The third installment in Evanovich’s Lizzy & Diesel series, Wicked Charms, is as wickedly charming as the title suggests. This is a review of the third book in the series, so spoilers! If you want to read about the first two books, you can check out my review of Wicked Appetite here and Wicked Business here.
First, I must mention I am completely biased to like Evanovich’s work. She remains funny through out the years and series. No matter what bad mood I’m in her heroines antics will always cheer me up, and for that I am grateful and probably a little blind to some of the cliches and some times lack of development of character that tend to happen in some of her series. For me, her books are more about the capers and less about relating to yet another female character who can’t make up her mind if she likes someone or not. So when I saw that this book was available in audio version from the library, and that Lorelei King was the narrator, I downloaded it as fast as my fingers could tap at my screen. It was everything I was hoping for, fun, laughter, interesting plot twist, zany characters, and delicious sounding food.
Murdered and mummified more than ninety years ago, bootlegger Collier “Peg Leg” Dazzle once found and re-hid a famous pirate’s treasure somewhere along the coast of New England. A vast collection of gold and silver coins and precious gems, the bounty also contains the Stone of Avarice — the very item reluctant treasure seeker, Lizzy Tucker, and her partner, Diesel, have been enlisted to find. While Lizzy would just like to live a quiet, semi-normal life, Diesel is all about the hunt. And this hunt is going to require a genuine treasure map and a ship worthy of sailing the seven seas . . . or at least getting them from Salem Harbor to Maine.
Greed is eternal and insatiable, and Lizzy and Diesel aren’t the only ones searching for the lost pirate’s chest. There are people who have dedicated their entire lives to finding it, and are willing to commit murder or make a deal with the devil, just to hold the fortune in their hands. One of those people may even be Wulf, Diesel’s deceptively charming and enigmatic cousin. Wulf desires the Stone of Avarice. He also desires Lizzy. It’s hard to say how far he’s willing to go to gain either one.
It’s a swashbuckling adventure full of raiders, monkeys, minions, and mayhem. Lizzy and Diesel are going to have to do everything they can to keep their heads above water and hope they are living a charmed life.
I really like how each of these books has had a completely different type of mystery which ties into and relates back to the over all story arch of finding the seven deadly sins stones. (Which means there are four more books planned for this series!) I particularly enjoyed this mystery with the precious gems, treasure map, and a pirate reenactor who can’t stop speaking like a pirate. There was a lot of action with spelunking and boat chases thrown into the mix.
Interestingly enough Lizzie’s career also takes a turn as she gets an offer from a business tycoon to become the face of a brand. Of course I was yelling at Lizzie while driving home one evening to get a lawyer to read the contract before… yeup, signed it. Dammit Lizzie! I know your desperate for a cash influx, but you can spend a small percentage of the upfront money to make sure you aren’t getting screwed over. Bagh.
Not so surprisingly Lizzie and Diesel’s relationship progresses. I’m not too keen on this relationship. It would be one thing is Lizzie seemed like the kind of person who wanted casual relationships, but she doesn’t, she just seems to be going with the flow instead of figuring out what it is she wants from a relationship and going for that. One of my complaints about Evanovich’s characters is that they have a hard time deciding what they want. If Lizzie wanted casual relationships and went for them, kudos to her, I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with indecision become a decision over and over again.
I loved listening to this as an audio book, but then Lorelei King is just perfect for the job. One of the reason’s I was keep to try this as an audio and not just pick it up in paper format like I had for the other two books in the series is that I recognized her as the narrator from another audio book series and enjoyed her acting abilities in that one as well. She has clearly distinct voices for characters without going overboard and pulling me out of the story. What is so amazing is that her incarnations of the characters are so close to the way I already thought of them that I never once wished I had picked this book in another format. Sometimes this happens when I’ve started a series in a different format, but not with Lorelei King.
If you are looking for a funny light read about a pirate treasure, uncertain romance, that includes monkeys a magic 8 ball and cupcakes, check out the Lizzy & Diesel series by Janet Evanovich.