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By Sonia Safri in Bookked! - On

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Janet Evanovich, best known for her numbered series of fluffy mysteries featuring Jersey girl Stephanie Plum, is sure a “funny” woman. Not many authors are able to bring out real “lol” moments as naturally as Evanovich. This series of Alexandra Barnaby (“Barney” as she is fondly called) is quite a fresh read.

Metro Girl is about a Baltimore babe – Alexandra Barnaby. Alex (known to her family as ‘Barney') grew up in her father's garage and can disassemble and reassemble engines quicker than most men could open a hood. Working in her father’s garage over the summers and other vacations has instilled her and her brother with a love of cars.

This mystery/comedy (mis)adventure begins with Barney’s quiet life being disrupted by an early morning call from her care-free, frolicking, womanizer brother, telling her that he’s leaving for Miami for a while. His voice is drowned out by a noisy boat engine. And the call is abruptly dropped with the sound of a woman’s scream. So Barney’s “forever-inviting-trouble” brother (“Wild” Bill) seems to be in deep **** and Barney does what any dutiful sister would – run to Miami from Baltimore to save him. Barney learns that he is also accused of running away with NASCAR king Sam Hooker’s two million dollar worth sixty-five foot Hatteras Convertible (Happy Hooker). And Sam Hooker tags up with Barney to look for her brother and his boat.

The escapade brings to light a lot of hidden secrets and close encounters with the bad men. Things are super complicated and scary. And it seems like a race against time and a bunch of monstrous men.

Barney is cute, spunky, tomboyish and hilarious. At times I found myself comparing her to Stephanie Plum. They are similar but unique in their own way. Fun, silly and clever when required.
The budding love between Barney and Hooker (wish he had a different surname) is quite “cute”. And I really have to stop using the “c” word now!
The plot and the characterization are filled with a good dose of humor, mystery, adventure, action and sex. Yes, there are quite a few glitches but overall this one accounts for an energetic, fast-paced plot that thickens, stretches, and manages to keep you hooked till the very last line.

You might find a lot of similarity in this series as compared to Evanovich’s Plum series. Overall, a fun read. 

Sonia Safri

A Pune-based copywriter-journalist-subeditor-content developer and a commercial pilot license holder, Sonia Safri is a voracious reader and an ardent lover of music. Her passion for ideating and creating quirky (and sometimes serious) tag lines saw her begin her career as a copywriter with some of Pune’s top ad agencies. She moved on to freelance as a features writer for Times Of India’s Pune supplements, and eventually headed Pune’s weekly entertainment tabloid- Entertainment Unlimited, for about a year. Currently associated with, this self-confessed coffee addict writes book reviews, short stories and travels around the country.

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