Pros: Bob the dog is always fun; a potato gun.
Cons: Lack of get-up-and-go, overall just "meh."
The Bottom Line: Once you put it back on the shelf it's easy to forget it's there, or that you even read it. Hey, that's what happened to me.
Janet Evanovich has now written a crazy fourteen Stephanie Plum books and I think she’s getting tired of her main character.
If you’re not familiar with the whole Stephanie Plum bounty hunter girl thing, then I recommend you try out the first book to see where it all started, as well as understand who the characters are and where they’ve come from. Otherwise, read on.
Life as usual for Stephanie Plum. When Loretta, a cousin of Morelli’s, has to go back to jail after skipping, Stephanie gets suckered into babysitting Loretta’s teenage boy. Fine. Except now Ranger wants her to help him run security for famous-ish singer Brenda. Okay, fine. Er, now Loretta is missing, and not by choice. Not so fine. Dom, Loretta’s slightly crazed brother, serves Morelli with death threats and people keep breaking into Morelli’s house. Really not fine. There’s also the possibility of millions hidden in Morelli’s house. That could be fine...but it could also be fatal. Dang.
It sounds interesting, I know, but it’s not, sadly. I expected more from this novel than I got, even though I’m getting the sense that Evanovich is getting bored with the whole Stephanie Plum thing, especially since she’s expected to crank one out as fast as possible to keep readers happy (a normal thing to do as a writer, for the most part, but still easily tiresome). Not a whole lot happens that’s worthy of my memory, and usually I soak up silly book facts like a sponge. The book felt a little disjointed and more like Evanovich was just slapping stuff down on paper to fork over to her editor.
The plot is definitely not all that exciting. Straightforward and lacking any real mystery, with only a handful of giggle-worthy spots that include a potato gun and Bob the dog. Don’t let the mention of a monkey fool you—that part wasn’t all that funny. Brenda the singer could have lead Stephanie into a lot more trouble, especially since some dialogue from Ranger gave the impression that Stephanie was going to have a really difficult time with her, but instead Brenda comes off as stupid, pointless, and annoying from time to time. Even Brenda’s stalker could have been more interesting and turned into a good subplot, but instead it falls flat and while that could have been made into something funnier, it wasn’t. I read through this novel in about a day, mostly because I was bored and I figured finishing it would allow me time for more rewarding things.
The best parts are probably just the banter and sexual tension between Stephanie and Morelli and Stephanie and Ranger. The Lula and Tank story could have been better as well, but like I said, it just seemed like Evanovich cranked something out to shut up all the fans (understandable). Still, despite the lack of laughs and mundane plot, there are still some unresolved issues which easily means there will likely be a #15 somewhere in the future. Hopefully avid fans are willing to wait in order to give Evanovich proper time to come up with something really exciting and hilarious. I know I am. Besides, I need that down time to read other things anyway.
Originally posted 2008 on Epinions.com