Wednesday, 15 August 2012

"Wicked Business," by Janet Evanovich

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Stuff and Nonsense by Amy Cockram is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Last year I read the first in this series by Janet Evanovich, "Wicked Appetite," which I wrote about here.  As I love Janet Evanovich's books - although I prefer her Stephanie Plum series - I decided to treat myself to bed, book and coffee on one day of my week off.

In "Wicked Business," Lizzie's routine as a baker in Salem is once again disrupted by the arrival of Diesel and his delinquent monkey, Carl.  A man who has been thrown out of a window with a handprint burned into his neck - Wulf's trademark - indicates that Wulf might have a lead on one of the other SALIGIA Stones.  This time they are on the trail of the Luxuria Stone...

It occurred to me with this novel how similar the formula for the SALIGIA stories is to the Stephanie Plum series.  Lizzie is Stephanie, as out or her depth in the world of supernatural powers as Stephanie Plum is in her makeshift career as bounty hunter. Wulf is the equivalent of Ranger - dangerous and seductive - while Diesel, like Morelli, is the comparatively safer option but no less sexy; Lizzie's friend Glo, an erratic witch, fulfils the same quirky friend role as Lula, while the owner of the bakery in which Lizzie works is a little bit like Connie.  This is stretching the comparisons a bit, but you could even compare the social embarrassment of hanging around with a monkey who likes to give people the finger with having a crazy grandmother who breaks into closed caskets at funerals. 

I don't mind too much that Janet Evanovich's novels tends towards the formulaic, though, as I still find the formula entertaining.  In the SALIGIA stories, she adds a twist in finding a way to prolong the sexual tension between Lizzie and Diesel (if two people with supernatural powers get it on, then one of them will lose those powers).  I can't escape the thought that it might be worth it, Lizzie, even if you do lose your powers of finding enchanted objects and making great cupcakes....

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