Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum Series #16)by Janet Evanovich
Trenton, New Jersey, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has inherited a "lucky" bottle from her Uncle Pip. Problem is, Uncle Pip didn't specify if the bottle brought good luck or bad luck….
Vinnie, of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, has run up a gambling debt of $786,000 with mobster Bobby Sunflower and is being held until the/b>
Trenton, New Jersey, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has inherited a "lucky" bottle from her Uncle Pip. Problem is, Uncle Pip didn't specify if the bottle brought good luck or bad luck….
Vinnie, of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, has run up a gambling debt of $786,000 with mobster Bobby Sunflower and is being held until the cash can be produced.
Being in the business of tracking down people, Stephanie, office manager Connie, and file clerk Lula have an advantage in finding Vinnie.
Finding a safe place to hide Vinnie turns out to be harder than raising $786,000. Not even local stoner Walter "Moon Man" Dunphy is up to the task.
Between a bonds office yard sale, Mooner's Hobbit-Con charity event, and Uncle Pip's lucky bottle, they just might raise enough money to save the business, and Vinnie, from ruin.
Saving Vincent Plum Bail Bonds means Stephanie can keep her job as a bounty hunterand keep hunting down a man wanted for polygamy, a turnpike toilet paper bandit, and a drug dealer with a pet alligator named Mr. Jingles.
Being a bounty hunter comes with its perks, namely Trenton's hottest cop, Joe Morelli, and the dark and dangerous security expert, Ranger. With any luck at all, Uncle Pip's lucky bottle will have Stephanie getting luckythe only question is…with whom?
Janet Evanovich's Sizzling Sixteen…so hot, the pages might spontaneously combust!
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Read an Excerpt
By Janet Evanovich
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2010 Evanovich, Inc.
All rights reserved.
My Uncle Pip died and left me his lucky bottle. I suppose I'm fortunate, because he left my Grandma Mazur his false teeth. So I've got this bottle now, and I don't exactly know what to do with it. It's not like I have a mantel. My name is Stephanie Plum, and I live in a bare-bones apartment on the outer edge of Trenton, New Jersey. I share the apartment with my hamster, Rex, and he doesn't know what to do with the bottle, either. The lucky bottle is the size and shape of a beer bottle. The glass is red, and it looks hand blown. It's not entirely ugly, especially if you like beer, but it's also not exotically pretty. And so far, it hasn't been very lucky. I have the bottle sitting on my kitchen counter, between Rex's hamster cage and the brown bear cookie jar that holds my gun. It was Monday morning, halfway through June, and Lula was in my apartment doing a pity pick up because my hunk-of-junk car was dead and I needed a ride to work.
"Hunh," Lula said. "What's that red bottle on your counter?"
"It's my lucky bottle."
"Oh yeah, what's so lucky about it? It don't look too lucky to me. Looks like one of them designer beer bottles, only it's got a fancy glass stopper in it."
"It's my inheritance from Uncle Pip."
"I remember Uncle Pip," Lula said. "He was older than dirt, right? Had a big carbuncle on his forehead. He was the one wandered out of the senior complex a couple weeks ago during that thunderstorm, pissed on a downed electric wire, and electrocuted himself."
"Yep. That was Uncle Pip."
I'm a bond enforcement agent, working for my cousin Vinnie, and Lula is the office file clerk, wheelman, and fashion maven. Lula likes the challenge of fitting her plussize body into a size 8 poison green spandex miniskirt and leopard-print top, and somehow it all comes together for Lula. Lula's skin is milk chocolate, her hair this week is fire-engine red, and her attitude is pure Jersey.
I'm a couple inches taller than Lula, and where her body is overly voluptuous, mine is more 34B. My idea of fashion is a girl-cut stretchy T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. My skin is nowhere near chocolate, my shoulder-length, naturally curly hair is plain ol' brown and often pulled back into a ponytail, my eyes are blue, and I'm still trying to find my attitude.
