Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum Series #17)by Janet Evanovich
Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum.
Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that/i>/b>/i>
Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum.
Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list.
Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Grandma Bella, Morelli’s old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts “the eye” on Stephanie.
With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg's The Heist.
“No less than her plotting, Evanovich’s characterizations are models of screwball artistry. . . . The intricate plot machinery of her comic capers is fueled by inventive twists.”—The New York Times
“Chutzpah and sheer comic inventiveness . . . The Evanovich/Plum books [are] good fun.”—The Washington Post
Read an Excerpt
My Grandma Mazur called me early this morning.
"I had a dream," Grandma said. "There was this big horse, and it could fly. It didn't have wings. It just could fly. And the horse flew over top of you, and started dropping road apples, and you were running around trying to get out of the way of the road apples. And the funny thing was you didn't have any clothes on except a red lace thong kind of underpants. Anyways, next thing a rhinoceros flew over you, and he was sort of hovering over top your head. And then I woke up. I got a feeling it means something."
"What?" I asked.
"I don't know, but it can't be good." And she disconnected.
So that's how my day started. And to tell you the truth the dream pretty much summed up my life.
My name is Stephanie Plum. I work as a bond enforcer for my cousin Vinnie's bail bonds office, and I live in an uninspired, low-rent, three-story, brick-faced chunk of an apartment building on the edge of Trenton, New Jersey. My second-floor apartment is furnished with my relatives' cast-offs. I'm average height. I have an okay shape. I'm pretty sure I'm averagely intelligent. And I know for sure I have a crummy job. My shoulder-length curly brown hair is inherited from the Italian side of the family, my blue eyes from the Hungarian side of the family, and I have an excellent nose that's a gift from God. Good thing he gave me the nose before he found out I wasn't the world's best Catholic.
It was early September and unseasonably hot. I had my hair up in a ponytail. I'd forgone makeup and opted for lip balm instead. And I was wearing a red stretchy tank top, jeans, and sneakers. Perfect clothes for running down bad guys or buying doughnuts. I parked my hunk-of- junk Ford Escort in front of Tasty Pastry Bakery on Hamilton Avenue and mentally counted out the money in my wallet. Definitely enough for two doughnuts. Not enough for three.
I parked the car and went into the bakery where Loretta Kucharski was behind the counter. Last year Loretta was vice president of a bank. When the bank went belly_up, Loretta got the job at Tasty Pastry. To my way of thinking it was definitely career advancement. I mean, who doesn't want to work in a bakery?
"What'll it be?" Loretta asked me. "Cannoli? Italian cookies? Doughnut?"
"Boston cream, chocolate cake, jelly, lemon glazed, cinnamon sugar, blueberry, pumpkin spice, chocolate glazed, cream filled, bearclaw, or maple?"
I bit into my lower lip. I wanted them all. "Definitely a Boston cream."
Loretta carefully placed a Boston cream in a small white bakery box. "And?"
"Jelly doughnut," I said. "No wait! Maple. No! Either Maple or pumpkin spice. Or maybe the chocolate glazed."
The door to the bakery opened, and an old woman who looked like an extra out of a low-budget mafia movie marched in. She was small and wiry and dressed in black. Plain black dress, black scarf on her steel- gray hair, sensible black shoes, dark stockings. Snapping dark eyes under bushy gray eyebrows. Mediterranean skin tone.
Loretta and I gasped when we saw her. It was Bella-the most terrifying woman in Trenton. She'd immigrated to the States over fifty years ago, but she was still more Sicilian than American. She was devious and sly and possibly flat-out crazy. She was also my boyfriend's grandmother.
Loretta made the sign of the cross and asked the Holy Mother for protection. Considering my lack of church attendance I didn't feel comfy asking the Holy Mother for help, so I gave Bella a weak smile and a small wave.
Grandma Bella pointed a bony finger at me. "You! What you doing here?"
To say that my relationship with Grandma Bella was tenuous would be a gross understatement. Not only am I the harlot who, to her way of thinking, seduced and corrupted Joseph Anthony Morelli, her favorite grandson, but even more damning, I'm Edna Mazur's granddaughter. Grandma Bella and my Grandma Mazur do not get along.
"D-d-doughnut," I said to Bella.
"Get out of my way," Bella said, pushing me aside, stepping up to the counter. "I was here first."
Loretta's eyes were as big as duck eggs, darting back and forth between Bella and me. "Um," Loretta said, still holding the bakery box containing my Boston cream.
