Wednesday 26 October 2011

Wicked Appetite & The Mephisto Club

Two books to do quick reviews of today: Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich and The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen. Both are for various challenges. Wicked Appetite covers no less than *three* - Carl's R.I.P. VI challenge, The Foodie's Reading challenge which is being hosted by Margot at Joyfully Retired, and it also covers the 'Evil in the title' category of the What's in a Name challenge which is being hosted by Beth Fish Reads. So that's the one I will start with.

I'm going to be lazy with this one and use the Amazon blurb to describe it.

Life is pleasantly predictable for Lizzy, until a tall, black-haired, dark eyed man shows up. His name is Gerwulf Grimoire, also known as Wulf. And he wants what Lizzy has: knowledge. Almost simultaneously comes another man, a different man, but this one just as dangerous. His name is Diesel. And he wants several things Lizzy has, only one of them being knowledge.

Unbeknownst to Lizzy, she has the ability to find 'empowered objects'. A collection of stones that represent the seven deadly sins have made their way to Marblehead. If the stones are grouped together, they have the power to unleash hell on earth. Wulf wants them. Diesel wants to stop him. And Lizzy is the key to all of it.

Can Lizzy stay one step ahead of two men who both want her...both body and soul?

Janet Evanovich is of course best known for her Stephanie Plum series of crime books. I believe it's a series of comedy style stories about a bounty hunter; I've not read any but my husband has enjoyed quite a few of them in the past. In fact this was his library book which I nabbed after he'd read it as I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. I *think* there might be a connection between these and the Stephanie Plum books to be honest as one of the synopses of one of those books I happened upon mentioned a 'Diesel', so it seems like there might be a crossing over of characters there.

Anyway, this was a lot of fun. I enjoyed all the baking that went on, Lizzy is an expert at making cup-cakes, in fact she's almost supernaturally good at them... and it's quite crucial to the plot. There's a lot of humour, mainly provided by a pet monkey anmed Carl, and a friend of Lizzy's called Glo who has bought a book of spells and begins practising them with disastrous consequences. But I also loved Diesel's very dry humour.

There's not a lot else to say about this one really. It was a very light, fun, read, perfect for bedtime reading... I assume it's part one of a new series but am not certain about that, or whether I'll read any more. Maybe.

Next up, The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen. This one just qualifies for Carl's R.I.P. VI challenge - my 9th. and probably final book for this challenge.

'I HAVE SINNED' is scrawled in Latin in blood at the scene of a young woman's brutal murder. It's a chilling Christmas greeting for Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli, who swiftly link the victim to controversial celebrity psychiatrist Joyce O'Donnell - Jane's professional nemesis and member of a sinister cabal called the Mephisto Club.

In Italy a young American woman is on the run. Someone is after her and she can't afford to stay more than a few months in any one city. Some years ago Lily Saul's family made the mistake of taking in a nephew after his father had died. They had no idea what they were admitting into their home.

A policewoman is killed outside the meeting place of The Mephisto Club and yet more ancient symbols written on the door and, later, on Maura Isles front door too.

The body found at Christmas was mutillated and the hands removed. It's soon discovered that one of the hands does not belong to the body, so where is the second victim? Jane and Maura travel to upstate New York to view the body of a woman with a hand missing, in a deserted house in the country. What is the link between these two women?

The case is so complicated that the police realise they have a very clever adversary on the loose. And that in order to solve this crime they need the help of the group of people who not only understand the ancient symbols, but possibly the devil himself - The Mephisto Club.

Can these books possibly get any better? Surely not. They're all excellent but, like everything else, I do have my favourites, and those *two* would be Body Double, which is book 4, and this one, book 6, The Mephisto Club.

To be honest, I didn't know, before I started it, that it would be suitable for R.I.P VI. But then the rather weird supernatural background became apparent with its hints at satanic rituals and I knew it was perfect. I love all this centuries old bible-based, historical or not, stuff. Tess Gerritsen weaves her plot around all kinds of amazing ideas and I lapped it up. I won't go into what kind of ideas as that would involve major spoilers but it is fascinating stuff. Whether there will be more with this background I don't know. There is certainly scope for it and I can but hope!


Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Cath,

I don't think that the Evanovich book would be much to my liking, although I have never actually read any of her work and it does receive some great reviews, so perhaps I should try one of them before I pass judgement.

Tess Gerritsen's writing is however, right up my street and I have many of the 'Rizzoli and Isles' series in my TBR pile. I did read the first couple many years ago, long before the idea of a blog was on the horizon, so although I can remember loving them, I would probably need to refresh myself about the stroylines before I felt able to comment. I see that book 9 in the series has just been published, so I guess that I have some catching up to do!

Thanks for the great reviews.


Anonymous said...

I'm not much of an Evanovich fan. Just never clicked with me. However, you know that I am a big, big fan of Tess Gerritsen. I remember THE MEPHISTO CLUB. I read it in 2007. I thought at the time that she might use some of the elements and characters again. Won't tell you if she has. LOL

DesLily said...

look at you reading 9 books for rip!! wow!... If I am lucky I will finish the book I am reading (the butterfly cabinet) in time also.. that would make 9 for me too but with a "cheat" since one was only a novella of Wilke Collins...but then some people count "graphic novels" as books... I have trouble with calling those "books" even if they do have book prices on them lol..

Cath said...

Hi Yvonne. A lot of people do seem to like Evanovich's books. I think I might fall into the 'take them or leave them' category. The book was fun but no way am I suddenly going to rush out and fill my (already groaning) tbr shelves with her books. But the good thing is I've now tried one and know how I feel about them.

Yes, I think the 9th Rizzoli and Isles book is just out. My opinion on them is that they get better and better. I was told they would and it's true. I'm not sure you would need to reread the two you read, there is a slight continuing theme but nothing that really affects the plots of subsequent books.

Kay: I completely understand why the Evanovich books have not clicked with you. I can honestly say I'm not bothered whether I read another one or not.

LOL. Well then... I will just have to keep reading the R & I books to find out. What a terrible hardship!!!

Pat: Yep, I'm quite pleased with 9... trouble is not many were from the books on the shelf. lol! One of mine was a short book too, The Small Hand. I don't think we need to worry too much. I honestly don't see graphic novels as proper books either. There can't be the same amount of reading in them as there is in a normal book.

Nan said...

I love the tv version but the books are a bit gory for me. :<)

I've never been drawn to read E. Too out there for me. Your first review was the epitome of the phrase, 'lukewarm' - great post, Cath.

Cath said...

Nan: The books are gory and, not having seen the TV series, I do wonder how on earth they portray that aspect or whether they've ignored it. The books are also frightening and that's another aspect that I wonder how they handle.

LOL! *Lukewarm* is such a perfect way to describe my feelings about Wicked Appetite. And yet, it really was not a terrible read. :-)