I hung my purse on my shoulder and pushed Lula to the door. "We need to move. Connie called ten minutes ago, and she sounded frantic."
"What's with that?" Lula said. "Last time Connie was frantic was never."
Connie Rosolli is the bail bonds office manager. My heritage is half Italian and half Hungarian. Connie is Italian through and through. Connie is a couple years older than I am, has more hair than I do and a consistently better manicure. Her desk is strategically placed in front of Vinnie's door, the better to slow down stiffed bookies, process servers, hookers with obviously active herpes, and a stream of perverted degenerates with quick-rich schemes hatched while under the influence of who-knows-what.
I live ten minutes from the office on a day without traffic. This wasn't one of those days, and it took Lula twenty minutes to get her red Firebird down Hamilton Avenue. Vinnie's bail bonds business is located on Hamilton, just up from the hospital and between a dry cleaner and a used-book store. There's a front room with large plateglass windows, an inner office where Vinnie hides, a row of file cabinets, and behind the file cabinets is storage for everything from guns and ammo to George Foreman grills held hostage until some poor burger-loving slob comes up to trial.
Lula parked at the curb, and we pushed through the door into the front room. Lula plunked herself down on the brown fake-leather couch that was positioned against the wall, and I settled into an orange plastic chair in front of Connie's desk. The door to Vinnie's office was open, but there was no Vinnie.
"What's up?" I asked Connie.
"Mickey Gritch snatched Vinnie. Last night, he caught Vinnie in a compromising position, pants down on Stark Street, on the corner of Stark and Thirteenth. And from what I've pieced together, Gritch and two of his boys dragged Vinnie at gunpoint into the back of a Cadillac Escalade and took off."
"I know that corner," Lula said. "That's Maureen Brown's corner. Maureen and me used to hang out back when I was a 'ho. She wasn't as good a 'ho as me, but she wasn't no skank 'ho, either."
Lula worked Stark Street prior to her job as file clerk. She had a rocky beginning, but she's getting herself together, and I suspect someday she'll be the governor of New Jersey.
"Anyway, I guess Vinnie had a run of bad luck at the track, and now he owes Mickey $786,000," Connie said.
"Whoa," Lula said. "That's a lot of money."
"Some of it's interest," Connie told her. "The interest might be negotiable."
Mickey Gritch has been Vinnie's bookie for as long as I can remember, and this isn't the first time Vinnie's owed money, but I don't recall him ever owing this much.
"Mickey Gritch works for Bobby Sunflower now," Lula said. "You don't want to mess with Bobby."
"Is this serious?" I asked Connie.
"Times are tough, and Mickey wants his money," Connie said. "Too many people stiffing him, so they're going to make an example of Vinnie. If Vinnie doesn't come up with the money by the end of the week, they're going to kill him."
"Bobby Sunflower would do it," Lula said. "He made Jimmie Sanches disappear. ... permanently. Lots of other people, too, from what I hear."
"Have you gone to the police?" I asked Connie.
"The police aren't my first choice. Vinnie owes this guy for illegal gambling. Knowing Vinnie, it's possible some of the money came out of the business. We used to be owned by Vinnie's father-in-law, you know, but last year we were sold to a venture capital company based in Trenton. The venture capitalists aren't going to tolerate Vinnie's gambling with their money. If this gets out, we could all be out of a job."
"What about the father-in-law?" Lula asked. "Everyone knows he got a lot of money. Plus, he could squeeze Bobby Sunflower."
Vinnie's father-in-law is Harry the Hammer. As long as Vinnie does right by Harry's daughter Lucille, it's all good, but I suspect Harry wouldn't be happy to hear Vinnie got snatched while he was boffing a Stark Street 'ho.
"Gritch already went to Harry. Not only won't Harry fork up the money to spring Vinnie, if Vinnie gets out of this alive, Harry will bludgeon him to death," Connie said.