"Actually, I was here first," I said to Bella, "but you can go ahead of me if you want."
"What? You telling me you first? You dare to say such a thing?" Bella hit me in the arm with her purse. "You have no respect."
"Cripes," I said. "Get a grip."
"Christ? You say Christ?" Bella crossed herself and pulled her rosary beads out of her pocket. "You burn in hell. You gonna get smite down. Get away from me. I don't want to be near when it happens."
"I didn't say Christ. I said cripes."
"You heathen," Bella said. "Like your Grandma Edna. She should rot in hell."
Okay, so Bella was a crazy old lady, but that was going too far. "Hey, watch what you say about my grandmother," I said to Bella.
Bella shook her finger at me. "I put the eye on you. I fix you good."
Loretta sucked in air and ducked down behind the counter.
"I'm going to tell Joe on you," I said to Bella. "You're not supposed to be giving people the eye."
Bella tipped her head back and looked down her nose at me. "You think he believe you over his grandma? You think he believe you when you ugly with boils? You think he believe you when you fat? When you stink like cabbage?"
Loretta whimpered from behind the counter.
"Stay down," Bella said to Loretta. "You good girl. I don't want you to get in the way of the eye."
So here's the thing with the eye. I'm pretty sure it's a bunch of baloney. Still, there's the outside chance that Junior Genovisi didn't lose his hair from male pattern baldness. I mean no one else in his family ever went bald, and it happened right after Bella put the whammy on him. Then there was Rose DeMarco. She accidentally mowed Bella over with her motorized wheelchair, and the next day Rose broke out with shingles.
Loretta popped up, stuffed a bunch of doughnuts into the bakery box, and threw it at me. "Run for it!"
I caught the box and looked over at Loretta. "How many are in here? What do I owe you?"
"Nothing. Just get out of here!"
"Hah, too late for her," Bella said to Loretta. "She got the eye now. I'll take an almond coffee cake. I want the one in front with the most icing."
Under normal circumstances, at this time of day I would head for the bail bonds office on Hamilton. Unfortunately the bonds office burned down to the ground not so long ago, so for the moment we're operating out of a motor home owned by a guy named Mooner. I've known Mooner for a bunch of years, and he wouldn't be my first choice for landlord, but desperate times call for desperate measures. My cousin Vinnie needed to find a place with cheap rent, and Mooner needed gas and burrito money. Voilà! A mobile bail bonds office. Problem is I never know exactly where the office is parked.
I drove down Hamilton and cruised past the lot that had been the site of the original office. Mooner's bus was there. There was a construction trailer parked at the curb behind Mooner's bus, the charred rubble had been carted away, and there were stakes stuck into the dirt. Vincent Plum Bail Bonds was in rebuilding mode.
It was Monday morning and business as usual, except today there were two cop cars, Joe Morelli's green SUV, and the medical examiner's meat wagon parked at odd angles around the construction trailer and Mooner's bus. Four uniformed cops, Morelli, the M.E., my cousin Vinnie, the bail bonds office manager, Connie Rosolli, and Mooner were all standing in front of a small backhoe, looking into a shallow_pit.
I've known Morelli all my life, and he's one of those men who gets better with age. He was a handsome, reckless, heartbreaker in high school. He's even more handsome now that his face shows some character and maturity. He's lean and muscular with black hair waving over the top of his ears and along the nape of his neck. His brown eyes are sharp and assessing when he's working. They soften when he's aroused. He's a Trenton plainclothes cop, and he was wearing jeans and boots and a blue buttoned-down shirt with his gun clipped to his belt. This was in sharp contrast to my cousin Vinnie, who is four inches shorter than Morelli and looks like a weasel with slicked-back hair and pointy- toed shoes.
I parked behind Morelli's SUV and joined the group.
"What are we looking at?" I asked Morelli.
"I'm guessing Lou Dugan," he said.
A half-rotted hand was poking out of the disturbed dirt, and not far from the hand was something that might be part of a skull. I see a lot of bad things in my job, but this was right up there at the top of the Gonna Gork Meter.
Why do you THINK it's Lou Dugan?" the M.E. asked Morelli.
Morelli pointed to the hand. "Pinky ring. Diamonds and rubies. Dugan was at the pancake supper at St. Joaquin's, told Manny Kruger he was going home, and that was the last anyone saw him."
