Pro: Entertaining for a few hours.
Con: Actually, not much with this one.
The Bottom Line: I don’t know if it’s because I’ve read this one before or not, but the one was much more tolerable than others.
I first read this book in 2012 and only vaguely remembered it. All I knew was that there was gold buried in someone’s flowerbeds…that’s pretty much it. Even then I wasn’t sure if that was right. But since I’m doing Janet Evanovich September, I figured I ought to go back and read it again in order to do a proper review. You’d think I might be keen on skipping out on the rest of the books since they’re getting a bit repetitive, but they don’t take long to read, and after this one, I’m hopeful for the next two.
Stephanie is looking for Geoffrey Cubbins. Apparently he stole $5 million from the retirement place he worked for and got busted. Except after going into a hospital for appendicitis, he disappeared and no one knows how. As she looks for Cubbins, Ranger’s been getting cryptic threatening messages and wants Stephanie’s help. Here’s hoping that between exploding cars, other tricky skips, and Morelli sexy time, Stephanie can solve the case, get her man, and get home by dinner.
The Cubbins mystery was kind of weird, but interesting, though I’m not sure why the bad guys would go after people that would be actively looking for them. Still, it’s nice that it was a multi-layered mystery even if it’s ultimately not too hard to figure out what’s going on. Though, to be fair, I didn’t figure out (or remember) how Cubbins got out of the hospital.
The Ranger thing was also interesting, though not much of a mystery, but that’s okay. The guy wasn’t exactly hiding his intentions, and Ranger had already figured out who it was, so it was just a matter of waiting for him to show up.
We get a nice little list of characters showing up and being useful in interesting ways, such as Randy Briggs, and Stephanie finally utilizes the toys that Ranger gives her without balking about it (too much). Though I still think she’s dumb for not staying at Ranger’s for the duration of being stalked by a psycho – her only reason is that she’s worried about sleeping with Ranger. Frankly, my priorities are not being murdered in terrible ways first, cheating on (sometimes) boyfriend second. But hey, then we wouldn’t have certain sections of the book, so it’s acceptable.
I don’t think I was as amused as I used to be with the first several books, but this is book #19 and it’s all the things we’ve seen before. At the very least I noticed that I was nowhere near as annoyed with things as I was with Wicked Charms. Stephanie actually shows real fear, isn’t afraid to call for the cops or other help, and characters act like they (mostly) ought to in various situations. She also doesn’t get ridiculously quippy when in said situations. If she talks, it’s to stall for time until the cavalry can arrive or at least gain some information, and there’s enough description around to fill us in that she’s freaking out and trying to think of other alternatives to not dying.
So I’d give this book 4 out of 5 stars. On to the next!