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Friday, September 11, 2015

Eleven On Top - Life is Like a Jelly Doughnut



Pros: Finally, the book where Stephanie doesn't take sh*t from anyone (or at least less)
Cons: Bit of that Scooby-doo ending

The Bottom Line: I wanna work for Ranger...that would so damn sweet...

It’s because of Stephanie Plum and the last two books that I’ve had an insane craving for doughnuts. This morning mom went out and got some.

Thank God for small favors.

Except now I’m ready to pop and I’ve basically undone every step I took on the treadmill for 4 miles yesterday. Oh well. Did I get a jelly doughnut out of it? Dang skippy I did. There are still 3 doughnuts left since there are 3 of us and we got 12 doughnuts. I’m already trying to scheme my way into getting the chocolate creme filled one. Am I a horrible person or what?

If you’re confused by all this, fear not. You seemed to have found book #11 of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels. Stephanie is a bond enforcement agent (bounty hunter), and not a very good one. Well, ok, she’s good in that she gets hella lucky all the time, but not so good because the rest of the time her court date skippers slip away from her or she ends up rolling in garbage or dealing with naked guys or getting her car blown up. Someone should start a tally on that last bit. There’s no real need to go in order, but there are a few books that would be much better if you read something before them. If you want the full story on how Stephanie became a bounty hunter, read One for the Money. If you want to know the full story on the deal that goes down relating to this book, read Two for the Dough. If you don’t mind jumping in and spoiling a few things, read on.

That’s it. Stephanie Plum has officially quit her job as a bounty hunter. She’s rolled in garbage for the last time wrestling with some jerk. She’s been shot at, spat at, attacked by geese, humped by a pack of dogs, wrestled with a Vaseline-covered naked guy, shot a few people herself, been stalked by homicidal maniacs, and has gone through more cars than Big Foot at a demolition derby. So she quits. Enough with the wackos, freaks, idiots, and killers. Time to get a job at the button factory. Or Kan Klean dry cleaning. Or Cluck-in-a-Bucket. Or the personal products plant.

Or with Ranger. *involuntary shiver of giddiness*

While Stephanie hops from one job to another, it looks like someone thought to be dead is back and wants revenge. Steph is left with threatening notes, body parts, bombs, all of which seem to match up with the disappearance of four men and leaves her semi-boyfriend vice cop Joe Morelli with a broken leg and her trying to figure out the connection before she goes ka-boom with her next vehicle. But which is worse? Possibly getting blown to smithereens or looking like an eggplant in her sister’s slowly-going-psychotic wedding?

I wonder how many times a month Stephanie has to testify in court? Random ponderings aside, I liked this one. Sure, Steph isn’t out chasing down guys (ok, well she does on occasion, when Lula asks her to), but the tension between her, Ranger, and Morelli makes up for a lot of it. Making up for the rest of it is the fiascos that go on at the different jobs she takes. You never see half of this stuff coming. Actually I never saw any of it coming. Ok, maybe one or two things, but nothing major. Even the little things were great, like Bob sleeping in the bathtub. What dog does that??

As usual, the book is written in first person, so we get every detail from Steph’s perspective, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love how people, places, and situations are described, I love the metaphors she uses and the binds she gets into. There aren’t many new characters that come into this, which is fine. I’m getting a tad burnt out on crazy new people, as much as I love them. Even usual characters take a bit of time on the back-burner here, such as Grandma Mazur and Lula. We hardly even see Connie and Vinnie. What we do get is a lot of Morelli and Ranger. And you can’t not enjoy a lot of those two, Ranger especially. *drools*

So what are the problems with this book? Not much at all, actually. I’m fine with the plot, though things don’t come together until the very end, it seems a little far fetched. The bad guy, though you won’t ever guess it, seems out of place. I actually felt bummed at who it was. Though it was a total surprise, it wasn’t an “Oh wow!” one. Sort of mediocre I guess. And then there’s the Scooby-doo bit where for some unknown reason the bad guy decides to spill the beans on everything. What happened, what the motive was, “wait here until I come back to kill you,” etc. I’m willing to let a few times go, but not so much this time. Sure, I suspend my disbelief and I suppose I could even stretch it to sheer ego, but otherwise I don’t see why the killer would bother at all. However, as cut off as it may have seemed, I did like the last little bit at the end. Stephanie Plum – no longer taking shit from anyone.

Finally!

4.5 stars.

NT

Originally posted on Epinions.com

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