by Sarah Strohmeyer

April 2005
ISBN: 0-525-94864-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Dutton

Bubbles is back, blonder and brassier than ever! Bubbles Betrothed is the latest book in the Agatha Award winning series. Bubbles Yablonsky has turned legions of fans into "Bubbleheads" and this book is bound to charm them with more zany adventures.

Though she is still on probation, Bubbles has settled into her job as a reporter. She has left her beauty salon days behind, but is still able to give beauty tips to others and to pull together the perfect color palette for herself.

Bubbles' education from the Two Guys College and her past investigative skills are put to the test after the death of a long time high school principal. The accused murderer, Crazy Popeye, keels over dead in front of Bubbles during an exclusive interview. When Bubbles refuses to turn over her interview notes, not only are the police on her case, but others are stalking and threatening both Bubbles and her daughter, Jane.

As if trying to protect herself and her family weren't enough to deal with, Bubbles has to go along with a fake engagement to her love interest, Steve Stiletto, to keep him from losing a plum photojournalist assignment. Bubbles' Mom thinks it is a real engagement and already has visions of a wedding reception at the Polish-American club complete with scrapple, pierogies and a boombas band.

Bubbles Betrothed takes the reader on a rollicking romp through Lehigh Pennsylvania. The suspense is maintained with fast pacing and curious clues along the way. The setting itself is part of the charm of the Bubbles series. In this day of people having to move long distances from family, there is something endearing about a community where people have lived for several generations and know each other, "warts and all". There is a cast of new, quirky characters in this book as well as the return of old favorites from previous ones.

Bubbles is a strong heroine, who has been a wonderful mother and has tried to keep up an amicable relationship with her ex-husband, despite what he has done in the past. There are a couple steamy scenes between Bubbles and Steve Stiletto, but love in many forms is threaded throughout the plot. The ending leaves room for more adventures with Bubbles and the gang. I can hardly wait. If you aren't already a "Bubblehead", you need to go back and catch up with this delightful series.

Reviewed in March 2005 by Roberta.

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