"Well, that settles it then," Lula said. "I guess it's adios, Vinnie. Personally, I could use one of them breakfast sandwiches from Cluck-in-a-Bucket. Anyone interested in a Cluck-in-a-Bucket run?"
"If there's no Vinnie, there's no bail bonds office," Connie said. "No bail bonds office means we don't get paid. We don't get paid, and there's no Cluck-in-a-Bucket for anyone."
"That's not good," Lula said. "I'm used to a certain standard of living. Cluck-in-a-Bucket is one of my first food choices. Not to mention I got bills. I charged a fabulous pair of Via Spigas last week. I only wore them once, so I guess I could take them back, but then I don't have shoes to wear with my new red dress, and I got a date Friday worked around the dress."
"We don't have a lot of options," Connie said. "We're going to have to do this ourselves."
Vinnie was like a fungus on my family tree. He was a good bail bondsman, but a slimeball in every other aspect of his life. He had the slim, boneless body of a ferret. He wore his brown hair slicked back, his pants too tight, his shoes too pointy, and he left too many of his sleazy shirt buttons unbuttoned. He wore multiple rings, chains, bracelets, and, on occasion, an earring. He gambled on everything, fornicated with anything, and wasn't beyond an adventure into the kinky. But the truth is, in spite of all this, deep down inside I was worried about Vinnie. When times were tough, and no one else would give me a job, Vinnie came through for me. Okay, so I had to blackmail him, but the bottom line is he gave me the job.
"I'd like to help," I said, "but I don't have that kind of money."
That was a gross understatement. I didn't have any kind of money. I was a month behind on my rent, my car was trash, and my boyfriend's dog ate my sneaker. Actually, I use the term boyfriend loosely. His name is Joe Morelli, and I'm not sure how I'd categorize our relationship. Sometimes we were pretty sure it was love, and other times we suspected it was insanity. He's a Trenton plainclothes cop with a house of his own, a grandmother from hell, a lean, muscled body, and brown eyes that can make my heart skip beats. We grew up together in lots of ways, and the truth is, he's probably more grown up than I am.
"I wasn't thinking of money," Connie said. "You're a bounty hunter. You find people. All you have to do is find Vinnie and bring him in."
"Oh no. No, no, no. Not a good idea. This is Bobby Sunflower we're talking about. He's mean! He wouldn't like it if I stole his hostage."
"Hey, girl," Lula said. "They're gonna ventilate Vinnie if you don't do something. And you know what that would amount to."
"No Via Spigas?"
"You bet your ass."
"I wouldn't know where to begin," I said.
"You could begin with Ranger," Lula said. "He knows everything, and he's got a thing for you."
Ranger is the other man in my life, and if I described my relationship with Morelli as confused, there would be no words for my relationship with Ranger. He's former Special Forces, currently runs and partially owns a security firm, is drop-dead handsome in a dark, Latino kind of way, and is sex walking. He drives expensive black cars, wears only black clothes, and he sleeps naked. I know all this firsthand. I also know prolonged exposure to Ranger is dangerous. Ranger can be addicting, and it's a bad addiction for a traditionally raised woman like me, since his life plan doesn't include marriage. For that matter, considering the number of enemies Ranger's made, his life plan might not even include living.
"Do you have any suggestions other than Ranger?" I asked Lula.
"Sure. I got lots of suggestions. Mickey Gritch is easy to find. Vinnie got him in his Rolodex. Hell, Gritch probably has a Web site and a Facebook page."
"Do you know where he lives? Where he conducts business? Where he might have Vinnie stashed?"
"No. I don't know none of those things," Lula said. "Hey, wait a minute, I know one of them. I know where he does business. He does it from his car. He drives a black Mercedes. It's got purple pimp lights running around the license plate. Sometimes I see him parking in the lot next to the 7-Eleven on Marble Street. It's a good spot, since it's close to the government buildings. You work all day in government, and you want to either blow your brains out or buy a lottery ticket."