Lou Dugan wasn't without enemies. He ran a topless titty bar downtown, and it was common knowledge that the women went way beyond lap dances. He was a flamboyant pillar of the community, and I'd heard he could be ruthless in his business dealings.
We all looked back at the grisly hand with the pinky ring.
"Okay, run the crime scene tape," the M.E. said to one of the uniforms. "And get the state lab out here to exhume the body. Someone's going to have to stay on the scene until the state takes over. I don't want a screwup."
"Awesome," Mooner said. "This is like CSI: Trenton."
Mooner has shoulder-length brown hair, parted in the middle. He's slim and built loosey-goosey. He's my age. He's a nice guy. And his head is for the most part empty since his brain got fried on drugs in high school and never totally regenerated.
"I'm not paying for special-duty cops," Vinnie said. "This isn't my bad. Dugan got himself planted at the back of the lot, under where the garbage cans used to sit. Seems to me that's city property. This isn't gonna hold up construction, is it? They were supposed to start pouring foundation this week. I'm renting bogus office space from Scooby Doo here. Every extra day is a fork in my eye."
Truth is Vinnie wasn't in a good spot. He was on thin ice with his wife, Lucille, and his father-in-law, Harry the Hammer. Vinnie and Lucille were newly reconciled from a nasty split, and Lucille was keeping her thumb on Vinnie's doodles. Even worse, at Lucille's request, Harry had agreed to go back into the bail bonds business and finance Vinnie's operation. And Harry had his boot on Vinnie's doodles. So needless to say Vinnie was walking very carefully to avoid intense pain.
A red Firebird pulled in, double-parked next to my car, and Lula got out. Lula is supposed to do filing for the office, but she pretty much does whatever she wants. She was a blond today, her curly yellow hair contrasting nicely with her brown skin and her leopard print, spandex wrap dress. Her 5' 5" body is plus size, but Lula enjoys testing the limits of seam and fabric, squishing herself into size 2 petite.
"What's going on here?" Lula wanted to know, sinking into the dirt in her four-inch Via Spiga stilettos. "This office-in-a-bus is a pain in the behind. I never know where anybody is. And nobody's answering their cell phone. How the heck am I supposed to work like this?"
"You don't work anyway," Vinnie said.
Lula leaned forward, hands on hips. "That's a disrespectful attitude, and I don't tolerate no disrespect. I gotta work just to find your stupid office-on-wheels." Her eyes moved to the pit and locked onto the hand. "What's that? Are we getting ready for Halloween? This gonna be some kind of scary trick-or-treat place?"
"We're thinking it's Lou Dugan," I said. "The backhoe accidentally dug him up."
Lula's eyes about popped out of her head. "Are you shitting me? Lou Dugan? Mr. Titty?"
"That's disgustin'. Is there something attached to that hand? If there is I don't want to know about it. Dead people give me the creeps. I might need fried chicken to take my mind off all this now. And anyways, what the heck was Mr. Titty doing under the bonds office?"
"Technically he was under the garbage cans," Vinnie said.
"Let me get this straight. Some idiot dug a hole instead of throwing the body in the river or the landfill," Lula said. "And they left the ring on his finger. What's with that? That ring's worth something. This here must have been a amateur job."
Everyone stood silent. Lula was right. This wasn't the way things were done in Trenton.
I turned to Morelli. "Did you catch this case?"
"Yep," he said. "Lucky me." His eyes dropped to my chest, and he leaned close, his lips brushing my ear. "You're looking sexy today. I like this red shirt you're wearing."
I appreciated the compliment, but truth is Morelli thinks everything I wear is sexy. Morelli has testosterone oozing out of every pore.
"I'm going back to the bus," Connie said. "I have new cases to process."
"Where's the bus goin' next?" Lula asked. "I gotta get some chicken to settle my nerves, and then I might stop in to do some filing or something."
"The bus is staying here," Vinnie said. "I'm supposed to meet with the contractor this morning and go over some plans."
"That's a bad idea," Lula said. "There's probably all kinds of nasty juju leakin' out of that decayin' carcass. You hang around and you could catch something."
Mooner went white. "Dude."
Morelli wrapped an arm around me and moved me to my car. "I'll buy you dinner tonight if you promise to wear this red top."
"And if I don't wear the red top?"
"I'll buy you dinner anyway." He opened the passenger-side door, removed the bakery box, and looked inside. "This isn't your usual selection. You never get blueberry."
"Loretta was in a hurry. It was a free sample, sort of."
