Reading level: Adult
Hardcover: 299 pages
Publisher: Random House
Release date: June 19, 2012
Series: Lizzy and Diesel #2
Reviewed by: Stéphanie
When Harvard University English professor and dyed-in-the-wool romantic Gilbert Reedy is mysteriously murdered and thrown off his fourth-floor balcony, Lizzy and Diesel take up his twenty-year quest for the Luxuria Stone, an ancient relic believed by some to be infused with the power of lust. Following clues contained in a cryptic nineteenth-century book of sonnets, Lizzy and Diesel tear through Boston catacombs, government buildings, and multimillion-dollar residences, leaving a trail of robbed graves, public disturbances, and spontaneous seduction.
As a huge fan of the Stephanie Plum novels (I promise, it has nothing to do with the fact that I share the same name with the main character), I was overjoyed a couple years ago when I heard Janet Evanovich was coming out with a paranormal series. To combine the wit and the comedy of Stephanie Plum with paranormal stuff, it had the makings of a great series. To tell you the truth, I was satisfied with the first installment but this sequel, WICKED BUSINESS, left me a bit disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong. All the comedy and sarcasm you could ask for was included in this novel but I think, what I didn’t enjoy, is the actual story itself. At times, it felt as if the story had no true storyline, like a scavenger hunt branching out into a dozen different paths. Of course, that might have been Janet’s way of keeping her readers on their toes, but personally, all it did for me is kind of annoy me. Characters were popping out here and there, sometimes being nice and sometimes being evil. It was kind of hard to make up my mind about some of them when I didn’t know if I should hate them or if I should pity them. The characters’ goal of finding the Luxuria Stone (one of the seven stone representing the seven deadly sins) is quite obvious but it’s the hodgepodge of scenes on their quest to find the stone that I didn’t enjoy. Most of the scenes, on their own were enjoyable but the flow between them was just too fast and seemed unplanned.
What saved the book is the setting and the eccentric characters. To set a paranormal novel in Salem, Massachusetts, is quite gutsy, because really, who would want to be that stereotypical and cliché? But since Janet Evanovich’s writing style is all about the clichés, the setting actually works to her advantage. The small town feel and the cozy New England imagery is perfect, and of course, it includes all the awesome eccentric townies. Glo, one of my favorite characters in the series, is simply awesome because one of her aspirations in life is to be like Harry Potter. How can you beat that? And the two main characters, Lizzy and Diesel are just great together, even if they can’t sleep with each other because that would risk one of them losing their paranormal powers. Their hilarious banter and chemistry makes them the perfect couple, even if Lizzy is reluctant to have Diesel sleep in her house. Oh, and beware of the monkey. The things he does will have you laughing for sure!
I will definitively continue reading this series, just to meet with the characters again. Even if the storyline of WICKED BUSINESS wasn’t my favorite, I do think this series is worth checking out. I’m hoping the next story will be more enjoyable and since you can’t go wrong with this type of comedy, I’m sure Janet Evanovich will keep making me laugh with whatever she come out with next. The author has a very unique style that is obvious in everything she writes and, after years of enjoying her novels, its has kept me coming back for more.