"What about Bobby Sunflower?" I asked her.
"Nobody knows where he hangs. He's like the Phantom. He comes and goes and disappears like he's smoke."
"I guess we could sit at 7-Eleven and watch for Gritch," I said.
"Hold on," Connie said. "Let me run him through the system. If he owns a car, I can give you a home address."
People have a television idea about bounty hunters chasing felons down back alleys and kicking in doors in the middle of the night. I've chased a few guys down back alleys, but I've never mastered the art of door-kicking. Mostly, real bounty hunters track people on the computer and make sneaky phone calls pretending to be conducting a survey or delivering a pizza. The age of electronic information is pretty amazing. Connie has computer programs that will help you access your next-door neighbor's third grade report card.
"I have a couple addresses for Gritch," Connie said. "One is his home address and the other is his sister's. Her name is Jean. Looks like she's a single mom. Works at the DMV. I have six business properties for Bobby Sunflower. A pawnshop, a garage, a car wash, a residential slum on Stark, a titty bar, and a mortuary."
The translation was that Sunflower was into fencing stolen goods, chopping up stolen cars, laundering money, pimping women, and probably the mortuary had a crematorium.
"So I guess we gotta keep Vinnie from visiting Bobby Sunflower's mortuary," Lula said.
"What about all my open bonds cases?" I asked Connie. "Last week you gave me six guys who failed to appear for court. And that was on top of a stack of older files. I can't look for Vinnie and find felons at the same time."
"Sure we can," Lula said. "Probably half of those idiots you're looking for will be at Sunflower's titty bar. I say we go do some surveillance, and first thing, we stop at the bakery. I changed my mind on the breakfast sandwich. I'm in a doughnut mood now."
I followed Lula out of the office, and three minutes later, we were parked at the curb in front of Tasty Pastry.
"I'm only getting one doughnut," Lula said, getting out of the Firebird. "I'm on a new diet where I only have one of anything. Like I can have one pea. And I can have one piece of asparagus. And I can have one loaf of bread."
We walked into the bakery and conversation stopped while we sucked in the smell of sweet dough and powdered sugar and we gaped at the cases of cakes and pies, cookies, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, and cream-filled pastries.
"I don't know what I want," Lula said. "How can I choose? There's too much, and I only got one doughnut. I can't be making a mistake on this. This is critical. I could ruin the whole rest of the day if I pick the wrong doughnut."
I had my doughnuts bagged and paid for and Lula was still undecided, so I went outside to wait in the morning sunshine. I was debating which of the two doughnuts I'd eat first, and before I reached a decision, Morelli's green SUV rolled to a stop in front of me.
Morelli got out and walked over. His black hair was curling along his neck and over his ears, not by design but by neglect. He was wearing jeans and running shoes and a blue button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled. At six foot, he was half a head taller than me, which meant if he stood close enough he could look down my tank top.
"Are you working?" I asked him.
"Yeah. I'm riding up and down the street doing cop things." He hooked his finger into my scoop neckline and looked in.
"Jeez," I said.
"It's been a while. I wanted to make sure everything was still there."
"You could ask!"
"If I guess what's in the bakery bag, do I get one of the doughnuts?"
"You got a Boston Cream and a jelly doughnut."
I narrowed my eyes at him. "How do you know that?"
"It's what you always get."
The door to the bakery was shoved open, and Lula barreled out. "Okay," she said. "I'm ready to go rescue Vinnie." She realized Morelli was standing next to me, and she did a fast stop. "Oops."
"Rescue Vinnie?" Morelli asked.
"He's sort of missing," I told him.
Morelli took the Boston Cream out of the bag, ate half, and gave the rest to me. "Word on the street is that a bunch of people are very unhappy with Vinnie. Word is he owes a lot of money. Do you need help?"
"Would I have to file a police report?"
"No, but you'd have to give me the rest of the doughnut."