Morelli took the blueberry for a test drive, and I ate the Boston cream.
"Do you think Lou's leaking bad juju?" I asked him.
"No more than he leaked it when he was alive." Morelli finished off his doughnut and kissed me. "Mmm," he said. "You taste like chocolate. I have to go back to the station to do paperwork now, but I'll pick you up at five thirty."
From the Hardcover edition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.
After her last 2 books being somewhat lackluster, I was happy to see that the old Janet Evanovich was back. Loved this book!!!. It was full of the old sass and humor of the earlier books. Stephanie is back to being torn between her two hunky guys and there's a third to add to the mix. Someone is killing people and leaving them in the old bail bonds lot with love notes to Stephanie. Mention was made of her sister Valerie and Albert Klaughn who have all but disappeared in the past few books. Lula is on a gun totin' rampage in this book and theres even a bear plotline. I laughed out loud at several parts. Joe's granny Bella puts the hex on Stephanie which leads to some interesting developments and conversations...." it's one of those starter tumors".... Fans of the series will breathe a sigh of relief that the fun of reading the earlier books has returned. A must read.
I have enjoyed most of the books in Plumland, but the last half of 13, all of 14, 15, and 16 all seemed to fall below par of what JE is capable of doing with her characters. They were extremely campy. Almost in a bad comedy sort of way. Don't get me wrong, I still laughed things that happened in them, but they just didn't seem to measure up to her previous books. After almost 10 books, Babes (myself included) will be extremely happy :-) I would honestly like to see Stephanie in a relationship with Ranger. Someone once reviewed that while his lifestyle doesn't lend itself to relationships, it doesn't mean it's not possible. I have to agree. Ranger seems to provide the support that Stephanie needs. When she can feel him before she sees him and he lets her be herself, and not tell her to quit her job, that says a lot. Morelli is a good guy, I do enjoy his character, but he seems to have a better disposition as a good friend for Steph. That being said, I felt that 17 took a step back toward the expectation many of us have had for her books. Yeah, there were some campy parts, and they were funny, but not nearly to the extent of the last few. I enjoyed the fact that the killer was staying ahead of the police. It was an interesting take on things. Ultimately, I have to admit the guy creeped me out quite a bit in his attitude during the climax. I think of all the Plums, he's been the most creepy because of his mentality. The cold, unemotional logic he had was very different from what most, if not all, of the villians of Plumland. The Vordo bit was pretty entertaining, and I have who I'm rooting for at the end of the book. I'm hoping 18 takes another step back toward the roots of the story and gives us more Ranger. I loved what we learned about him in 12, and would like to see us get to know him better. Hopefully, in 18 we will.
I always scan the customer reviews to get an idea of how the public likes a book. However, all that is here is complaints about the cost of the e-book. How about somebody actually telling me how they liked the book???
Put the kids to bed and read the book in one night! I knew who the killer was right away, but I loved Ranger's "help" along the way! Laugh out loud funny!
This installment is yet again typical Stephanie Plum. Its witty, exciting and sexy. I am a huge fan of JE and love every one of her books sooo much. That being said... this book did seem predictable...you could figure out the killer rather easily. Also, if his big plan was making Morelli jealous he didnt really succeed, Joe never finds out that was the plan, and even jokes about him with Stephanie proving he hardly cares.. so that plan fails. And as much as i enjoy the love triangle i kept anticipating Steph and Joe finally engaging, if for nothing else but to get the family off their backs. Steph makes a lot of bad descions but im hoping she finally wises up and picks morelli, hes the only logical choice. I loved Mooner having such a large part-hes great!!
Seriously, folks the title of this section is RATE & REVIEW the book not piss & moan about price. If you can't afford the book go to the public library & get on the list to borrow the book. I bought the book and read it. I enjoyed it. JE put something in it for everyone. She mentioned some of the old favorites we haven't heard about, but still love their characters, like Valerie, Sally Sweet, Eddie Garzara and JOe Juniak. I want to hear what Mary Lou is up to, maybe in 18. Most importantly both Babe & Cupcakes have something to make them happy. Lula was well ... Lula, without the Gastrointestinal problems (thankfully) Loved the granny panty gag. My recent complaint with the books is that I'm ready for Steph to move on, looks like this is going to happen. I hope this doesn't mean an end to the series, as a married woman I still find myself getting into weird situations. I'm sure being married won't stop Steph either.
