Loose Screws is one of those books that I’m pretty sure I downloaded for $1.99 one night when I wanted something fluffy and light. It’s not going to set the world on fire, but it was a serviceable diversion. Sometimes I don’t want to learn something when I read, I just want to feel better about my own life. And however complicated my life is, at least I’m not Ginger Petrocelli.
When we first meet Ginger, she’s sitting in her tiny apartment (although it’s not going to be hers for much longer), drowning her sorrows in a hundred dollar bottle of champagne. She’s been left at the altar, and she’s still in her wedding dress when the police show up in the form of a former fling named Nick, who wants to know if she’s seen Mr. Wonderful. She hasn’t – Greg was too lily-livered to ditch her in person – but Nick doesn’t want her to leave town, and Ginger isn’t sure if that’s because he’s suspicious that she made Greg disappear, or if that’s because Nick wants to disappear under her crinolines.
Days later, her boss turns up murdered, which doesn’t make her any less a suspect in Greg’s disappearance. Then the apartment she moved in to after losing hers goes up in smoke. Ginger is forced to move in with her mother, who reminded me a little bit of an older Phoebe Buffet crossed with Dharma’s mom from Dharma and Greg, with a pinch of Phoebe’s birth mother thrown in. Rounding out the house is Ginger’s grandmother, the Jewish version of Grandma Mazur, and I kind of remember a bunch of kids and some stray animals, too. In other words: chaos.
Greg comes back – bad pennies always do – but life has become even more complicated, and Ginger’s not sure she wants Greg and the neatly ordered life he offers back. Plus, someone’s pregnant, and it’s not Ginger.
Janet Evanovich often describes her early work as “red-hot screwball comedies”, and this novel from Templeton definitely was along those lines. The dialogue was snappy, the story was a bit madcap, crazy things happened, and the end was satisfactory. Definitely worth the download.