"Thanks for the offer, but I have some leads. I'll stumble along on my own this morning and see what turns up."
Morelli gave me a quick kiss and jogged back to his car.
I looked at the two bags Lula was holding. "I thought you were getting just one doughnut."
"And that's exactly what I did. I got one of everything. I'm telling you, this is a beauty of a diet."
We sat at the small table in front of the bakery and ate our doughnuts while I read through the files on Mickey Gritch and Bobby Sunflower.
"We have home addresses for Gritch and his sister, but I can't see Gritch stashing Vinnie in either of those places," I said to Lula. "That leaves Bobby Sunflower's businesses. The pawnshop is on Market Street, the car wash is in Hamilton Township, and the rest are on Stark Street. Let's do drive-bys and see if anything jumps out at us."
"Might as well do the car wash first," Lula said. "If I like the looks of it, I might let them wash my Firebird."
Excerpted from Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich. Copyright © 2010 Evanovich, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Janet Evanovich is the author of the Stephanie Plum books, including One for the Money and Two for the Dough, and the Diesel & Tucker series, including Wicked Appetite. Janet studied painting at Douglass College, but that art form never quite fit, and she soon moved on to writing stories. She didn't have instant success: she collected a big box of rejection letters. As she puts it, "When the box was full I burned the whole damn thing, crammed myself into pantyhose and went to work for a temp agency." But after a few months of secretarial work, she managed to sell her first novel for $2,000. She immediately quit her job and started working full-time as a writer. After a dozen romance novels, she switched to mystery, and created Stephanie Plum. The rest is history. Janet's favorite exercise is shopping, and her drug of choice is Cheeze Doodles. She and her husband live in New Hampshire, in house with a view of the Connecticut River Valley.
- Hanover, New Hampshire
- Date of Birth:
- April 22, 1943
- Place of Birth:
- South River, New Jersey
- B.A., Douglass College, 1965
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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So terribly disappointed in the book. I am in love with the Stephanie plum series, it was one of the first book series to steal my heart. and I love how Janet writes. But this book was so not what i thought it was going to be. definitely not SIZZLING! seriously. I am thinking about not buying any more of her books about stephanie after 14, 15, and now 16 being a total disappointment. :( i am not trying to be cruel about this, but thats how i feel. Maybe she should end the series on a good note, and give us a final wow! maybe her heart is not in it anymore :( which would make me terribly sad, but since its her creation she should do what she wants with it. as you can see im just really confused with my feelings on the subject.
I can not believe that I paid for this book! Come to think of it, the last three books!
When I hear the word "sizzle" I think either Ranger or Morelli but, unfotunately, neither had a very big part in this book. The story line was just too unbeliable, drawn out and boring. How many times can the stop at Cluck-in-a-Bucket be funny? I was very disappointed in this book. I hope to see more of the chemistry between Stephanie and Morelli and all the quirks of jersey in the next book.
I have all of the Stephanie Plum books, have loved the series, have shared them with friends and we all love Grandma Mazur, but the last 3 in this series have fallen a bit flat. Okay, more than fallen a bit flat -- they've gotten boring, very predictable, silly, and in desperate need of a plot beside is it Joe or is it Ranger, Lula needs to eat and Stephanie needs a new car again. This is hard for me to say since I have always loved this series and preorder the instant I see the next one available. If there is another one, I'm sure I'll buy it and read it, but I wish for a better storyline!!
@marilynihope I think it is absolutely JE's name that sells her books. Maybe not to new readers, but to the loyal fans who put her on the bestseller list year after year. She has in the past, been very proud of her "brand". I have been to multiple signings, and have met her and Alex, both, several times and I have to say I most certainly do not agree that she wouldn't let anyone else touch the Plum books. The last few haven't had the same tone or voice as the earlier ones. I don't remember bathroom humor in the earlier books. Someone thinks that's funny. I think she would and has let someone else write Plum. Most specifically, Alex.
