In her second novel featuring the high-energy beautician/rookie reporter, Bubbles Yablonsky (after 2001's Bubbles Unbound), Strohmeyer successfully navigates the fine line between humorous stereotype and sympathetic amateur investigator. As the novel opens, the tube top-wearing, Camaro-driving, self-described last "Polish-Lithuanian Barbie doll in Lehigh, Pennsylvania" is taking the blame for jinxing the nuptials of her shy friend, Janice, a records clerk in the local police department. Janice has not only gone missing but the uncle with whom she lives is soon found dead in his gated retirement home. Bubbles retraces Janice's last steps, which lead to some shady doings in Amish country. Bubbles goes undercover, frantically (and hilariously) shifting between her role as a sexy reporter and her cover as an Amish widow. Despite her bumbling in a foreign culture, Bubbles manages to win the friendship and trust of this tight-knit community, and her own respect and growing understanding of the Plain folk is nicely conveyed. Bubbles's hunky beau, photographer Steve Stiletto, makes a steamy appearance, along with many other well-wrought oddball characters, including Bubbles's mother, Lulu, who's going through a Jackie O. phase.
I really am enjoying this series. For those of you that like the Stephanie Plum series, you will enjoy this one as well. I laughed in many parts of the book. I can't wait to pick up the next book in the series.