Pastry chef Lizzy Tucker is known for making the best cupcakes in Salem, Mass. And in Janet Evanovich's new novel, "Wicked Appetite," she's one of only two people with the ability to locate empowered objects.

Lizzy is unaware of her power. She's recruited by a mysterious hunk named Diesel to help locate a mystical stone that represents gluttony, one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Diesel, a charming and brazen character first introduced in a previous Evanovich novel, works for a group whose purpose is to police Unmentionables. He shows up at Lizzy's house and commandeers her life, and her bed, to protect her from his evil cousin Wulf.

"Wicked Appetite" is lacking in substance and adventure. But it does have some witty and sexy moments.

Even the bad guy is alluring. Wulf may be a killer, but his brutal nature never materializes.

Evanovich, best-selling author of the Stephanie Plum series, infuses an array of colorful characters in "Wicked Appetite," including a one-eyed cat, a monkey who makes obscene gestures and Lizzy's friend Glo, a wannabe witch who cannot get her spells right.

This is the first book in Evanovich's planned Unmentionable series. It's not her best dish, but the author keeps serving up the right mix of characters that keep fans coming back for more.

'Wicked

Appetite'

by Janet Evanovich

(St. Martin's Press, $27.99)