Out of all 16 books, this was the worst. Two of the main characters Morelli and Ranger had very small parts in the whole book. Evanovich also reused plots from previous books. In fact, the last two books of this series have made me not like Stephanie the main character. She comes off as dingy and somewhat like a "ho". Usually these books will have at least one laugh out loud moment but this one did not have any. I would not recommend buying this book. I sure wish I hadn't. Don't worry if you don't read it you won't miss anything. If Evanovich writes another one I sure hope she actually puts a little more thought into it.
I always pick up the next Stephanie Plum with great expectations ... and the last 3 have been utter disappointments. What a waste of an excellent cast of characters! I'm questioning whether Ms. Evanovich even wrote this one! There was absolutely no life to the book at all, even Stephanie seemed tired of going through the same old thing yet again. Also, the jacket description alluded to things that weren't in the book and whoever proofed the book needs to learn how to spell! As with any relationship, even one with a fictional heroine, there needs to be growth. Let Stephanie grow!!!!
I love the first 12 of the Plum series - but it seems Janet is getting tired - it might be time to move on to another series for her. Sizzling Sixteen was cute - worth getting from the library - or even in paperback. I liked the fact Connie was more in this book as well as Vinnie - it made it fun. On a side note - it's very much a Plum book - I don't know what people are saying - that Janet didn't write this. It reminded me a lot of Metro Girl. Advice - wait for paperback and read it while sitting out by the pool with a fruity drink. (Don't forget the sunblock).
All these years I have laughed and even shed a tear or two for the wonderful characters of the Stephanie Plum series. However, this last book was boring, repetitive, unexciting, and totally forgetful. I am sorry I spent my money. Ms. Evanovick is bored with her characters. So she needs to cease and desist spinning Stephanie's life until her enthusiasm returns for Morelli, Ranger, LuLu, Grandma and all. I will not buy something like "Silly Seventeen" as the author no longer cares about her readers. She only cares about her royalties.
Sorry, but the plots are the same and getting predictable. No change for the characters and just not funny anymore... She needs to end the series, but I have read my last one........
Boring, nothing new here, don't bother. Janet really needs to end this series. Just get it from the library - don't waste your money.
There was very little substance to the story, the plot wasn't plausible. It didn't give me any feeling of excitement or anxiety about the outcome. There was so much fluff and waste about doughnuts & diets, it was overdone and boring. How long can Stephanie keep living like a college student and how long can she keep two strong, take charge men dangling like teenage boys? I was hoping for more depth.
Finger Lickin' Fifteen was marginal, but this latest effort was way beneath Janet Evanovich. Let's start with the printed book itself - the margins were so wide, it seemed the book was a paperback printed on full size paper and sold as a hard cover. If the text had taken more of the page as is normal, the page count would probably have been around 150 - not a full length novel, but a short story! And an incomplete one at that! What a rip-off! Moving on to the story, it was page after page of almost verbatim excerpts from other books, with little to flesh out in between to make up a new and unique story. Yes we know that Lula is a former 'ho who dresses in way too small spandex clothes and thinks constantly about food and dieting. The character's description does not need to take up two to three pages every chapter with nothing new or quirky to add. We know that Stephanie has an on again, off again, relationship with Joe Morelli. Their latest fight was almost a carbon copy of a fight from a prior book (peanut butter instead of bread) - yet it was referred to in passing in several chapters, yet never actually fleshed out beyond the usual blah, blah, blah of the previous arguments. We know about Ranger, we know about Grandma Mazur. The all too familiar and beloved characters were trotted out one by one, their background stories re-hashed as if we'd never met them before, and then moved on. No plot details, no in-depth story, not even a new and witty adventure at Stiva's. Again, simply a blah, blah, blah, Grandma this and Grandma that - end of scene. In short - it was all background and hardly any actual story! When the end rolled around, I was shocked to find the entire story was contained in about 3 of the chapters of the book! What happened Janet? Saying that this was phoned in is giving it too much credit. If I was to place a bet, I'd say it was written by someone else who has made a real study of Stephanie Plum books - but can't actually write. I sure hope #17 is better.
