Dutton, July 2003, 23.95, 320 pp.
At the Pocono's Passion Peak Resort, Bubbles Yablonsky anxiously waits for Associated Press Photographer Steve Stiletto to arrive so they can begin their romantic weekend. While she impatiently anticipates his appearance, her boss at the Lehigh News-Times sends a fax ordering her to go over to Slagville to cover the story of a businessman shot to death. When she arrives at the Number Nine Mine she sees her cousin's car there and thinks she was set up for a practical joke.
She is proven wrong when Stiletto arrives saying his boss emailed him asking him to take pictures at the homicide scene. Someone pushes them into the mine where they find the body of Bud Wilcox, the man determined to bring gambling to Slagville. Somebody causes a rockslide trapping the duo inside the mine but they find a way out and investigate the story that they are a part of. Bubbles realizes that someone is orchestrating events behind the scenes, but how her missing in action cousin and a fortune in coal just waiting to be excavated once certain people vanish fits in is something she struggles to figure out.
Anyone looking for a lighthearted amateur sleuth novel starring a street savvy heroine, who is no longer an amateur since she is paid to investigate and report, will want to read BUBBLES ABLAZE. Bubbles is always underestimated because of her looks and the spandex clothing she wears so it is easy for her to get people to talk to her for a story. Sarah Strohmeyer has created a fine mystery novel to bring to the beach, as the upbeat tale is pure fun to read.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner