Wicked Business (Lizzy and Diesel Series #2)

Wicked Business (Lizzy and Diesel Series #2)

by Janet Evanovich

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Janet Evanovich, #1 New York Times mega-bestselling author, is back and better than ever, proving that when it comes to hunting down bad guys and hidden treasure, the real fun is in the chase.
When Harvard University English professor and dyed-in-the-wool romantic Gilbert Reedy is mysteriously murdered and thrown off his fourth-floor balcony, Lizzy and Diesel take up his twenty-year quest for the Luxuria Stone, an ancient relic believed by some to be infused with the power of lust. Following clues contained in a cryptic nineteenth-century book of sonnets, Lizzy and Diesel tear through Boston catacombs, government buildings, and multimillion-dollar residences, leaving a trail of robbed graves, public disturbances, and spontaneous seduction.
Janet Evanovich does it again and gives us another exciting un-put-down-able read that is striking a chord with readers everywhere!

Get a sneak peek of The Heist, the first book in an exciting brand-new series from Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg—inside! 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345527790
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/20/2012
Series: Lizzy and Diesel Series , #2
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 61,807
Product dimensions: 4.36(w) x 6.72(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.


Hanover, New Hampshire

Date of Birth:

April 22, 1943

Place of Birth:

South River, New Jersey


B.A., Douglass College, 1965

Read an Excerpt


My name is Lizzy Tucker, and I used to think I was normal. My hair is blond with some chemical assistance. My eyes are brown from my Grandpa Harry. I’m 5'5" tall, and my breasts measure more than my waist so I’m a happy camper. I had a mildly embarrassing childhood free from any truly significant disasters. I ­wasn’t a cheerleader or the prom queen. I ­didn’t graduate with honors. I chose culinary school after high school, where I limped my way through butchering beasts and excelled at baking cakes. I was engaged and disengaged. Good riddance to him. In January, three days after my ­twenty-­eighth birthday, I inherited a house from my Great Aunt Ophelia, and I took a job as pastry chef at Dazzle’s Bakery in Salem.

For five terrific months, I felt like my life was finally coming together. And then two men and a monkey dropped into my world and changed it forever.

One of the men is called Wulf, short for Gerwulf Gri­moire. He’s eerily handsome, with midnight black, ­shoulder- length hair that waves over his ears. His skin is pale, his eyes are dark, and his intentions are even darker. The other guy is big and scruffy, and beach bum blond. He has a hard muscled body, a questionable attitude, and a monkey named Carl. The big, scruffy guy is unexplainably charming, and he has only one name . . . Diesel.

The men are my age. And according to Diesel, we’re part of a loosely organized band of humans with abilities beyond the ordinary. I don’t entirely believe all this, but I don’t disbelieve it, either. I recognize that some people are smarter, braver, stronger, can sing better, are luckier than others. So who’s to say some people don’t have abilities just north of normal. I mean, it’s not like he’s telling me he’s Superman from the planet Krypton, right?

This is my first October in New ­En­gland. I still love my job and Ophelia’s small, ­two-­bedroom saltbox that sits on the crest of a hill overlooking Marblehead Harbor. The house was built in 1740 and over the years has had some renovation, with varying degrees of success. It’s a little lopsided and the windows ­aren’t plumb, but it has a working fireplace, and from day one it’s felt like home.

Usually, I work from five in the morning until one in the afternoon, but today I had the day off. Rain was slanting against my kitchen windows, and the ancient maple in my backyard rattled in the wind. I was in the middle of chopping vegetables for soup when my back door blew open and Diesel stepped into my tiny mudroom. He was wearing motorcycle boots, ­washed-­out jeans, a T‑shirt that advertised beer, and an unzipped gray sweatshirt. He had a ­two-­day beard, his hair was thick and unruly and wet from the rain, and he was sex walking.

“I need you to come with me,” Diesel said. “Some guy just got pitched off his ­fourth-­floor balcony, and Wulf is involved. There’s a rumor going around that ­Wulf’s got a lead on another SALIGIA Stone. I imagine this murder fits in somehow.”

