‘Wicked Appetite` lacks substance

London: Pastry chef Lizzy Tucker is known for making the best cupcakes in Salem, Mass. And in Janet Evanovich`s new novel, ‘Wicked Appetite,’ she`s one of only two people with the ability to locate empowered objects.

Lizzy is unaware of her power. She`s recruited by a mysterious hunk named Diesel to help locate a mystical stone that represents gluttony, one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Before Diesel and Lizzy can secure the stone, they must find the four charms that lead to it. The charms were divided among four siblings under a veil of secrecy after the death of their creepy uncle.

Diesel, a charming and brazen character first introduced in a previous Evanovich novel, works for a group whose purpose is to police Unmentionables. He shows up at Lizzy`s house and commandeers her life, and her bed, to protect her from his evil cousin Wulf, who wants Lizzy and the stone for himself.

‘Wicked Appetite’ is lacking in substance and adventure, and it`s garnished with superfluous scenes. But it does have some witty and sexy moments.

Even the bad guy is alluring. Wulf may be a killer, but his brutal nature never materializes.

Evanovich, best-selling author of the Stephanie Plum series, infuses an array of colorful characters in "Wicked Appetite," including a one-eyed cat, a monkey who makes obscene gestures and Lizzy`s friend Glo, a wannabe witch who cannot get her spells right.

This is the first book in Evanovich`s planned Unmentionable series. It`s not her best dish, but the author keeps serving up the right mix of characters that keep fans coming back for more.

Bureau Report