Oh wow is all I can say. This book was awesome. I love Grandma Mazer she just rocks...... The Ranger scenes rocked this time.....thus book is a gotta read if you are a Stephanie Plum/Janet Evanovic fan!!
Smokin' Seventeen is another excellently crafted quick read in the fun and quirky fashion created by Janet Evanovich for Stephanie Plum. I can't wait until November for #18! Thank you Janet Evanovich for continuing your craft and entertaining readers in the life of Stephanie Plum!
I love all of Janet E's books - the Plum series being my favorite. I crack up at the lingo that Lula and Steph use, and "Babe" from Ranger melts my heart, all the way down to my doodah... Enjoy ! It is summer and it is easy reading...
I FIRST PICKED UP JANET EVANOVICH BOOK IN THE AIRPORT. LAUGHTED ALL THE WAY TO BUFFALO. WENT BACK AND GOT ALL THE REST. I HAVE READ THEM AT LEAST THREE TIME EACH BUT THIS BOOK WAS SO OFF. RANGER WAS OFF- HE NEVER DRINKS AND YOU HAD THEM SHARE A BOTTLE OF WINE. AND I KNOW THAT HE SAID IN ONE OF THE OTHER BOOKS THAT HE WOULD NEVER SLEEP WITH AN DRUNK WOMEN. IN ALL OF THE BOOKS STEPHANIE WOULD HAVE NEVER SLEPT WITH JOE ONE NIGHT AND RANGER THE NEXT WHAT A SLUT. AND DOING IT IN THE TRUCK WITH RANGER SO CHEAP. YOU COULD HAVE LEFT JOE OUT OF THE BOOK ANY NO-NAME COP COULD HAVE DID HIS JOB. THE ONLY PERSON YOU WERE TRUE TO WAS LULA. GRANDMA MAZUR WAS SORRY. WHAT I HAVE ALWAYS LIKE ABOUT STEPHANIE AND RANGER WAS THE SEXUAL TENSION. THE RANGER THAT I HAVE ALWAYS LIKE WOULD HAVE NEVER TOOK ADVANTAGE OF STEPHANIE THAT WAY, HE HAS TO MUCH CLASS. THE LAST TWO BOOKS WERE SO BAD THAT I TOOK THEM BACK FOR A REFUND. I HOPE THE NEXT BOOK IS BETTER OR AT LEAST THE END OF THIS SERIES.
I loved it! I read it in one sitting because I could not put it down. I found myself laughing out loud several times throughout the book and I know I had tears in my eyes at least once from laughing so hard. The character of Lula cracks me up- hilarious! The stickers included in the back of the book were a nice thought. I think I heart Ranger! (Lol) I too had qualms about paying so much for an eBook, so I opted to buy the hardcover instead and am not disappointed with my purchase at all. It makes a worthy addition to my home library as I'm sure I will be reading it again soon. Don't let the lower ratings steer you wrong, if you're a fan of the Stephanie Plum series you will not be disappointed. It seems to me that the lower rated reviews given are a reflection of being unhappy with the price of the eBook versus being unhappy with the writing content. As a person who often looks at reader reviews for guidance on whether or not to purchase a book I felt that those types of ratings were unfair to those of us who are looking for opinions on "good reads", so I decided to write this, my first book review, and I hope it helps. As an avid eBook reader and customer I opt to show my unhappiness with the $13.99 price hike of eBooks by not paying it. That being said don't let the eBook price dissuade you from reading the book, buy the hardcover! Happy reading!
You can download this book and other Janet Evanovich e-books, audio and MP3s for up to 21 days from your local library - FREE of charge. Call them and they will tell you how. This is why I purchased the Nook. I haven't paid for a book since I got my NookColor at Christmas. And your local library gets the credit (hence additional state funding).
Predictable, guessed who it was right off the bat. Still very entertaining and honest to God laugh out loud funny. Comedy is great, but need to work harder on the mystery aspect.
This book is closer in concept and execution to the first at least 12 books (Twelve Sharp is my fave of the series) and its a heck of a lot better than the awful fifteen and sixteen which I found very disappointing due to the portrayal of Lula. This one is so much better even if I was troubled by the fact Stephanie sleeps with BOTH Ranger and Joe...but that's just me. The book made me laugh, and I am looking forward to EXPLOSIVE EIGHTEEN in November. Oh, did anyone else see JE on the Today show Tuesday? She was great. Now, for all of you who have used this platform to air your grievances re pricing....SHAME ON YOU!!!! How can you claim to be a fan of JE and yet give her 1 stars on a book you haven;t even read???? Rate the book as the book deserves and nothing else. I hope B&N deletes any future reviews unless they are actual reviews of the book. I resent having to scroll thru review after review searching for info and only encountering people whining about prices. Don't want to buy the book? Then don't buy the book....sheesh.
