In the second installment of Lizzie Tucker’s adventures as a reluctant “human with abilities,” the mild-mannered cupcake chef at a small bakery in Salem, Massacustetts, again teams up with the hunky Diesel to retrieve the second in a set of seven magical stones believed to represent each of the Seven Deadly Sins. They race against time and an opposing team of treasure seekers through Boston, Cambridge and Harvard University.
"There is a familiarity in the Wicked books to the wildly popular Stephanie Plum novels, but Evanovich fans will lap it up and laugh their way through the zany antics as the romantic pair of treasure hunters plunder tombs and stumble through cob-webbed and rat-infested, darkened tunnels."
Lizzie was leading an uneventful life when her ability surfaced in Janet Evanovich's WICKED APPETITE, enabling her to find enchanted artifacts and upsetting her plans to marry, have kids and lead a normal life. After successfully tracking down the first stone, Gluttony, she again teams up with Diesel, whose ability to open any lock, not to mention his downright, drop-dead gorgeousness, causes their most recent quest to sizzle with excitement and danger. In daring Indiana Jones style, Diesel and Lizzie, along with her variously magically talented co-workers, take on the evil Wulfgang Grimoire. Wulf is Diesel’s powerful cousin whose dark motives are to rule the world. Whoever ends up with all seven artifacts and an elusive key wins this basic battle of good versus evil.
Lizzie was introduced in WICKED APPETITE, where she met Diesel, who debuted in the 2002 Stephanie Plum novel PLUM DELICIOUS. Diesel has reluctantly adopted Carl the monkey, a recurring character from several Plum books, whose constant presence in the Wicked series offers comic relief.
Lizzie, Diesel and Carl chase through the streets of Cambridge and the halls of Harvard University in search of the stone representing Lust. Book one, WICKED APPETITE, dealt with the sin of gluttony, which led to much devouring of rich foods. The Lust stone leads Lizzie and Diesel down a dangerous path indeed, because it is written that if two people with abilities mate, one of them loses their powers. This leads to many near falling-into-bed events with the mature and experienced Diesel more in danger of losing his virtue to the overly romantic Lizzie’s lustful yearnings.
There is a familiarity in the Wicked books to the wildly popular Stephanie Plum novels, but Evanovich fans will lap it up and laugh their way through the zany antics as the romantic pair of treasure hunters plunder tombs and stumble through cob-webbed and rat-infested, darkened tunnels.
Only five more stones to go. With Gluttony and Lust dispatched, Lizzie and Diesel have their work cut out for them. Greed, Sloth, Pride, Envy and Wrath remain. Will they succeed in gathering them before the evil Wulf gains control? Stay tuned…the prolific Evanovich probably has it all worked out.
Reviewed by Roz Shea on June 29, 2012