The story Diesel tells is that seven ancient stones hold the power of the seven deadly sins. They’re called the Stones of SALIGIA, and if you combine them in the same vessel you get ­really bad juju going . . . like hell on earth. Some people believe the stones have found their way to Salem. Wulf happens to be one of those people. And Wulf has made it known that he wants them. Since Wulf is thought to inhabit the dark side from time to time, Diesel has been bestowed the responsibility of preventing Wulf from collecting the stones.

“Ordinarily, I ­wouldn’t mind tagging along,” I said to Diesel, “but I’m making soup.”

“Okay, let’s take a look at what we’ve got. You can stay here and make soup, or you can go with me and save mankind from getting chucked into Satan’s stew pot.”

I blew out a sigh. Having special abilities sounds good on paper. And there are some people, like Wulf, who might enjoy the power those abilities bring, but I found the gift to be an awkward burden. I get that someone has to save mankind from the big stew pot in hell, but why me?

“To tell you the truth, I’ve never ­really bought into the whole SALIGIA thing,” I said to Diesel. “And I truly don’t feel equipped to save mankind.”

“You have a critical ability I lack,” Diesel said. “You’re one of only two people who can sense objects related to the SALIGIA Stones.”

“And you think I’ll have to use that ability at this crime scene?”

“Probably not,” Diesel said, “but you’re cute. And if I have to go look at some idiot who ­face-­planted onto the sidewalk in the rain, I’m taking you with me.”

“You think I’m cute?”

“Yeah. Can you hurry it up here, please?”

It’s sort of alarming that I can be so easily swayed by a compliment, but there you have it. I scooped the chopped vegetables into my soup pot and clapped a lid on it. I grabbed my purse off the kitchen counter, snatched a hooded sweatshirt off a peg next to the door, and stepped outside.

The cloud cover was low, the rain was turning to a drizzle, and there was a chill in the air. There were still boats on moorings in the harbor below my house, but their number was significantly decreased from the summer crush. It was definitely fall in New ­En­gland.

Diesel opened the white picket fence gate that led from my small backyard to the alley where he was illegally parked. He was ­driv­ing a red Jeep Grand Cherokee that ­wasn’t new and ­wasn’t old. Usually, it was ­mud-­splattered and coated in road dust. Today, the rain had washed the top layer of dirt away and it looked almost clean.

I slid onto the ­passenger-­side seat, buckled myself in, and realized Carl was in the back. Carl looked up at me, gave me a finger wave, and smiled a horrible monkey smile. All monkey gums and monkey teeth and crazy bright monkey eyes.

I grew up in suburbia. We had cats, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, parakeets, and fish. Never a monkey. A monkey was a new, sometimes disturbing experience.

Diesel drove down Weatherby Street to Pleasant, Pleasant turned into Lafayette, and Lafayette took us to the bridge that crossed into Salem. We followed traffic through the center of town, cut off to the north side, parked behind a police cruiser on Braintree Street, and made our way over to where a small crowd was gathering.

This was a mixed neighborhood of commercial and residential. Cop cars, a truck belonging to the medical examiner, and an EMT truck were angle parked in front of a ­seven-­story, yellow brick condo building that looked like it had been built in the seventies. Crime scene tape cordoned off an area in front of the building, and a makeshift screen had been erected, preventing gawkers like me from seeing the body sprawled on the ­rain-­slicked pavement. Thank heaven for the screen. I ­didn’t want to see the dead guy.

“Do you know his name?” I asked Diesel.

“Gilbert Reedy. He’s a professor at Harvard. My source tells me Reedy came flying through the air and crash landed with a handprint burned into his neck.”

I felt my breakfast roll in my stomach, and my upper lip broke out in a sweat. “Oh boy,” I said. “Damn.”

Diesel looked down at me. “Breathe. And think about something else.”

“How can I think about something else? There’s a dead man on the ground, and he has a handprint burned into his flesh.”

“Think about baseball,” Diesel said.

“Okay, baseball. Am I playing or watching?”

“You’re watching.”

“Am I at the park? Or is it on television?”


