Saturday, May 9, 2015

Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich - Stones, Cupcakes, and Crazy People

Pros: Fast, relatively fun read
Cons: Stupid characters making stupid decisions.

The Bottom Line: It's fast and easy, but I think Evanovich needs to break out of her old formula just a teensy bit.

This is the book #2 in Janet Evanovich’s series featuring Diesel. If you’ve read the Stephanie Plum books, you may be familiar with him. If you’ve read Wicked Appetite, then you should know what you’re getting into. If you’re new to this whole shebang, then at least rewind to the first book and start from there.

Lizzy has special powers – she’s able to sense objects of power. Diesel pops into her life (not a bad thing, since he’s a sexy-licious man) and together they’re after the SALIGIA stones (that’s an acronym for each of the seven deadly sins, mind you). This time it’s the Lust stone they’re after, and just like before, Wulf is ready to stand in their way and burn handprints into people’s necks. So where is the Lust stone? Can it really be uncorrupted? And who’s this new psycho who’s been tossed into the mix? This could be a recipe for disaster. (oh, ho, HO, and Lizzy’s a baker, get it? Shut up, it’s funny.)

Just like with the first book, if you’ve read the Stephanie Plum series, it’s really not hard to see who is who. Lizzy is Stephanie. Glo is Lula. Cara is Connie. While the location of things has moved out of Jersey, there’s still little difference in these characters and their actions and the whole gang in the Plum books. If you haven’t read that particular series, consider yourself lucky, otherwise the similarities will drive you nuts.

This is especially true when it comes down to the actions characters take or don’t take, and their responses to certain things. No one ever calls the police for some reason, and it seems to be a-okay to everyone when a crazy woman comes into the bakery with a blowtorch and starts setting things on fire. I’m sorry, but while I realize that the book is supposed to make the reader giggle, it just makes the characters look downright stupid. The responses aren’t even normal. For example, if a batch of cupcakes got torched, the response would be something like, “Hey, I just baked those,” instead of a desire to run away from this person and call the fire department and the cops. You have a violent character who has already hurt one person, but when they return to the bakery, no one flips out? Or after another character gets kidnapped and then kind of stalked by one of the antagonists, she still thinks elements of that guy are cute?

No. I’m sorry, but no.

There is also one dumb moment that I couldn’t believe. When a person going by the name of Anarchy pops up, no one seems to be able to put two and two together even though the true identity of this person is painfully obvious. Oh, and I am getting a smidgeon tired of Carl the monkey, but so far it’s only a smidgeon.

While the plot itself was fun and the clues were tricky enough that you can’t guess anything, and I really do like Wulf (he says the least, has interesting motivations and actions, and in general doesn’t act like everybody else), I’m finding it really difficult to find the motivation to continue this series. I think it’s going to help a lot that Janet Evanovich doesn’t put one of these out every year (but nor should she have to). That might give me enough downtime that, when the next book does come out, I’ll be willing to give #3 a go.


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