I know this book costs too much for the Nook-I agree with everyone else who said it. But I am hooked on this series and wanted to read it as soon as it came out-so I bought it. It is true Stephanie Plum. There are many laugh out loud moments and it did not disappoint! I recommend it and cannot wait for the next one!!
The last couple books got a little stale but this book picked up a little and I think we may be getting close to the end of the series (which will be bitter sweet). It irks me to see so many people giving this book one star just because of the price and haven't even read the book. That is not a book review. Remember when we used to pay $30 for the hardback book of this series pre-ereaders? So its a whole lot cheaper now to buy the nook version than when we were buying the hardbacks. Oh and for those saying they wish they had purchased the Kindle over the nook, the amazon price for this ebook is also $13.99 and with the kindle you can not currently us it to check out ebooks from the library like you can with the nook. If your going to post a review make it about the book and if you want to complain about the price, send a letter to B&N.
Read these book all of her's.They can spice up anyone's love life
I agree with Nooksie. This book should be critique based on one actually reading the novel. Issues about pricing or one not knowing how to operate their Nook ereader, has absolutely nothing to do with the author's work. Email the publising Co. and B & N with such concerns. Its incredible what people write in the R & R, get a grip people. Do you understand what rate and review really mean?
Much improved over the last 3 stale Plum books! I really enjoyed this book, and laughed out loud more than once :) Ranger is prominent, and Lula is hysterical! Hope when 18 comes out in November, the improvement continues.. Way to go, JE!
I would recommend this book for book club discussions. But, I wouldn't say it was the best thing I ever read. The central characters were off, as if their past history was erased. although I was happy to learn Stephanie finally had sex with Ranger due to Grandma's Bella and a curse. I have to wonder what book 18 will be like. I was relieved that toilet humor was left out of this book. But, can't understand why Lulu is eating her way through another book. Lost as to why Stephanie would suddenly discuss Ranger and doing the deed with him with either Connie or Lulu. Especially since Lulu tends to blab. Yes, readers wanted Stephanie and Ranger to have sex, but what happened to her guilt... her need to have time between relationships. The Ranger fans wanted to see them in a relationship, exploring Ranger's secret past. At least it had a plot, although weak and could be figured out by chapter five. It leaves most Stephanie Plum fans shaking their heads and wondering.
I enjoyed this book more than the last two but it does have a couple of flaws. One is that it is completely predictable as several other reviewers have pointed out. This is not unusual in this series as I have found the books to be more character driven than plot driven. And that, unfortunately, is the other major flaw. Several of the characters just seemed "off" in this book, most notably Grandma Mazur. Her character seemed flat and she usually has a very distinct way of speaking which was totally missing from her dialogue. Stephanie was "off" as well - she apparently no longer feels guilt, for example. However, it is still a pleasant summertime read with several humorous scenes.
This book was a far cry from the great first ten books in the series but it was still an ok book and better then the last six. It was a lot shorter then the others and I found a lot of scenes overwritten and it seemed more for filler then actual relevancy for the story. I skimmed a lot of the chapters and was still able to follow the story. Some parts of the book were funny but no laugh out loud moments. This series has become to drawn out for my liking and each book seems to follow along the same basic story line with no real character or plot developments. I am glad I got the book from the library instead of paying for it because it definitely wasn't worth the hardcover price. This book is a nice fluffy summer day read by the pool with familiar characters but that is all. I loved all of the characters in this series and loved the witty well written books in the beginning but the author needs to realize that her characters have had there fifteen minutes and really finish this series up. Unless she makes some major character developments I will even stop checking these books out of the library. I just hate seeing this much beloved series fall flat on it's face. My recommendation is do not buy in hc wait till paperback or check it out in the library or from a friend. And definitely don't buy the WAY overpriced nook version. Thanks
Cant wait. And ppl what we want to hear is the book rating and reviews, not complaints. I've being buying book for many years and long run u do save money with nook.
If you are looking for a review of this book and complaining about how there are no reviews posted, please note the button that says 'Pre-order.' That means the book has not been released yet; therefore, no one has read it to provide an actual review.