered on the Island of Bones. Mrs Harriet Westerman, an intelligent widow escaping the sorrows of her past, and with a keen interest in the matters of mystery decides to joins him.

 

Additional bodies and missing persons escalate and Crowther is forced to dig up the demons of his past.

 

This book is written in the language and style of its time. It offers a number of viewpoints that may be disconcerting in the beginning.

 

Although it is a fictional novel, Imogen Robertson has drawn a great many things from history and adapted them to her needs.

 

As mystery and suspense increases so the reader is drawn into the essence of the story. I willed for answers to surface just as quickly as the main characters who were determined to seek them.

 

Lizette Breet

3/5

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