Diesel tipped his head back and looked up at a shattered slider, leading to a postage-stamp-size balcony on the fourth floor. I looked up, too.

“I know of only one person who can channel enough energy to leave a burn mark like that on someone’s neck.”



“So you think Wulf pitched Reedy through the window and off the balcony?”

“Everything points to that, but it would be out of character for Wulf. Wulf likes things neat. And this is messy. I can’t see Wulf throwing a guy out a window . . . especially in the rain.”

“That would be more you,” I said.

“Yeah. That would be more me.”

I scanned the crowd on the other side of the crime scene and spotted Wulf. He was standing alone, and he was impeccably dressed in black slacks and sweater. He ­didn’t look like a man who not so long ago threw someone out a window. His hair was swept back, and his dark eyes were focused on me with an intensity that made my skin prickle.

I felt Diesel move closer, his body touching mine, his hand at my neck. A protective posture. Wulf nodded in acknowledgment. There was a flash of light, some smoke, and when the smoke cleared, Wulf was gone.

“He’s been doing the smoke thing ever since he went to magic camp in the third grade,” Diesel said. “It’s getting old. He ­really needs to get some new parlor tricks.”

Diesel and Wulf are cousins. They’re related by blood, but separated by temperament and ideology. Diesel works as a kind of bounty hunter for the regulatory agency that keeps watch over humans with exceptional abilities. Wulf is just Wulf. And from what I’m told, ­that’s almost never good.

“Now what?” I asked Diesel. “Are you going to tell the police?”

“No. ­That’s not the way we do things. Wulf is my responsibility.”


“Yeah, I’m behind the curve on this one.”

I saw a flash of brown fur scuttle past me, and Carl crawled under the tarp that screened the body.

“I thought you locked him in the car,” I said to Diesel.

“I did.”

“What the heck?” someone yelled from the other side of the tarp. “Where’d the monkey come from? He’s contaminating the crime scene. Somebody call animal control.”

Diesel slipped under the tarp and returned with Carl. We hustled back to the car, we all got in, and Diesel took off down the street.

“He’s holding something in his hand,” I said to Diesel. “It looks like a key.”

Carl put it in his mouth and bit down. “Eeee!”

I traded him a mint, and I took the key. It was sized to fit a diary or journal, and it was intricately engraved with tiny vines and leaves.

“Is this yours?” I asked Diesel.

“No. He must have picked it up off the ground.”

“Maybe he got it off Reedy. Maybe he snatched it out of his pocket.”

“I took a look at Reedy, and he ­didn’t have pockets. He was only wearing boxers and one sock. I guess he could have had the key stuck up his nose or inserted south of the border.”

I took hand sanitizer out of my purse and squirted it onto the key. Diesel cut across a couple streets, found Lafayette, and turned ­toward Marblehead.

“Are we done?” I asked him.

“If we were done, I’d be on a beach in the South Pacific. I thought we’d go back to your house so you can finish your soup and I can do some research on Gilbert Reedy.”


Diesel peeled off Pleasant Street and wound around the historic area of Marblehead, following narrow streets designed for horses and foot traffic. He turned onto Weatherby Street and parked in front of my little house. The clapboards are gray, the trim is white, and there are two onion lamps on either side of my red front door.

Glo was sitting on my stoop with her black sweatshirt hood pulled up and her canvas messenger bag hugged to her chest. She’s single, like me. She’s four years younger, an inch shorter, and she’s the counter girl at Dazzle’s. Her curly red hair is chopped into a short bob, and her taste in clothes runs somewhere between Disney Princess and punk rocker. Today she was wearing black Uggs, black tights, a short black skirt, and a black, orange, pink, and baby blue striped knit shirt under the black sweatshirt. She stood when she saw us, and her face lit up with a smile.

“I was afraid you’d never come home, and I’d be stuck out here forever,” she said.

I looked up and down the street. “Where’s your car?”

“It’s back at my apartment. It’s leaking something.”

“How’d you get here?”

“My neighbor was passing through and dropped me off. I thought you were making soup this morning.”

“There was a temporary change in plans,” I told her.

