Pros: A fun, fast read.
Cons: If you were looking/hoping for something different - don't.
The Bottom Line: Good to read when you want something fun and stupid.
Long ago (when I was still in college), I had three completely different people recommend the Stephanie Plum series to me. Normally that doesn't happen, so I decided to take a look. Fast forward to now, twenty books later (she has in-between books featuring Steph). If you know nothing about this series, you're better off at least starting with the very first book, One for the Money, so you can understand the important characters. Then you could skip around if you wanted to because there are only a handful of things that actually link between books. There is the occasional mention of past events, but usually it's not important to the story.
This time around, Stephanie is just doing her thing - until a body is discovered under a dumpster beside the bail bonds office (or at least, where it used to be since it burned down in the last book). Awkward, but not really Stephanie's problem. Her problems include trying to catch a 70-year-old skip that may or may not be a vampire, dealing with the vordo and Grandma Morelli's evil eye, trying to avoid being fixed up on a date by her mother, and now there are more bodies showing up - a few of them with notes addressed for Stephanie. She's got a lot on her mind, but at least this time around she gets a lot of good food and, mm, good lovin'.
I know by now that the series isn't really going anywhere. It's more like what I put in my title - a day in the life of Stephanie Plum. A car blows up. She can't decide between Ranger or Morelli. Lula shoots people when they call her fat. Everyone eats donuts and Cluck-in-a-Bucket chicken. And Stephanie is still a total moron when it comes to catching skips. Actually, most of that I don't mind because I'm used to it and pretty much expect it. It's silly and mindless and just what I wanted at the time. Heck, it's a small book, too, and I read it in a single day. Okay, granted I was standing at the Nook counter with no customers so I amused myself for most of my shift by reading it on a Nook, but still. Give yourself a handful of hours and you'll have this baby done in no time.
What annoys me is that Stephanie is still such an idiot. I don't mind her being an idiot from time to time, but when it comes to catching skips, I really, really wish she would be smarter by now. I understand we need funny things to happen, but I think that's still possible even if she gets smarter. As it is, she's doing the exact same crap she was doing a dozen books ago. I sat there thinking, "For heaven's sake, when the guy opens the door, just taze his butt and drag him in!" It's also getting tiring when Lula pushes her around. For half the book Lula keeps fussing and whining about turning into a vampire after getting her neck sucked on by the old guy (even though he had no teeth). At one point I just wanted to Stephanie to tell her to stop being so stupid and just shut up already. But whatever. Sometimes I feel like I'm reading a more adult version of Scooby Doo, minus the talking dog. ...Though if Bob were around more, it might make things more fun.
As for the mystery, it's not such a big deal. It was more interesting seeing how many people were actually after Stephanie this time (three) as opposed to just one main bad guy. However, it's not hard to figure out who the killer is. At all. I had the killer pegged, oh, well before I think I even hit the midway point of the book. There's really no clear way of figuring it out, but if you've read enough mysteries, you'll know.
So it's quick, predictable, fun, ridiculous, and 100% Stephanie Plum. If you want high quality, go somewhere else. If you want total fluff, this is your book.
Originally posted 2011 on Epinions.com