Saturday, March 26, 2011
STICKY FINGERS - Roxy Abruzzo Series No. 2
Roxy Abruzzo runs an architectural salvage business by day, but picks up jobs from her incarcerated mob boss uncle to make ends meet. She doesn't mind collecting gambling debts but she draws the line at kidnapping one of her old schoolmates, Clarice Crabtree.
When Clarice turns up murdered, Roxy is on the trail of the killer, in part to prove that she isn't the murderer. Roxy soon discovers that Crabtree had two separate families and was the major breadwinner for both, something that wouldn't have been possible to afford even with her lofty museum job. Roxy's search leads her to a dinosaur bone collecting rock star and a small army of other zany characters.
Halfway through STICKY FINGERS, I had to go to Google to see if Nancy Martin was a pseudonym for Janet Evanovich. (She's not.) The parallels between Roxy and Evanovich's Stephanie Plum are uncanny.
Instead of Lulu, Roxy's sidekick is Nooch, a big lovable guy who's a little slow; instead of feisty Grandma Mazur, Roxy has Sister Bob, a retired nun looking to spend her golden years discovering sex. Just like Stephanie, Roxy has commitment problems even though Martin takes it a little further and has given her character the persona of a sex addict. Like Stephanie Plum who can't stand next to Morelli or Ranger without her pulse increasing, Roxy's sexual attraction to her high school boyfriend (and the father of her daughter Sage) pulsates off the page. The similarities don't end with the characters; even the writing style and one-liners will have you thinking you're reading Evanovich.
STICKY FINGERS is a quick fun read, but I can't help but wonder if Janet Evanovich is flattered or alarmed that Nancy Martin has so closely followed in her footsteps.