I have read the 124th book for the book challenge. It was Wicked Business: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel by Janet Evanovich.
Diesel drags Lizzy out to the scene of a murder of a professor, Dr. Reedy, who was thrown from his fourth-floor balconey. He has a hand-print burned onto his neck, but this doesn’t seem like Wulf’s work. Wulf doesn’t go around killing people very often by throwing them off balconies. Carl the monkey sneaks under the tarp covering Dr. Reedy and comes back with a small key. Later Glo looks at the key and tells Lizzy and Diesel that it is the Lovey key. It goes to the Lovey Sonnets, a book of 19th century sonnets by a man named Lovey who believed in true love. Lizzy and Diesel go to Dr. Reedy’s apartment to look for the sonnets and also to his office but don’t find them. They do learn that he had dated four women that he believed could be his true love. They set out to visit them, but can’t find one–Deidre Earley. They also find a Shakespeare anthology with a quote that leads them to a painting.
They find the painting in Boston in someone’s house. It is a Van Gogh, similar to the design on the cover of the Sonnets according to Glo. Lizzy and Diesel can’t see anything on the painting but Glo, who believes in true love, sees the message. It is nine bells and a name. This leads them to the Old North Church and a man who is buried there. Diesel retrieves a bell that is buried with the man and they play the bells in the order of the painting and a message appears on the ninth bell. It leads them to the Museum of Science.
There they find another machine which they “borrow.” Carl the monkey figures out the clue on this machine. It leads them to the State House where they fit the Lovey key into a mosaic in the rotunda. It leads them to a house where they find a plaque that is enchanted. Then they are lead to Dartmouth College, to the Sphinx Tomb.
Lizzy and Deisel go to Dartmouth to find the Luxuria stone and tablet. But Deidre Early, aka Anarchy, and Wulf are there ahead of them. They become lost in the tunnels and find Hatchett. He has the Luxuria stone which he gives to them. Deidre Early has the tablet but she is stuck in a booby-trapped tunnel. Lizzy finds Wulf tied up and wired to dynamite by Deidre. Lizzy defuses the bomb and saves Wulf’s life. He lets her have the stone in payment for saving his life.
Back in Salem, Deidre Early knows she doesn’t have the stone and threatens to burn down Lizzy’s house if she doesn’t get the stone. She will give her half of the tablet for the stone. Lizzy gives her a quartz stone and Deidre gives her the half of the tablet. Lizzy and Glo and Clara are at the Old Exotica Shoppe and Deidre comes in. She is livid. She is looking for Lizzy because she knows the stone is a fake. She sets the shop on fire and Lizzy is pinned in the fire. Wulf rushes in to save Lizzy. He tells her that now they are even. He tells her to keep the stone because now it is an “icky True Love stone.”
So Diesel has both the tablet and the stone to turn into headquarters and he and Wulf turn in Deidre Early to the powers that be. She was the one who killed Dr. Reedy. She was out of control.
I wish there were more of the “Wicked…” series. I love the characters in Salem and the ebooks are great because of the interactive photos of the places around Marblehead and Salem and Boston that you can access in the ebooks. Lizzy and Diesel are great together but they can never get together because they are both Unmentionables and if they do, one of them will lose their powers and you can’t tell which one it will be. So they maintain some self-control. Just. The clues were a tad confusing but the racing around made things exciting. It was a fun story.