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Set in Beaumont, S.C., the fifth installment in Evanovich's Full series (after 2004's Full Blast) gets off to a raucous start. When photographer Wes Bridges comes looking for a room at Annie Fortenberry's B&B, a former bordello that's supposedly haunted, Annie mistakes him for her drunken handyman and hits poor Wes on the head with her rolling pin. Hilarity ensues as Annie and her cast of eccentric boarders provide first aid to Wes in the form of a local veterinarian who specializes in livestock tranquilizers. The comedy gives way to murky mystery when the police locate the body of Annie's philandering husband, Charles, who disappeared three years earlier, and arrest Annie for his murder. The romance between Wes and Annie heats up the sheets, even as the list of suspects grows. Unfortunately, the plot flattens out, and even boarder Destiny's efforts to provide the B&B's ghost with therapy fail to rekindle the novel's earlier humor. While readers will be amused by the wacky first few chapters, the mystery never reaches the intensity of Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels, and fans will likely be disappointed with this less than stellar entry. (Apr.)
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*Starred Review* Annie Fortenberry has knocked out Wes Bridges twice already, and he still wants to stay at her bed-and-breakfast, a former house of ill repute she's inherited from her grandmother. With a psychic/medium, perpetually tipsy handyman, aging ballerina, and kleptomaniac ghost who doesn't know she's dead as long-term residents, not to mention frequent visits from a dog named Fleas, the cat who hates him, and an absentminded 90-year-old veterinarian neighbor, the Peach Tree Bed and Breakfast is in a constant state of chaos. Now, with the discovery of Annie's missing husband's body in the garden, murder and mayhem have been thrown into the equation. Despite all of this, Annie, a prime suspect in the heinous crime, still has to finish the last-minute details of a secret, elaborate celebrity wedding she's hosting at the inn. With Wes, Annie might finally have found the love of her life--unless she learns the real reason he's checked into the Peach Tree. Part of the Jamie Swift and Max Holt series, this screwball comedy will greatly please readers with its rapid-fire dialogue, roller-coaster pace, and unconventional characters. Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.