Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich
Published by Bantam Books, 2012
Lizzy Tucker's once normal life as a pastry chef in Salem, Massachusetts, turns upside down as she battles both sinister forces and an inconvenient attraction to her unnaturally talented but off-limits partner, Diesel.
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. On their way they'll leave behind a trail of robbed graves, public disturbances, and general mayhem.
Treasures will be sought and the power of lust will be unmistakable as Lizzy and Diesel attempt to stay ahead of Diesel's black sheep cousin Gerewulf, his medieval minion, Hatchet, and a dark devotee of chaos known only as Anarchy--all involved in an ancient game of twisted riddles and high-stakes hide-and-seek.
Whew! Another winner by Janet Evanovich. I went into this book expecting funny antics and lots of action and boy, did I get both. It is October when news of the Luxuria stone and a man who has been on its trail surface...when the man in question is found thrown from his fourth floor apartment with a burned hand print on his neck. While the hand print points to Wulf, the messiness with which the man was dispatched does not leaving Diesel and Lizzie unsure of who or what is responsible.
Soon Lizzie and Diesel (and Glo and Carl) are on the trail of a string of clues that lead them all over Salem, Boston, and Cambridge. Hatchet, with his sword in hand, is devotedly serving Wulf and doing all he can to prove his worth but generally is proving to be a big nuisance (although there was one incident in this book that made me view Hatchet much differently). Wulf continues to enigmatically and unexpectedly show up and Lizzie continues to feel a pull towards him. We also see another side to Wulf in this book and I felt he was a more sympathetic character...at least for now.
Carl continued to amuse and there is something to his character...he is too "human" to be just a monkey. I am curious to see what develops with his story. Glo also continued to crack me up--she wants to be a wizard so badly and her spells that go awry provide some great humor. Poor Clara though. I felt that her employees were always leaving her for this reason or that and then she gets physically injured! But that wasn't as bad as it could have been, I believe that at least one house, one store, and two cars burned to a crisp in this book. Yikes!
This book rates a 4.5/5.