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Bubbles Ablaze (Bubbles Books) [Hardcover]

Sarah Strohmeyer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

July 2003 Bubbles Books
Bubbles' romantic holiday with Stiletto is cut short at a critical moment when she receives a phone call from her cousin's husband. It's a matter of life and death, apparently, that she meet him at midnight at the old mine. They arrive to find the mine deserted - except for the body of a man shot once in the head. When someone sets off an explosion at the entrance to the mine, Bubbles and Stiletto only just make it out alive. So Bubbles finds herself investigating the murder of Bud Farkas, a hot-shot business man who wanted to build a casino entertainment centre over the old coal mines in small-town Pennsylvania. Bubbles and Stiletto are in a race against time to discover who wanted him dead - and to beat each other to the story.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books (July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525947388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525947387
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 14.9 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,858,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘A breath of fresh air’ -- Kirkus Reviews (refers to previous work by the same author)

‘A breezy and funny mystery with a heroine who dresses like a Barbie doll and kicks ass like a marine’ -- Sparkle Hayter (refers to previous work by the same author)

‘A wonderfully energising and skilful page-turner of a book’ -- Fay Weldon (refers to previous work by the same author)

‘Hop in the Camaro and buckle up: Bubbles is behind the wheel, and a wild ride awaits’ -- Publishers Weekly (refers to previous work by the same author) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

BUBBLES ABLAZE is the wacky, wisecracking new mystery from Agatha Award-winning Sarah Strohmeyer. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
Looking back, I guess my first mistake was to assume that a rookie reporter could pursue both a hot story and a hot sex life. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars more capers with the blonde hairdresser 4 Sep 2008
more adventures with bubbles the blonde hairdresser turned reporter. she gets involved in a murder investigation yet again and drags everybody into it. set in slagville PA which is a coal town stuck in 1950's mode so some funny moments there!!! lots of fun and silly moments which kept me awake on a niteshift at work!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very mixed bag: a generous 2 for plot, 4+ for characters 27 July 2005
By Barbara L. Pinzka - Published on
This is the third entry in a slapdash, over-the-top mystery series featuring Bubbles Yablonsky, a hairdresser who looks like trailer trash but who longs to become a respected journalist. On the way to her goal, she stumbles and bumbles into one mystery after another, with the aid and support of the Mel-Gibson-esque Steve Stilleto, a top-level news photographer, whom she met on her first assignment.

Bubbles lives in a small blue/black-collar town in a part of America usually forgotten - the coal mines of Pennsylvania. Every character has a story connected to mining; Bubbles' father was killed when she was a young girl because, her family believes, he was a union organizer. Steve, the estranged step-son of a ruthless mine owner, hates his connection to the misery wreaked by Big Coal on innocent men and women.

It's almost impossible to describe a Strohmeyer plot; in a review of an earlier book in the series I think I said she used every idea she ever had. In my 40-some years of mystery-reading I can't think of a more convoluted (and somewhat ridiculous and highly unbelievable) plot.

In this outing Bubbles has left hairdressing for journalism and gets involved in a life-threatening, mysterious "accident" in a mine thought to be dormant and where a murder occurs while she and Steve are there after receiving mysterious messages. The race is on, with casino gambling, underground mine fires, a pierogi fight and who-knows-what's-next among the dozen or so plots and sub-plots.

Normally that would bother me. But Strohmeyer has a tremendous gift for creating eccentric characters, ones you usually can't help but love and want more of. Bubbles can spot a phony ten miles away, but her big heart accepts even the strangest individual, if s/he is hurt and honest (except the multi-pierced "G," a suitor for the hand of her beloved, ultra-smart daughter, Jane, whom she has raised single-handedly and for whom she wants a better future than that which Bubbles endured.

Strohmeyer's work resembles that of reigning working-class detectives' Queen Janet Evanovich, but I like Bubbles and her crew more (making me, a NJ native, a traitor of sorts). Their stories, like Bubbles, continue to develop in each book. Your suspension of disbelief will have to be extra-willing at times, but the fun to be had makes it worthwhile.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted amateur sleuth 14 Sep 2003
By Peggy Vincent - Published on
This one reminds me a bit of Nancy and Ned in the old Nancy Drew books. It's hard to take a mystery seriously when the main character is named Bubbles and the guy's name (well, his last name) is Stiletto. Bubbles, true to her name, looks frothy and wears Spandex, but we're to believe a mind hides beneath the hair spray (reminiscent of Legally Blonde) as she investigates what appears to be theft, extortion and maybe murder.
Totally silly, but fun.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not her best 3 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on
I have read all the Bubbles books and enjoyed them all. This one was not as good as the others. SPOILER Don't read farther if you don't to have the end given away: The "bad" guy was not even a character introduced in this book. One reason to read a mystery is to figure out who did it and why. This plot seemed to be cheating. Any book in a series should be able to stand alone, but if you never read the last Bubbles book you wouldn't even know who this character was.
I also had a difficult time believing that Silletto loves Bubbles as much as he seems to claim when he keeps leaving her when she needs him. And allows the beautiful reporter he is working with to imply there is more going on. example: "Come on Loverboy, we will miss the party" As he is leaving Bubbles after someone tried to kill them??? It is time for the relationship to move ahead, with Steve showing he loves her, saying it doesn't make it true. I will give Bubbles one more chance, but if the next mystery pulls another fast one, I will just have to re-read Stephanie Plums adventures.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-buy--great fun reading! 12 July 2003
By Caroline - Published on
This is the third in the Bubbles series, one of the few series of books that I buy instead of waiting to get them from the library. If you're a fan of authors like Crusie, Evanovich, Heller, Bartholomew, Hayter, etc., you'll love these books. I love this genre--the humorous romantic mystery-and am always on the lookout for new authors to read, and was happy to discover Bubbles a couple of years ago. I totally recommend Bubbles books (Bubbles Unbound, Bubbles in Trouble, and now Bubbles Ablaze) to anyone looking for a fun read.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I have visions of Stephanie Plum dancing in my head! 19 July 2003
By Bookreporter - Published on
Some mystery series lose steam as they go on, but this third installment in the Bubbles Yablonsky series is a page-turner. The zany characters and plot are similar to the popular Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series.
Bubbles starts her latest adventure at a planned rendezvous with hunk Steve Stiletto. Instead, she finds herself deep in the coal mines of Pennsylvania, where politics, intrigue and even murder draw her in --- in her pursuit of a scoop to report. When a missing friend is accused of murder, there is more at stake than her journalism career. This crazy plot has as many surprises as fun characters, including her intrepid teen daughter Jane, her mother with her gun-toting friend, and of course, the mysterious Stiletto. Even some new characters are added to the mix.
While Bubbles enjoys spandex and makeup, she's no airhead. She survives attempts on her life in between giving readers recipes for beauty products, such as homemade glycerin rose soap. This book also enjoys depth from an author who adds subtle political commentary throughout the book, including a group of women who form a semi-militia to stop the mining. An introduction about how the author's grandfather killed himself when he lost his mining job during the Great Depression adds interest and history to the tale.
Many cosy mysteries have heroines solving crime in the midst of everyday suburban life. This series enjoys a unique narrator, quality writing and fun plots that skirt the believable, with a good dose of humor.
--- Reviewed by Amy Alessio
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