An Alexandra Barnaby Mystery by Janet Evanovich
Review: Alexandra Barnaby returns for her second adventure in Janet Evanovich's Motor Mouth, an enjoyable though 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 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.
Acknowledgment: Book Report Network provided a copy of Motor Mouth for this review.
Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Troublemaker Book One
Dark Horse Books (Hardcover), July 2010
ISBN-13: 9781595824882; ISBN-10: 159582488X
Location(s) referenced in Motor Mouth: Miami, Florida, North Carolina
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Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich — An Alexandra Barnaby Mystery
Publication Date: October 2006
List Price: $26.95