Diesel opened my front door, Carl rushed into the house, and we all followed him to the kitchen, where Cat 7143 was perched on a stool. Cat is shorthaired, ­tiger-­striped, has one eye and half a tail. Glo rescued Cat 7143 from the shelter and gave him to me. It said Cat 7143 on his adoption paper, and he’s been Cat 7143 ever since. Cat jumped off the stool, sniffed at Carl, and walked away in disgust. Carl flipped him the bird and claimed the stool.

“Put the hex on anybody lately?” Diesel asked Glo.

Glo set her messenger bag on the counter. “No. I tried to put a happy spell on my broom, but it ­didn’t work. He’s still cranky.”

Glo’s read the entire Harry Potter series four times and has aspirations toward wizardry. A couple months ago, she found Ripple’s Book of Spells in a curio shop, and she’s been ­test-­­driv­ing spells ever since. I like Glo a lot, and she’s an excellent counter girl, but she’s a disaster as a wizard.

“What kind of soup are you making?” Glo asked, looking into my pot.

“Vegetable with beef broth and noodles.”

“Are you putting any exotic herbs in it? I have some powdered eye of newt with me.” Glo rummaged around in her bag and pulled out a small jar. “And I’ve got lizard eggs, but they might be expired. I got them on sale.”

“Thanks,” I said, “but I’ll pass.”

I took the little key out of my pocket, set it on the counter, and went to the sink to wash my hands.

“Omigosh,” Glo said. “It’s the Lovey key. I ­didn’t realize you were the one who bought the sonnets.”

“I ­didn’t buy sonnets,” I told her. “I found the key. Technically, Carl found it.”

Glo picked the key up and squinted at it. “If you look real close, you can see the L inscribed in the middle of the vines. It’s absolutely ancient, and Nina at Ye Olde Exotica Shoppe said it might be enchanted. It goes with a little book of sonnets. I was saving up money to buy the book from Nina, but someone beat me to it.”

I tied my chef apron around my waist and looked over at Glo. “I ­didn’t realize you liked poetry.”

