Pros: Fun, dangerous, sneaky, and delicious (in more ways than one)
Cons: Somewhat typical of the Plum series
The Bottom Line: What you read is what you get.
Janet Evanovich started out writing Romance. A lot of writers tend to cross into another genre from time to time, and when Evanovich stepped over that invisible line into Mystery, we got Stephanie Plum. Bounty hunter extraordinaire (sort of) with several hot men on her heels, a knack for being in the wrong places at the wrong times, the right places at the right times, getting downright lucky, and always getting a happy ending. Just the way we all like it (right?).
This is the thirteenth novel in the series (hence the title), and if you want to make the most sense of the characters, I suggest reading at least the first novel. Doing so is also likely to suck you into reading the rest of them, which would be fine, since they’re all pretty much hilarious and a good time.
This time Stephanie has agreed to do a tiny favor for Ranger – plant a bug in Dickie Orr’s office. Actually, it’s a big favor since Dickie is Steph’s ex-husband and huge jackass and every time Steph sees him, she’s likely to punch him in the mouth. But she manages to get the job done (with a few extra violent perks) and all seems well with the world. Until Dickie goes missing and Stephanie finds herself the main suspect. Is he dead or alive? And was the firm he was with even legitimate? Er...and why is everything on fire?
That’s the barebones lowdown. You’ll have to read the book to find out the rest – like whether or not Stephanie hooks up with Ranger or if another one of her cars goes kablooie.
Basically it’s your typical Stephanie Plum book. At the very least this time Stephanie manages to balance stupidity with smarts. For example, she’s still too dumb to figure out when you cuff someone you cuff both hands immediately. You do not cuff one hand and then stand around chatting with your FTA. That’s getting really old and annoying. Or when someone comes to your apartment and threatens you big time, you call the freaking cops or Ranger’s men the second you get the chance – you don’t let the guy get away. This time, though she, ah, does those things like a moron, she actually welcomes the security that Ranger’s guys bring by following her around instead of getting on an I-am-woman-hear-me-roar ego trip and giving them to slip (only to really, really need them later). That in itself was a nice change.
There isn’t much mystery though. Now when I say that, I mean there aren’t a lot of clues for you to put together and try and solve yourself. Rather, you’ll be busy thinking, “Where’s Dickie?” and probably wondering what the deal is with the guys at the firm, but it’s not really something you can puzzle through. Instead you find out what happened to Dickie and then get told what the deal is with the firm. It’s all laid out for you, map-style. This may bum some people out but since I’m not exactly an avid mystery reader (though I do really like to piece things together), I don’t much care. It happens.
Your usual crazy escapades with Stephanie are dotted throughout the book, subplots consisting of FTAs. Though those FTAs really do have some quirky things going on. Things you’d never expect. Ever. There are a few parts where you’ll laugh out loud, others where (if you’re a woman or gay) you’d go “Oooh” and envision either Joe or Ranger next to you, um, doing things, and still other places where you may not even be sure what to make of what the heck just happened. Haha.
It’s a good book. Keep going with the series. Plum Lucky is next – and it’s hilarious.
Originally posted 2008 on Epinions.com