Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mystery Book Review: Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich

Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich
An Alexandra Barnaby Mystery

HarperCollins (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-06-058403-3 (0060584033)
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-058403-0 (9780060584030)
Publication Date: October 2006
List Price: $26.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): Those Metro maniacs Alexandra "Barney" Barnaby and NASCAR driver Sam Hooker are back!

Miami is still freakin' humid. The nights are even hotter. And there's a body on ice. And that's just the beginning of this adrenaline-rush of a hot-wired ride from phenomenal #1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich.

A woman with a taste for speed and a talent for breaking the rules, Barney also knows a little too much about cheating. First there was Hooker and that salesclerk. Now she's convinced one of the competitors is up to no good on the track. Snooping to find evidence, Hooker and Barney "borrow" a NASCAR hauler. Turns out, the hauler is carrying two race cars and a dead guy. Now Barney and Hooker are facing multiple counts of grand theft auto and homicide.

So buckle up as Barney, Hooker, a 150-pound-bundle-of-St. Bernard-love named Beans, and the Super Cigar Ladies Felicia and Rosa shift into gear on a wild race around South Florida and Concord, North Carolina.

Everything you always wanted to know about righteous indignation, stealing an eighteen-wheeler, and sex in the fast lane.

Review: Alexandra Barnaby returns for her second adventure in Janet Evanovich's Motor Mouth, an enjoyable through completely forgettable mystery by the author of the Stephanie Plum series.

There isn't (pun intended) an idle moment in this book. The action is literally non-stop. The reason "Barney" and NASCAR driver Sam Hooker are seem to be constantly stopping for food (usually a local drive-through) is that they need all the energy they can get to keep pace with the plot.

And what a plot it is. The basic premise of this series is, why bother with a simple solution to a problem when a far more complicated, intricate, and, to be fair, thrilling one can be manufactured. When an associate of Barney's calls to say he's locked himself into a competitor's truck, she solves the problem by stealing the truck. That happens to contain an illegally modified race car. And that also happens to contain a dead body. And not just any dead body, but the owner of the competition which has just won a race under suspicious circumstances. At the center of all this is a microchip that has the potential to alter the balance of power in the world of NASCAR, nay, the world itself.

There are a lot of parallels between this series and the typical Nancy Drew mystery. The most obvious is that Barney is an R-rated, some might argue X-rated, version of the girl sleuth. Both are smart and independent. Friends and family are important and worth taking risks for. Bending the rules (or in the case of Barney, committing outright felonies) is a perfectly acceptable means to an end. And, as Barney puts it in Motor Mouth, they are "simultaneously horrified and impressed" with themselves when they narrowly escape a dangerous situation.

Motor Mouth is one of those mysteries that readers probably need to invoke the 30-page rule: if you're not hooked by this page, it's unlikely you're going to be entertained by what follows.

Special thanks to The Book Report Network for providing a copy of Motor Mouth for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

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