Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Fight Like a Girl" -- Bethany Maines, COMPACT WITH THE DEVIL

[Come to think of it, why SHOULDN'T kickboxing gloves come in stylish colors?]
Let's imagine this direction first: Mysterious handsome boyfriend saves the life of a local merchant by leaping across the check-out counter to deliver a well-placed kick to an armed robber. Can you imagine his girlfriend telling him afterward, "You need to just call the police when these things happen, because you're no expert and you might get hurt" -- No? No such scene?

Then why on earth should it keep happening to Nikki Lanier, highly trained secret agent for the Carrie Mae Foundation, the part of the marvelous cosmetics corporation that buckles down to doing anything, anything, to help women around the world?

But it does. Not only that, Nikki's got issues with her mom (if she's out too long on a mission, her mother is likely to call the cops), her co-workers (who'd have guessed Camille would ignore the mission plan!), and, of course, the bad guys. What's a woman to do? Well, in Nikki's case, it's a good idea to listen to your teammates and never ever wear pencil-style eyeliner if you're going to get all sweaty while fighting.

Listen, I wish I could drag you into even the scene in the kitchen making tacos -- or the one with the rock star? the motorcycles? the secret weapons disguised as makeup and jewelry?

But then I'd have to ... no, Nikki would have to ... well, not exactly kill you. But maybe recruit you.

COMPACT WITH THE DEVIL is the second too-true-to-life and side-splittingly funny action spoof from West Coast author Bethany Maines. I giggled and snorted while reading the first one, Bulletproof Mascara. And this one kept me cracking up, while at the same time marveling at how tightly written it is. Only a real expert in this violent spy material could pull it off. So, is Bethany Maines a secret agent herself, fooling us all?

Oh, yes, the book. The plot. Well, Nikki's in Colombia, on a rescue mission of a very important woman. And when things go wrong, it is SO clearly not her fault. And that, of course, must be why Mrs. M immediately shakes up the team by sending geeky Jane on vacation, and Nikki across to Europe, on Christmas Eve, un-boyfriended, and without a team. Of course, there are smart, agile, Carrie Mae-trained women to liaise with in Germany and even in Paris -- Paris? Wait a minute, how could a true Carrie Mae agent spend time in Paris without romance? Well, yes, the gunfire is a bit distracting.

You want it all to make sense? Read it yourself! Of course, then you'll be caught the way I always am with a Bethany Maines action espionage Carrie Mae delight: clutching the copy you've been laughing with all evening, while making a mental list of all the friends you've got to give a copy to. No, not your copy. Better buy two more ...

Oh, some QUICK NEWS: Bethany Maines will be on the blog here Saturday evening, in case you've forgotten to book something more rational for your own entertainment. (Of course, you can always read her piece on Sunday afternoon, can't you?) We're here for the fun of it -- and of course, as the founder Carrie Mae Robarts herself might have said, for the sake of well-groomed and free-spirited women everywhere.

1 comment:

Kit Minden said...

Sounds like a lot of fun to be had in this one - funny that Ms Palin said something about how Republicans should learn to fight like a girl this week - I don't think she had this action in mind at the time though... too sad! Much more fun to find a copy of Maines' book and enjoy!