If Stephanie Plum had a cousin, she would be Bubbles Yablonsky. A hairdresser with a figure Barbie would envy, Bubbles is a divorced mom trying to make a better life for herself and her teenage daughter. She's gone back to school to study journalism and when her professor calls, needing a fill-in reporter, Bubbles is determined this will be her big break. Little does she know just how big.

After she and dangerously attractive photographer Steve Stiletto stumble onto a murder scene on the way home and catch one of the most powerful women in town virtually red-handed, Bubbles knows this is the story of her career. But when the crime is linked to a 10-year-old unsolved murder, Bubbles may be in over her head.

Whether she's dealing with her Kool-Aid-haired daughter, her sleazy ex-husband and his witchy new trophy wife, or her gun-totin' mother, Bubbles is ebullient and entertaining. Strohmeyer's debut is a shining start to what is sure to be a rip-roaring series. (Now available, 288 pp., $6.99) Hardcover published March 2001.

Reviewed by: 
Tara Gelsomino