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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Explosive Eighteen

by Janet Evanovich (Headline Review) ISBN: 9780739378229

 

I've read 17, so I had to read Explosive 18.

 

I'm glad I did. I was so anti-Stephanie Plum at the end of Smokin' Seventeen. She was beginning to remind me of Bella Swann at her most pathetic. Whining about everything, caught between loving two men, and always having to be saved.

 

She managed to redeem herself - a little. Stephanie seems to be growing up. Finally! She still makes silly mistakes and gets into crazy situations but her efforts to save herself are improving. She has a real gun, a car that doesn't explode and she's seriously considering her future. She even has some money.

 

Everybody is there, from Vinnie - her slimy boss, to Lula - her sidekick, to Joyce Barnhardt - her nemesis. Ranger appears, and disappears, as usual. Morelli is back in her apartment. Everybody is trying to kill Stephanie, but she kicks and shoots and talks her way from Hawaii to New Jersey. 

 

Evanovich is a funny, talented writer. I hope she allows Stephanie to settle into adulthood properly in novel number 19

 

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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