Title: Troublemaker Vol 2
Author: Janet & Alex Evanovich
Art: Joelle Jones
Publisher: Dark Horse
May Contain Spoilers
There’s no smooth sailing for Alex Barnaby and Sam Hooker in the second volume of bestselling author Janet Evanovich’s graphic-novel adventure, Troublemaker. Barnaby, Hooker, Rosa, Felicia, and Beans the St. Bernard set sail to the Florida Keys in order to find the wooden body of Baron Samedi that matches their recently acquired – and stolen – wooden hand. But in the world of petro voodoo a hand for a hand and a Baron for a boat is fair play. When the Happy Hooker disappears from its mooring in the Keys, Barnaby and Hooker have to find a way back to Miami with the stolen body of Baron Samedi. Ransom notes for the Happy Hooker, a sack of snakes, and a ticked-off chicken, leave only one place safe enough to hide a body… Hooker’s mom’s house – a situation that makes the sack of snakes look like chump change.
What a fun read! I enjoyed the second volume of Troublemaker better than the first, and I really liked the first one! I still feel the price point is a bit high for the low page count, but at least the book is well put together, with a sturdy cover and thick, glossy pages.
Hooker is having a really, really bad day. Nitro has stolen his baby, the Happy Hooker, a 64 foot boat. If Barnaby and Hooker hand over the statue of the Baron, Nitro will give the boat back. Maybe. That’s what he says, at any rate, but can you really trust a guy who steals your boat, sets his posse on you, and leaves an enraged chicken in your car? Probably not…
The one-liners zip through the panels, and the action is non-stop. Barnaby and Hooker are propelled from one situation to the next with lightning speed, and though most are comical and absurd rather than life-threatening, I enjoyed my journey with them. They get out of scrapes with humor and good luck, rather than through brains or brawn. The scene with the snakes shed a lot of light on their relationship for me – Hooker might be a race-car driver, defying death with every race, but it’s Barnaby who has the pluck and the courage to get them out of tense situations. Yup, that girl will do anything for a pair of designer shoes.
The art and the snappy dialog made the book for me, yet again. The plot is really just a feeble excuse for the gang to get together and to get into a load of trouble, but the illustrations bring the story to life. Some of the events are rather random, but the art keeps them fresh and amusing.
If you are a Janet Evanovich fan, be aware that this is a comic book. If you are new to comics, check both volumes of Troublemaker out of your local library and give the books a spin. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. If you already enjoy graphic novels, this is a funny, brainless romp with bright, vivid illustrations that will keep you turning the pages.
Review copy provided by publisher