Friday, July 23, 2010

Fearless Fourteen

I'm very nearly caught up with the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. The latest entry I just read was "Fearless Fourteen." This leaves only two books left in the series, after which I'll be down to one new novel a year if the current trend of a book a year continues.

Either "Fearless Fourteen" was better than recent entries in the series or it's just been a while since I read one of the Stephanie Plum novels but I really enjoyed the 14th book in the series. Of course Stephanie is back working as a bounty hunter for her cousin Vinny in Trenton, New Jersey. I think what I really liked about the story was, for a change, the focus of the story didn't revolve around Stephanie's work as a bounty hunter and the danger wasn't directed at her, rather more toward her boyfriend cop Joe Morelli and his family. Stephanie still managed to get into some trouble, which she's usually knee deep in, but she seemed to be more in control in this entry and I hate to say it but maybe a little competent! From the book jacket:

"Personal vendettas, hidden treasure, and a monkey named Carl will send bounty hunter Stephanie Plum on her most explosive adventure yet.

The Crime: Armed robbery to the tune of nine million dollars
Dom Rizzi robbed a bank, stashed the money, and did the time. His family couldn’t be more proud. He always was the smart one.

The Cousin: Joe Morelli
Joe Morelli, Dom Rizzi, and Dom’s sister, Loretta, are cousins. Morelli is a cop, Rizzi robs banks, and Loretta is a single mother waiting tables at the firehouse. The all-American family.

The Complications: Murder, kidnapping, destruction of personal property, and acid reflux
Less than a week after Dom’s release from prison, Joe Morelli has shadowy figures breaking into his house and dying in his basement. He’s getting threatening messages, Loretta is kidnapped, and Dom is missing.

The Catastrophe: Moonman
Morelli hires Walter 'Mooner' Dunphy, stoner and 'inventor' turned crime fighter, to protect his house. Morelli can’t afford a lot on a cop’s salary, and Mooner will work for potatoes.

The Cupcake: Stephanie Plum
Stephanie and Morelli have a long-standing relationship that involves sex, affection, and driving each other nuts. She’s a bond enforcement agent with more luck than talent, and she’s involved in this bank-robbery-gone-bad disaster from day one.

The Crisis: A favor for Ranger
Security expert Carlos Manoso, street name Ranger, has a job for Stephanie that will involve night work. Morelli has his own ideas regarding Stephanie’s evening activities.

The Conclusion: Only the fearless should read Fourteen.
Thrills, chills, and incontinence may result."

A good entry to the Stephanie Plum series, which has been inconsistent lately. I'm sure it's hard to produce a winner with each novel about the same character when there are sixteen books, especially when a new novel is published every year. I look forward to catching up with the series over the next couple of months, two to go. Recommended for Stephanie Plum fans. If you're not familiar with the series, start with "One for the Money."

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