New journalist Bubbles Yablonsky, hobbling around in her new $30
suit, is arrested for carrying a lethal weapon when she tries to
cut open her back skirt flap in the courtroom. In their shared jail
cell, Popeye, the homeless mentally ill woman on trial for murder,
confides in Bubbles, who diligently writes down the interview in
her notebook. Popeye claims she didn't kill the victim and that
everyone, including her lawyer, is against her. She also says that
she was in the restroom when the murder happened and that she heard
voices. Popeye's attempt to assist the victim led directly to her
Popeye's story is convincing to Bubbles. But immediately afterward,
Popeye falls down and dies. Blood tests show that she took way too
much of her prescription drugs. Evidently Popeye committed suicide.
Or did she?
Bubbles's belief that Popeye is innocent is reinforced when
Popeye's attorneys threaten her to get the interview notes. Will
Bubbles go back to jail for contempt? More bad news comes Bubbles's
way when she hears that her lover, Steve Stiletto, went straight
from her arms to New York and is now engaged!
Bubbles learns that Karol Smolak, part of the Polish Mafia and
known to have a major anger management issue, may be linked to
Popeye's case. In addition, a certain doctor has gone missing while
some eye-popping photos of the murder victim appear in Bubbles's
car. Who left the photos for her? Is the doctor fleeing, kidnapped,
Bubbles is stressed out. All she wants is a hot bath and a Sara Lee
Devil's Food Cake (defrosted or not) and gallons of root beer.
However, she soldiers on with her investigation, along with her
photographer sidekick Lorena. Lorena claims a "character flaw" that
necessitates anger management classes and leads her to have just a
wee shoplifting tendency.
Events take an ominous turn when Bubbles gets a phone call
instructing her to quit her investigation if she wants her
daughter, Jane, to remain out of danger. Although terrified,
Bubbles continues to uncover clues. In one brief morning, she
covers the "miraculous vision" sighting of Madonna (the rock star)
on a Chevy Impala, is kidnapped by mobsters, and discovers that
Stiletto is actually fake-engaged to Bubbles in an attempt to delay
a job assignment overseas.
This is a fast-paced mystery with lots of plot twists and
entertaining one-liners, and enough romance to intrigue without
overwhelming the story. Reading BUBBLES BETROTHED is a pure frothy
pleasure, akin to going on vacation with your funniest, slightly
raunchy best friend. You never quite know where she's going to lead
you, but it's a wild and hilarious trip nonetheless.
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon (Terryms2001@yahoo.com) on December 23, 2010