Evanovitch, Janet (2008). [Kindle 2.0.3 version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
This is the 14th Stephanie Plum mystery, and some things haven’t changed. Stephanie is still a semi-incompetent bail bounty hunter working for her cousin Vinnie, with Lula the plus-size ex ho as her assistant, and is still hanging around her old New Jersey neighborhood, the Burg. She still vacillates between gorgeous Italian cop Joe Morelli, her childhood ‘doctor-playing’ partner, and the mysterious Cuban Ranger, big time bounty hunter, and her hamster, Rex, is still alive in his tomato can, making him perhaps the oldest hamster in history. In this installment of the never-advancing saga, Stephanie picks up Morelli’s cousin on a small charge, and ends up having to stay with the cousin's son , Mario, a role-playing game freak, at Morelli’s house. Mario is also known as ‘Zook’, and will grafitti any available surface, including Morelli’s dog. Somehow local stoner Mooner, Stephanie’s old classmate and a big fan of Zook’s’s RPG work, also ends up at Morelli’s.
Nine million dollars from an old bank robbery is missing. Loretta’s angry brother in involved, and somebody keeps breaking in to Morelli’s basement—apparently word on the street is that the money is down there. Meanwhile, Loretta’s angry brother confronts Stephanie with the news that Mario may be more than Joe’s cousin, but Stephanie has bigger worries—she is hired by Ranger to do body guard work on Brenda, a famous fading singer, but does not protect Brenda from an insane monkey who jumps into her hair. Although someone’s pinky toes do arrive in a box, the resolution at the end is happy if complex.
Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter, only she’s not very good at it. Fortunately she has a lot of help from cop almost-fiance Joe Morelli, and almost-more-than-friends security expert Ranger. In this episode, former robbers have hidden nine million dollars in the Burg, Stephanie’s own neighborhood, and everybody wants it—even Stephanie’s grandmother is digging in Morelli’s yard!
I was never a fan of humorous mysteries till my students kept passing Stephanie Plum books on to me. Now I make an exception for her alone and read every one. As mentioned, the plot situation is static, clearly a conscious choice by Evanovitch—she keeps the sexual tension and the romantic suspense high by leaving Stephanie undecided. The books are frequently laugh—out-loud hilarious. Especially funny is always the comedy concerning old New Jersey residents—every old person in Stephanie’s apartment building has a big gun and will come out with that thing flailing and blazing whenever they think something is up. Her grandma goes to all the funerals in the Burg to compare refreshments and ceremonies. Not only do these books have fast-paced, if improbable plots, entertiaining dialogue, and great Jersey settings, they have a romantic triangle situation that is really...fun.
About the author
Janet Evanovich actually does come from a close-knit Jersey immigrant community. She published 12 successful romance novels before moving into the action/adventure genre. After the first 3, all the Stephanie Plum titles have been chosen by fans (which may be why they are kind of dumb).
Just for fun
Advice on choosing between Morelli and Ranger
Stephanie’s Wild Jersey World
Being a Bounty Hunter
Reading Level/Interest Age
Mild sexual allusions
Share this Mass. Library Ppt on Adult fiction for Young Adults, with its mention of Evanovich
A student bought it for me!
14th in a popular series