Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Book Review: Explosive Eighteen

Author: Janet Evanovich
Title: Explosive Eighteen
Publisher: Bantam
Publish Date: Nov 22, 2011
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum’s life is set to blow sky high when international murder hits dangerously close to home, in this dynamite novel by Janet Evanovich.

Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead—and a ragtag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph he was supposed to be carrying.

Only one person has seen the missing photo: Stephanie Plum. Now she’s the target. An FBI sketch artist helps Stephanie re-create the person in the photo, but Stephanie’s descriptive skills are lacking. Until she can improve them, she’ll need to watch her back.

Over at the bail bonds agency things are going from bad to worse. Vinnie’s temporary HQ has gone up in smoke. Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls for their largest skip yet. Lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie’s apartment. And everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii?

Morelli, Trenton’s hottest cop, isn’t talking about Hawaii. Ranger, the man of mystery, isn’t talking about Hawaii. And all Stephanie is willing to say about her Hawaiian vacation is . . . It’s complicated.

Review: Every so often I have to visit my old pal Stephanie Plum. I have to admit, 18 books have taken the sparkle off of Steph and the gang, but that doesn't mean I don't smile through the books.

It's been awhile since I visited Trenton, NJ, but I'm glad I took the time to read Explosive Eighteen. It was fun and funny and oddly, I don't think Stephanie had any cars blown up. When did that stop? OK, nothing gets blown up, but one of their skips...who Lula ends up hooking up with, sure likes to steal them, from her!

Not to worry, she still has a hard time doing her job, but what fun would it be if she actually could catch most of her skips? She also still hasn't decided between Morelli and Ranger, and to tell you the truth, I don't think I could decide either. I like the extra tension in this one that is a result of her Hawaiian vacation that went terribly wrong and leaves her with a tan line where a wedding ring used to be.

La La La...no spoilers...but the reason for that tan line is a little less satisfying than I was hoping, especially as things are a bit chilly from one of her two guys.

Then there's the matter of this photo that's getting her chased by lots of thugs and the FBI as well as an issue with Joyce. And of course there's a funeral or two. This book is a little light on Grandma Mazur and the rest of Steph's family, which is a little disappointing, because they really bring on the laughs, but when Grandma appears she always steals the show, especially with her friend Annie who makes love potions. (Lula and the love potion = hilarity!)

There's lots going on in this book, maybe too much, but it was still a good time and it has put me in the mood for more Plum.

Rating: 4 flowers


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