OK, I know it says that I'm reading The Sea in the sidebar. I'm just taking a little detour here because this Stephanie Plum series is the perfect antidote to midterm exam stress.
In Hard Eight, Stephanie is hired by Mabel, an elderly family friend, to track down a missing single mother and her young daughter. Mabel's house is on the line: she agreed that it could be used as collateral for a custody bond for her little great-granddaughter, never dreaming that the child's vindictive father would need to cash in on the bond. As Stephanie hunts down the missing people, she finds herself pursued by a really nasty guy called Eddie Abruzzi and his henchmen, who love to dress up in costumes while they're putting Stephanie's life in danger. Meanwhile, Stephanie's love life is heating up, and the explosive fun that I missed in Seven Up is back.
It might just be pre-exam delirium, but this book made me laugh so hard I could hardly take a breath. There's a scene in Hard Eight that was nearly as funny as the dildo scene in John Irving's A Son of the Circus (a scene which tempted me to put a paper bag over my head because I seriously thought I was going to hyperventilate if I laughed any harder).