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The Miracle Strip (Sierra Lavotini Mysteries) Hardcover – July 15, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: Sierra Lavotini Mysteries (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (July 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312192991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312192990
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,257,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Like the fabled hooker with the heart of gold, Panama City, Fla., stripper Sierra Lavotini flaunts her 24-carat concern for a bartender's abducted dog in this wise-cracking debut. When Arlo the mutt is snatched, his gorgeous redheaded owner, Denise, gets a ransom note asking for $100,000, and Sierra agrees to help look for the missing dog. After a dead man turns up in Denise's motel room, Sierra learns that her friend has run away from her abusive former lover, a drug dealer who is now out of prison. Sierra speeds after a car in which she sees Arlo but is forced off the road by the other driver. In the hospital, she learns Denise is now missing. Taking up the search for friend and dog, Sierra must sidestep the proprietary attitude of her boss, a squabbling but intent police duo and her solicitous trailer-park neighbors, all of whom think she's in over her head. Spunky Sierra, aided by her Chihuahua, Fluffy, her unquestioning confidante and supporter, devises plan after plan to find her friend and snatch back Arlo. In the process, she steps up the heart rate of a stolid cop and lets readers in on her views of her trade.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Panama City, FL, serves as setting for this promising first mystery featuring Sierra Lavotini, tough-talking narrator/stripper, and her dog, Fluffy. Assertive and gutsy, Sierra helps bartender friend Denise when someone holds Denise's dog for ransom; that is, until they find a body in Denise's apartment and Denise herself disappears. Despite drug-related revelations about Denise's past, Sierra tries to rescue her?risking death or worse at the hands of a biker gang. Rapid-transit prose, wild characters, nonstop action, and frequent dramatic humor make this a pleasure to read.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I first bought The Miracle Strip because I was going through a Stephanie Plumb withdrawl. At first, the missing dog plot didn't seem like it would be able to sustain an entire book, but the way Nancy Bartholomew weaves the story with mystery and humor, the plot actually works! The humor in this book is definately similar to that of Janet Evanovich and this series will keep Evanovich fans entertained between Plumb outings! Sierra is a rare character in the fact that she is unappolgetic about what her profession is. She likes being an exotic dancer (NOT a stripper! <G>) and takes pride in doing her job (and her sleuthing) well. Do yourself a favor and buy this excellent book. You won't be sorry. :)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By lee@culpepper.com on February 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Miracle Strip is a fast-paced mystery featuring earthy characters living in the underbelly of our culture. Nancy Bartholomew gives us a humorous yet realistic view of the frailty of people who both express and occasionally contain, the raw emotions we all feel. Her heroine, Sierra Lavotini, is an exotic dancer with beauty, brains, inner sensitivity, and a fierce loyalty to family and friends. She displays this with a reckless "kick butt" attitude that sets her on a wild adventure beginning with a vow to rescue her friend's dog, Arlo. Sierra's amazing and humorous acceptance of others is displayed in her description of Raydeen, her loyal friend and neighbor, who happens to be a paranoid schizophrenic. But Sierra's own comic complexity is enhanced by her struggle to be true to her "inner child" and a hidden desire to be a writer, as opposed to her love of making money and engaging in the fast-paced and exciting world of a stripper.
Nancy Bartholomew is a keen observer of our physical reality, has a great understanding of human motivation and behavior, and appreciates the humor found in our incongruous natures. She is quick in her thinking, and her stories pull us in and move us along. I'm looking forward to more tales of colorful characters and their adventures. Bravo Nance!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "ynnig" on August 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was so happy to come across this fun series. I eagerly devoured all of the Evanovich Books and someone recommended I should try the "Strip" Series. I loved it! I felt it was different enough from Evanovich but still had such Fun characters. Can't wait to read the rest in the series now!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JAMES D MEANS on February 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As a first book, Miracle Strip is not horrible, but it would not compel me to buy another book in the series. The protagonist, stripper Sierra Lavotini, never seems to have justifiable motivation for her actions. She recklessly starts investigating the disappearance of her friend, even when it becomes clear that her friend has been lying to her and has been mixed up in some sort of drug deal gone wrong. Like some hardboiled PI, she never tells the police all she knows, although her motivation for witholding information is never clear. She does one stupid thing after another and you can't figure out what she has to gain by acting like that. The book was made more irritating because Sierra, the narrator, uses poor grammar on an infrequent enough basis that it just seems like a narrative trick, to make her background more "real." The portrayal of Sierra as a stripper didn't ring true, and the strip club is too abstract and uninvolving. Nevertheless, as the author polishes her craft this series may turn into something really worthwhile.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A lot of comparisons were being made between this series and the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. While there are some similarities, this book didn't quite grab me like an Evanovich book.....which I will normally read in one setting! Sierra's poor use of the English language was very distracting to me as a reader. I guess my English teachers pounded certain rules into my head a little too much!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LPChick on August 9, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the spirit of Janet Evanovich, the "Strip" series by Nancy Batholomew is laugh out loud fun. Not unlike Evanovich's Plum series, Nancy's writing improves with each book in the series and I was addicted after #2. The heroine Sierra Lavotini is a "real woman" not some overdone dream woman, women of any age can relate to Sierra. If you want a book that you don't have to think too much about, that simply allows you to escape through humor, this is a great series of books. ****
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ditchqueen on April 25, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was looking for a series like the Stephine Plum series. I found Nancy Bartholmew's "sierra" and feel this is BETTER then Stephine Plum. Sierra needs help but can also take care of her self, whereas Stephine has become somewhat weak as time goes on. The "stripper" character , I feel , is totally believable .
The mystry is also written better, there is actually a mystery. Granted shes not an agatha christy, it is still an easy read, but enjoyable.
Unfortuantly, St. Martins, the publisher, didn't choose to continue the series and they hold the rights to the Strip series.
Please write them and beg them to bring this series back!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BlueStar on September 7, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fans of more skillful Florida mysteries such as those by John D. MacDonald or Carl Hiaasen will be left wanting by this tepid first novel by Nancy Bartholomew. Her Philly-born exotic dancer heroine, Sierra Lavotini, is a mass of contradictions, but for all the facets Bartholomew tries to build into her, she remains a warmed-over knock-off of Hiaasen's sleuthing stripper from <Strip Tease>. Sierra's poor English makes for a distracting narrative voice and, unfortunately, Panama City is never more than a flat backdrop for the plot, which could just as easily be set in Myrtle Beach, Padre Island, Daytona Beach, or any one of a number of other southern spring break venues.
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