Wicked Appetite (Lizzy and Diesel Series #1)

Wicked Appetite - Janet  Evanovich (Re-read 2012)Laugh-out-loud funny! If you need a quick, light, fun read that will lift your spirits, this is the book! Charming and quirky, IMO, Lizzie and Diesel are the perfect pairing. Diesel was good with Stephanie Plum, but he fits better into this 'world' in Marblehead, Mass with Lizzie.Lizzie (Elizabeth Tucker) is a 28 yr old pastry chef who inherited her Aunt Ophelia's house. It's an old house and needs some work, but Lizzie likes the quiet life of Marblehead better than the Big Apple. She works in Clarinda (Clara) Dazzle's bakery. Lizzie's specialty is cupcakes - she makes the best cupcakes ever. The countergirl at the bakery is Gloria Binkly, aka Glo. Glo is a character all in herself. She loves the Harry Potter books and wants nothing more than to be a wizard. She even bought "Ripple's Book of Spells" from Ye Olde Exotica Shoppe, along with some potion ingredients. More than anything, Glo wants to fly - which leads her to try a flying spell on several different brooms, one of which might actually have been bewitched to fly!Out of the blue, Lizzie encounters Wulf (Gerwulf Grimoire). Wulf looks like a vampire - shoulder-length black hair, pale skin, striking good looks, and an intimidating manner. Did I mention that Wulf can appear and disappear in clouds of black smoke? Or that he can burn impressions of his finger and hand prints onto skin? If you've read the Plum in-between books, you know that Wulf is an Unmentionable, like Diesel; except Wulf is out for himself, which makes him the "villain". Diesel and Wulf are cousins, but Diesel works for BUM, which means he has to round up unruly Unmentionables and magical objects that might otherwise cause mortals trouble. Diesel and Wulf have unusual powers, like being able to open locks, appearing and disappearing at will, and being drop-dead sexy.Wulf wants Lizzie's help. Seems she's one of only 2 Unmentionables who have the gift for locating and sensing magical objects. And Wulf wants the SALIGIA stones - 7 stones, each of which represents the power of one of the seven deadly sins: Superbia-Pride, Acedia-Greed, Luxuria-Lust, Ira-Wrath, Gula-Gluttony, Invidia-Envy, and Avaritia-Greed. Supposedly, anyone who combines all 7 stones in one vessel, that person can unleash the stones' power and create hell on earth... or ultimate power. While Wulf is dark (in both appearance and deed), Diesel is light. He's got beach bum good looks and build. And he comes with Carl, the sarcastic monkey with a real attitude, who likes to flip people off when they annoy him.Wulf and Diesel can't find the stones on their own - their powers don't extend to that. (Why? 'Cuz it makes the story possible!) Which is why they both want Lizzie's help. The only other Unmentionable who can locate/sense the stones is Hatchet, a weirdo who dresses and talks like a medieval knight wanna-be and wields a sword when things don't go his way. Oh, and he's got a way with torture and poisons.And let's not forget Cat #7143, the cat that Glo was compelled to adopt for Lizzie when driving by the shelter. Cat has one glass eye and half a tail, and there seems to be more to him than meets the eye. In fact, he might just be her Aunt Ophelia's cat! Cat also has a way of protecting Lizzie from the bad guys, like Hatchet, who's working for Wulf.So.... the stone they're after in this book is Avaritia, or Greed. Turns out that 4 cousins in the Boston/Salem/Marblehead area inherited some unique "gifts" from their Uncle Phil. Phil was a guardian of the Avaritia stone. When Lizzie goes to the home of Shirley, one of her daily cupcake customers (Shirley purchases 36 cupcakes each day), she realizes that SOMETHING has a hold Shirley! Her house looks like Costco's food section! Unfortunately, Glo is along, and she tries out a truth spell on Shirley, without a necessary potion ingredient, which causes Shirley to speak gobbledygook.Can Lizzie and Diesel locate the charms that point to the stone before Wulf and Hatchet? Will Glo find the spell to give Shirley back her speech? Can Lizzie keep from succumbing to the greed that each charm passes onto it's owner? You'll have to read the book to find out!