Wish Janet make a decision with one man than end it with a bang. Than start new.
I have read all the books in the Stepanie Plum series. I have to say I was very disappointed in this book. The story line is not very imaginative, and the book is only 186 pages. I love all the other books in the series,but with this one I feel I got cheated.
Love her books to death but the series is becoming so repetitive. Cars blown up, bad guys throwing off shots, doughnut eating, Lula in tight clothes, more doughnut eating, enter Morelli, enter Ranger, nothing happens, Stephanie narrowly escapes but does, eats more doughnuts, Grandma Mazur funny line, fried chicken eating, MORE doughnut eating, and yet Stephanie stays skinny, hot, without 'action', and never ages. Will continue to read the books like any true fan, but I wish she'd finish this series and start a new one!
I did not get even one chuckle. How many times can Lula eat chicken and sneeze/fart? How many time can Ranger says "Babe" and not press. How many times can Grandma want to lift the lid of the coffin? How many time can Morelli not want to know what Plum did. It was just boring and old.
I was actually disappointed. I love all of her books, but now they are getting predictable and boring.
I have really loved this series of books. They have been laugh out loud funny. However you can really tell she is burning out on this book and needs to find an ending and move on to something else.
I've been a fan of the Stephanie Plum series, but sometimes you need to finish a good run before it turns bad. Although there were some parts in the book that made me laugh, the whole plot lacked substance. I hate to say it, but I'm tired of the Stephanie/Joe/Ranger love triangle. The fence has been straddled for too long. The situations are getting redundant and boring. I'm almost apathetic now and I believe if this series continues then the credibility of the main character is gone. It's time for Stephanie to grow up.
I have been defending the last few books from this series, but just can't do it with this one. There wasn't one "laugh out loud" moment that I'm used to, I'm starting to get irritated with the Morelli/Ranger storyline, and this book just wasn't nearly as exciting as the previous books. I'll still keep reading the series, and hoping they get back to the way they were.
I have read Janet Evanovich's previous books. I ordered this one early, waiting in anticpation of something new and exciting. The early Stephanie Plum books were funny and enjoyable. These last two are awful. This book is almost a rewrite of #15. Ms. Evanovich needs to change characters and plot. This has gotten old. What a disappointment.
I was really disappointed with "16". I felt like the entire book had been adapted for middle school. While I did enjoy Mooner and the Hobbits, I missed Grandma Mazur's colorful escapades. Stephanie and Lula's narrow escapes were very narrow on danger and excitement. Connie joining in the chase added nothing, which seems amiss for someone who has family ties with the mob. Ranger and Morelli must have been on anti-depressants with sexual side effects from their weak attempts to seduce Stephanie. Even chocolate chip cookies didn't help alleviate my disappointment. I may have to join Morelli and Ranger on the anti-depressant wagon.
What a disappointment. I've always loved the Stephanie Plum series of books. Although quirky, the characters are usually well developed, the story lines are tight and the humor is biting. Unfortunately, Sizzling Sixteen is all frosting and no cake--the first bite is fun but you're quickly looking for some substance! Stephanie Plum and company have become caricatures. The dialog is awkward and stereotypes seemed to have replaced the once endearing cast. The biggest disappointment to Sizzling Sixteen is the flat tire humor. The previous books in this series have been laugh out loud, wipe the tears funny! This installment is like a badly told joke; you're left grimacing and wanting the awkwardness to end. I'm hoping that Sizzling Sixteen is not an indicator of where Janet Evanovich is heading with her writing. This book was a waste of her talent and my time.
After waiting the usual year for a new Plum adventure I was very disappointed in #16. Plot was weak and it lacked the humor and sizzle of previous books in the series.