Wicked Business is the second book in Janet Evanovich’s new Wicked series. If you want to catch up, you can read my review of the first book in the series, Wicked Appetite, here. The Wicked Series follows Lizzy and Diesel (from the Stephanie Plum Series, the in-between-the-novels novellas) as they bumble around trying to save the world from utter destruction before their arch nemesis, Wulf, gathers all the SALGIA stones containing the seven deadly sins and starts a zombie apocalypse. OK, I don’t know if there will be zombies. But hell on earth? Definitely that. With the help of a wanna be wizard and a pet monkey they set about the save the world one possessed broom at a time. I picked up a copy of Wicked Business at the library and set aside every other book I was reading to finish it in two days. Yes, I’m addicted to the unusual and Lost Girl (currently obsession).
**Slight spoilers for the first book in the series, Wicked Appetite.**
Lizzy first met Diesel in Wicked Appetite where he appeared at the bakery where she works making magically delicious cupcakes after inheriting her great aunt’s house and moving to Marblehead. Lizzy leads a safe and uncomplicated existence, except when the plumbing goes, before Diesel shows up windblown and beachhead bum, looking delicious and bringing danger with him. Diesel is an Unmentionable, and not just because he’s hot enough to die for, he has special abilities. Diesel can unlock any door, find anyone he wants to find- usually through a butt cramp- and read women like the back of his hand. He also has a propensity for sleeping in people’s beds even when relegated to the couch.
At the end of Wicked Appetite, Diesel and Lizzy had the first stone and Wulf had the tablet telling where the next stone was located. (Honestly, I almost didn’t’ consider this a spoiler, because if you think Lizzy and Diesel are not going to “win” in the end, then you haven’t read enough tea cozy mysteries.) Now, in Wicked Business new information has arrived regarding the next stone in the form of a dead body and a mysterious key that Carl the Monkey filched from the corpse at a crime scene. Diesel and Lizzy must follow the clues, solve the riddles, and reach the stone before Wulf and his crazing Medievel LARPing minion do. But then, a new complication arises in the form of the mysterious Anarchy who throws her evil hat into the ring also searching for the stone and determined to create mischief while sending innocent bagels to the floor with her evil powers. Wasted bagels is totally evil!
Wicked Business was just as delightful a read as the first book, and I genuinely enjoyed delving back into Lizzy’s world and discovering more about the fun and crazy characters who surround her. While character background and growth are not as important in these series as the mystery and puzzle solving, and I usually I enjoy a little more character development than what happens in these books, I read Evanovich’s series for the laughs and crazing happenings. Diesel is a fun and consistent character, and I enjoy he is the only one fighting for Lizzy’s affections and no triangle has developed, yet. The fact that if the two of them get together means one of them will loose their Unmentionable powers, is a little cliche for the genre, but that is a hang up I have. Evanovich manages to make that funny and so I forgive the over use of forbidden love, or lust, or fun sexy times.
I really liked the development of Gloria’s character in this book as a side kick who has more to offer than just possessed brooms in trees. I really think she must have some hidden Unmentionable talent and wonder if she wont turn out to be a witch, this is after all near Salem. But that is just a teasing I get from reading way too much into her character. The use of Carl the Monkey went a little overboard, but it was still a fun romp. There was a time where he seemed to have disappeared for a chapter and I wondered where he went in the story line, but he popped back up like an unwanted, feces throwing, two year-old. A comedic tea cozy mystery with a dash of the paranormal and a hot beach bum make Wicked Business the perfect read for a warm summer afternoon reading as the fan dries the sweat on your collar bone and the iced water you just made sweats all over your coffee table.
Stay tuned for a giveaway of Wicked Appetite!