Friday, June 24, 2011

Review: Bubbles Unbound by Sarah Strohmeyer

 Bubbles Unbound

Author: Sarah Strohmeyer
Publisher Format:  Recorded Books, Audio,10 hrs, 47 min, 352 pg equivalent
Year of publication: 2003
Subject: crime solving
Setting: Lehigh Pennsylvania
Series: Bubbles Yablonsky mysteries
Genre: mystery, amateur detective
Source: public library download
Rating: 3of 5,
Recommended: for fans of the series, and semi-cozy mysteries

My sister Chèli, of Chèli's Shelves has read most of this series and suggested that I might enjoy one or two.  When I had finished reading this one, I asked if all of them were the same and she said "pretty much." Bubbles Yablonsky is a gum-snapping bottle blond, heavy on the make-up, skimpy on the clothes (tube tops/hot pants, HIGH heels), amply endowed in the right places hairdresser in Lehigh PA. The shop, Sandi's House of Beauty, is experiencing a downturn in clientele, which translates to a downturn in tips, which in turn translates into not enough money to pay the bills or feed her pre-teen daughter. Bubbles' ex-husband Dan (now he calls himself Chip) the attorney, was ordered by the divorce court to pay for Bubbles' higher education since her salary had funded his law-school education.

Therefore Bubbles decides to go back to school to increase her earning potential.  Nine years later, she has attended and FAILED every course offered by the local community, except for Journalism...her last chance to make something of herself.  She aces the course, and sets out to become a crack reporter.  Her adventures are at times hilarious, at times a bit over the top, but the story is entertaining enough and comes to an expected ending.

This series has been compared to Janet Evanovitch's Stephanie Plum series.  Meah......maybe......but these characters aren't doing it for me.  Bubbles is too much of a caricature - sort of Flo (from Mel's Dinner) meets Stephanie.  Bubble's mother Lulu  is definitely no Grandma Mazur (on whom she seems to be modeled).  The other characters, particularly the males, are wooden and lacking in any kind of appeal.  The supposed love/lust interest "Stilleto", wouldn't even make it on the cover of a pulp romance.  Chèli did allow as how this particular one, the first in the series, isn't as good as the rest, so I gave it 3 stars, and may try another sometime in the future to see if Bubbles is more than a pretty illusion floating through the air.  Until then mark it for a perfect beach read, airy, light, bubbly, and as empty as that iced tea you just gulped down.


  1. Having read most of the Stephanie Plum series, I guess I'll pass on this one, since you say it's not as good. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. I hear you, Tina. I read a couple of these and though, meh . . can't be bothered. No one could be as funny as Grandma Mazur; she's the star of the Plum books as far as I'm concerned.

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  4. What a wonderful blog you the content...cute blog name also.


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