Janet Evanovich and her bounty hunter heroine, Stephanie Plum, have been linked for all time since the first Plum treat, “One for the Money,” was published twenty books ago.
Fans can’t get enough of the odd-ball characters, wacky adult plotlines and fab romantic triangle that inhabit every book. Ranger is a bounty hunter extraordinaire (among other talents) is always dressed in black, has a fleet of black cars and a small army of elite back-up guys at his disposal, and makes it his business to follow and protect Stephanie wherever she goes. Joe Morelli, Stephanie’s hunky former high school flame, is a Trenton detective who frequently works the other side of the law from Ranger. And Stephanie likes them both. A lot.
Stephanie works for her slimy cousin Vinnie, a bail bondsman with questionable associations. The plus side? He can't fire her, no matter how bad she is at her job. They're family.
Over the years, Stephanie has become a little more skilled at taking down the skips (meaning she sometimes actually takes her not-always-loaded gun along) but she still needs help from Lula and Ranger to get the job done. With a side-kick like Lula (gun-happy and indulging in the worst diets on the planet) Stephanie faces down pimps and killers, armed with her need to pay the bills. She gets shot at, loses more cars than any insurance company would tolerate, and never seems to catch the perps on the first try. Steph still can’t commit in her relationships, but if she ever did, we might lose the duo of smoldering men.
Our gal Stephanie has the nuttiest family ever to sit down to 6:00 dinner. Grandma Mazur has been known to shoot at the dinner (with a gun, not a camera) and never misses a viewing at a funeral home. Dad keeps his fork buried in the roast beef and mashed potatoes and mumbles to get through the meals. Mom is the best cook in the Burg, but nips a little (okay – a lot) in the kitchen to help her cope with Stephanie’s still unmarried status and embarrassing occupation.
“Sizzling Sixteen” was quick, funny and raunchy as always, with Stephanie, Lula and Connie (Vinnie's secretary) out to raise a million dollars to save Vinnie from the bookies who want to blow up the bail bonds office. This time, the most inept bounty hunters in the business have a lucky bottle to help them. Let’s face it, the fans don’t read the Plum books for the deep, insightful plots. We’re looking for quirky and we want to know what’s going to happen with Stephanie and the two handsome guys. Stephanie and Joe have broken up (or have they?) and she daydreams (and more) about Ranger. I wonder if sales of Bulgari Green have risen since the series began…
In “Smokin’ Seventeen,” Stephanie Plum still can’t decide who grabs her heart…Ranger or Joe. If you want to declare your choice publicly to the world, stickers you can attach to your clothing are included in the book. The bounty hunting part of this seventeenth installment in the series includes vampires (you have to read this one to believe it), dancing bears and guys trying to kill our cash challenged heroine. And this time Ranger’s crew has a pool to see how long it takes for Stephanie to blow up one of his sleek black cars. As always, a fun read for Evanovich fans.
I haven’t read my copy of “Takedown Twenty” yet, but once I start, phones, computer and all communication with the outside world will stop until I finish the last hilarious page. I hear that a giraffe named Kevin is running around the streets of Trenton, a mob boss is on the loose and Stephanie is playing Bingo at a senior center with Grandma Mazur in order to solve a murder. What could go wrong?
Please visit www.evanovich.com to see the latest news about her books, read about her recent collaboration with Lee Goldberg, and look at all the Ranger/Morelli/Plum goodies available.