Customer Reviews

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Wicked Business: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 446 reviews.
Erin_Erb More than 1 year ago
She does it again!!! As always a fast read (one day worth) I love the comedy and the hot men. I also agree with another review that some of the supporting characters seem "Grandma Mazur like". But all in all another great book from a expert novelist. Wish it was longer, but then again I think all of her books should be longer. I never want to put them down, so they are done so fast. READ! READ!! READ!!! You wont be disappointed, as no one ever is with a Janet Evanovich book!
KarenEK More than 1 year ago
Light, fun and a fast read. My only complaint us that I enjoyed it so much that I couldn't put it down and had it read in a day. I can't wait for the next one in this series.
sand7s More than 1 year ago
Very good book. I loved the characters and was sorry to see it end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series and the characters, but feel this one was too short. It felt more like a novella. I would like more story for my money, especially because the characters were fun. One complaint I had is that one of the supporting characters seems like a rehash of Grandma Mazur. I won't say more than that; I'm curious, though, if other readers will see the same Grandma Mazur-like character dropped into this book. Some of the humor felt uninspired--kind of like the same-old same-old lifted from the Stephanie Plum series. However, having said that, I srill was entertained and polished the book off immediately. Average Evanovich is better than many other published authors' best work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wicked pleasure! My best friend has been reading Janet Evanovich novels for years, but Wicked Business is the one that she finally insisted I read. Having just finished, I can convincingly say that I understand where her often overwhelming obsession with this author is coming from. This is the absolute perfect summer read, packed with all the perfect indulgences; action, mystery, lust. An awesome adventure throughout historic Boston, yet littered with allure and intrigue. In a moment of relaxation this summer, do yourself a favor and pick this one up. Meanwhile I'll be reading the rest of Evanovich's books...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I might have given this 4 stars, but it is just so silly. It becomes tedious. I wish she would lose the stupid monkey and the stupid cat which is nowhere near as stupid as the monkey, I admit. It seems as if every book she has written lately is vying to be dumber than the one before. It is so disappointing. Used to be I couldn't wait to open her new book. Now, though I am still reading, it is with reluctance and the anticipation of disappointment. I wish she would get back on track.
TammieL More than 1 year ago
I read this book cover to cover in one sitting. The fact that it takes place not far from where I live made me enjoy it even more. If you were looking for a good beach read or afternoon escape this book would be the perfect choice.
In_My_Humble_OpinionDA More than 1 year ago
Another winner for Evanovich fans. I’ve said it before you either love or hate Janet Evanovich’s stories. I happen to love them. Wicked Business is classic Evanovich with its quirky often juvenile humor hot men and situational comedy I found it to be great escape. Lizzy & Diesel are back and racing against Wulf and Hatchett to find the Lust stone. But there is another player looking for it as well. Glo is still practicing her wizardry. Hatchett is still a medieval minion and Carl is still a monkey. Another winner for Evanovich fans.
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
I have read all Janet's books and the entire Stephanie Plum Series and loved them; however, this one was a big disappointment - very boring and could not wait for it to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read the entire Stephanie Plum series and loved them all! This book was a little dull, slow and not very funny... I might not buy any more of the Wicked series...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the only book i have been disappointed and bored with
Gab_G More than 1 year ago
This book made me laugh hysterically! I love Lizzy and Diesel but can't wait to find out what sort of relationship Lizzy and Wulf have in the next book! And even though I wasn't a huge fan of Carl the monkey in Wicked Appetite, I'm starting to love him after reading Wicked Business! I couldn't put it down! I read it all in one day and am sad that the next book in the series won't be out for a while! Janet Evanovich is a phenomenal writer and her style is amazingly comedic and sexy! I can't wait to read the next one!
BhMnScMm More than 1 year ago
I've been waiting for the second book in the Wicked series to come out. I enjoyed Wicked Appetite and thought this was a good addition to the series. Diesel is cute and sexy while Lizzy is relatively down to earth, still trying to figure out the unmentionable-thing. Don't wait too long for #3, Janet!
Lindsie More than 1 year ago
This book is fun and quirky! I love the characters and the series makes sense together. My favorite character would have to be the monkey! :) All in all, this series is awesome. Its fun, filled with adventure, quick paced, and silly. I cant wait for book #3 to come out. We all need a Lizzie and Diesel fix!
PKMAZ More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy gritty, sexy mysteries with a humorous twist, you'll enjoy the book. I've come to love Diesel and Evanovich's characters are always a pleasure to follow in her stories. I also like the way her characters are in both of her series. I have been buying two copies of her books as I send one to my daughter in CA.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this book. It's funny and easy to get throught. I guess all the people who leave nasty comments shouldn't have read the book to begin with. Also to the reviewer who insulted the intelligence of the people who like the book, I say to you, we all have different tastes and if you can't see this then I wonder about your intelligence as well
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing so whitty
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wish it was longer!
GerryH More than 1 year ago
As always Janet does it once again. You are captured by this book right from the beginning. I am always looking for more when I finish reading any of her books and this one was no different. She has a way of keeping your interest way past the end of the book in anticipation of the next one that isn't even available yet. A must read. I warn you once you begin to read her books you will be hooked.
MRFoss09 More than 1 year ago
Lizzy and Diesal are my kind of people. This new series from Janet is going to keep me up at night reading. I laughed out loud several times and held my breathe. From Stephanie to Lizzy....can not wait until the new books are available.
ScubaJen More than 1 year ago
This is another light read. It is most enjoyable and fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is no such thing as too much Evanovich!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Actually I would like to give it zero stars if possible as this was a waste of my money. I have loved all of her Stephanie Plum books and this book was such a disappointment. It seemed like every few pages was redundant of the previous pages. I can't believe there are so many reviews praising the book. I sort of wonder about their intelligence.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The highly entertaining and campy sequel to Wicked Appetite
Sweetmunequita More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful book by Janet Evanovich! The characters are hilarious!! I love Lizzy and Diesel! I got this book the day it came out but I didn't want to start reading it because I knew once I did I wouldn't be able to put it down! I was right!! You are going to be laughing out loud reading this book. It ended way too soon! Can't wait for Janet's next book!