sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 4, 2011

into the stacks: wicked appetite
posted by soe 1:08 am

Once Upon a Time Challenge VWicked Appetite, by Janet Evanovich

From the jacket: “Seven Stones of Power. No one knows when they were created or by whom, each said to represent one of the Seven Deadly Sins. For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature…. Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues’ gallery of power seekers. He’s an uncommonly dangerous man, with a hunger for the forbidden, and a set of abilities that are way beyond ordinary. Abilities that he feels entitle him to possess anything he might desire. That would include Elizabeth Tucker, … [whose] life is pretty much on track …until it’s suddenly derailed by a guy named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat.” [Lifted from the author’s website, since I forgot to copy it down before returning the book to the library.]

My take: For three weeks in March, I stopped reading altogether. Nothing appealed and I just couldn’t bring myself to force my way through my reader’s block and malaise. My library books came due and I packed them up to take back unread after work.

I don’t remember why, exactly, I cracked this book open while waiting for the train, but I’m glad I did. It was light. It was funny. Cupcake baking was a major focus. It was perfect to pull me back from the doldrums. I returned the copy (which was from another branch) that was due and took home a second copy the library had on the shelves.

The reason I picked up the book in the first place is because Mum mentioned to me that Janet Evanovich, author of the Stephanie Plum mystery series, had a new series out, featuring Diesel, an occasional and other-worldly visitor to Newark. I admit to being intrigued since Diesel appeared in both Stephanie Plum books I’d finished and his character offered what I considered to be a lot of depth for expansion.

In this new series, Diesel, who’s sort of a bounty hunter of/detective for immortals, is seeking a supernatural stone. Unfortunately, while he’s great at locating people, he’s not gifted at finding magical objects. So he needs to track down someone who can. Enter Lizzie Tucker, whose cupcake baking skills are out of this world. Finding life as a chef in New York to be too stressful, she has carved out a quiet life in Salem, Mass., landed a gig baking cupcakes for a local bakery every morning, and settled into the rambling house her great aunt bequeathed her while she tries to compile a cookbook for publication.

In other words, she’s content with her life before Diesel, who would be the first to admit he has a way with women, waltzes into her life, bringing with him a long line of increasingly uncomfortable situations as they race to track down a collection of gluttony charms before Diesel’s dangerous cousin, the lupine Gerwulf Grimoire, can steal them away for his own dastardly purposes.

Lizzie is tremendously relatable. Diesel is hilarious and suave. There’s an attack-cat, a chimp with an attitude problem, and an amateur, unskilled spell-caster. Plus, did I mention the cupcakes?

No high literature, but a quick, enjoyable read.

Pages: 320

This book fills the category of “A book with evil in the title” from the What’s in a Name 4 Reading Challenge. It’s also my first book for this spring’s Once upon a Time Challenge.

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