Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bubbles Betrothed by Sarah Strohmeyer

This is the fifth book in the Bubbles series by Sarah Strohmeyer, and for me was again a good read.

When a murder suspect dies mid-interview, reporter Bubbles Yablonsky's notes become a hot commodity for a romance-obsessed detective, a Polish Mafioso, and a foot fetishist on the lam. If that's not enough, Bubbles' ex-husband and her studly boyfriend are making unexpected demands of the blonde sleuth. One comes with a dazzling Harry Winston rock. The other is downright dangerous. Lucky for Bubbles she's equipped to handle both.

On her first day in a real job with the Lehigh News-Times, Bubbles is thrown into a holding cell after a mix up with the security system at the local courthouse, all because she forgot to snip the threads on her new hot pink $30 dollar suit. She finds herself in a cell with Crazy Popeye, a woman who is accused of the murder of the legendary school principle Rudy Schmidt. Whilst Bubbles is taking notes during an impromptu interview with Popeye, the interviewee suddenly dies. Before long, everyone wants to get hold of her notes to see exactly what was said in the interview, including Popeye's lawyer, the police, and it appears, the Polish Mafioso. Sensing a story, Bubbles tries to interview the podatrist who owned the office where Rudy Schmidt was found dead. After getting the cold shoulder over the phone, Bubbles goes to the office, to find that it has been burgled and the good doctor, Cerisse May, is nowhere to be found. The notes become such wanted property that Bubbles is even found guilty of contempt of court by a judge and ordered to pay $100 a minute, until such time as she produced the notes, up to a maximum of $50000, a plot point that was inspired by a similar real life order.

To make her day worse, she finds out that her boyfriend, Steve Stiletto, has become engaged while he was out of town for three days! After leaving a less than pleasant message on his answer phone, Bubbles is determined to carry on her life without Steve, and so goes off to investigate an alleged sighting of the Virgin Mary in a car window each morning, from where she is abducted by the Polish Mafioso. Steve rescues her, although not before she stabs him with a letter opener that she found in the doctor's office. To be fair, she actually thought it was one of the bad guys that she stabbed, thinking that she was going to try to get away before he dumped her lifeless body into the Lehigh river! Once they calm down, Steve explains that the person who he supposedly got engaged to was actually Bubbles, as this was the only way he could stall going to work in London for six months. He therefore asks her if they could pretend to be engaged for a while.

This begins a frantic series of events where Bubbles needs to get back to Steve's mansion to erase the message on the tape before he hears it. When she arrives there, she finds Steve's cousin Rosa has come to visit for Thanksgiving, and that she has invited Steve's arch enemy from the AP News where Steve works to join them.

As Thanksgiving approaches, and the investigation continues, there are threats against Bubbles, and her daughter Jane, even her ex-husband Dan seems to have been getting threats. What is the common thread? Is there a common thread? And will pulling that common thread make the whole fabric of Bubbles' families existence come apart? It certainly seems so, with Dan's cheeseball heiress wife getting sick of him, Dan declaring his love and intention to remarry Bubbles, even though she is sporting a beautiful Harry Winston engagement ring from Harry Winston.

Whilst there are a lot of storylines converging at the end of the book, Strohmeyer manages to hold it together, whilst still poking fun at her characters and their lives, and at the end of the day, Bubbles emerges with her head held high, and her front page story intact!

I am now all caught up with the Bubbles books and will have to wait until later in the year for the next book. Hopefully the library will get this one on audiobook as well. This is the only series where I haven't read any of them, but have listened to them all!

The series in order is:

Bubbles Unbound
Bubbles in Trouble
Bubbles Ablaze
Bubbles A Broad
Bubbles Betrothed

Rating 4/5

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