Friday, August 26, 2011

Sizzling Sixteen

I can't believe Janet Evanovich has written 16 books about Stephanie Plum. I can't believe I've read them all, including the latest entry yesterday, "Sizzling Sixteen" (326 pages). From the back of the book:

"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. Nobody else will pay to get Vinnie back, leaving it up to Stephanie, office manager Connie, and file clerk Lula to raise the money if they want to save their jobs.

Being in the business of tracking down people, Stephanie, Lula, and Connie have an advantage in finding Vinnie. If they can rescue him, it will buy them some time to raise the cash.

Finding a safe place to hide Vinnie turns out to be harder than raising $786,000. Vinnie’s messing up local stoner Walter 'Moon Man' Dunphy's vibe, running up pay-per-view porn charges in security expert Ranger’s apartment, and making Stephanie question genetics.

Between a bonds office yard sale that has the entire Burg turning out, Mooner’s Hobbit-Con charity event, and Uncle Pip’s mysterious bottle, they just might raise enough money to save Vinnie and the business from ruin.

Saving Vincent Plum Bail Bonds means Stephanie can keep being a bounty hunter. In Trenton, this involves hunting down a man wanted for polygamy, a Turnpike toilet paper bandit, and a drug dealer with a pet alligator named Mr. Jingles.

The job of bounty hunter comes with perks in the guise of Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, and the dark and dangerous, Ranger. With any luck at all, Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle will have Stephanie getting lucky---the only question is . . . with whom?

Sizzling Sixteen . . . so hot, the pages might spontaneously combust!"

One word review of the latest books in the Stephanie Plum series: meh. "Sizzling Sixteen" was better than "Finger Lickin' Fifteen" but that isn't saying much. I really enjoy the characters of this series and the overall premise of the books but unfortunately after sixteen installments there has been zero growth. Stephanie gets a new case or two and bumbles her way around while flirting with Joe or Ranger. Exchange plot lines every novel and that's pretty much all you have. The first few novels in the series were really fantastic but unfortunately the formula has grown stale over the course of many, many books.

I'll continue to read each new entry yearly, at least they're always good for a chuckle. Recommended for fans of Janet Evanovich and the Stephanie Plum series.


Stacy Lynn said...

You're still one behind. "Smokin' Seventeen" came out in June. I'll agree with you on the "meh." The books are still kind of fun to read...just rather predictable. I wonder if it's because she has her fingers in so many other projects...the graphic novels with her daughter and the new series that began with "Wicked Appetite." In "Smokin' Seventeen" there is a sense that Stephanie is really getting tired of her own indecision about Joe and Ranger (and maybe with her life in general)...perhaps we're building up to finally answering that question once and for all? I'm hoping when the movie comes out it will generate lots of interest and get Evanovich back on the top of her game with Stephanie.

Dave said...

Yeah I saw the 17th book was out but I just couldn't bring myself to buy it in hardcover.