Friday, December 2, 2011

Explosive Eighteen: A Review

Stephanie Plum is one of my favorite book characters.  I am so excited to see One for the Money to hit theaters in January.  Katherine Heigl will play Stephanie.  Not sure if she has the right hair for Stephanie.

The latest installment of the Stephanie Plum series, Explosive Eighteen came out last week.  I own the whole series, so it is one of the few books I buy new every year.

If you are new to the series, it chronicles the life of Stephanie Plum, a bond enforcement agent, in Trenton, NJ.  She has a side-kick named Lula, who is quite a crazy lady and former 'ho.  Together they get into all sorts of trouble as they search out people who skipped out on their bond.  Stephanie is in a love triangle with Joe Morelli, a Trenton cop and Ranger, a former bounty hunter, now security firm owner and operator.

Smokin' Seventeen ended with a cliff-hanger.  Stephanie had received two air fare vouchers and she had decided to finally make a lover decision and take one of them on vacation, but she did not tell us which one.  Explosive Eighteen begins with Stephanie on the flight home from Hawaii, alone.  Apparently things did not go so well on vacation.

Once back in Trenton, everyone is asking what happened, but Stephanie is not taking about it.  She goes back to work.  Soon, she is being tailed by two fake FBI agents, two real FBI agents, a hairdresser and a crazy assassin.  They all want something Stephanie accidentally got a hold of on the plane and threw away.  Stephanie has to figure out this mystery as well as capture some FTA so she can get money to make rent.

Eighteen really puts back the ole Stephanie and Lula that we love.  There is a bit of mystery, romance and a lot of hilarious happenings. The series really took a dive for 5-6 books.  It felt as thought Janet Evanovich was just pulling things out of the air and saying "good enough."  I can tell she is back on her writing game for Stephanie.  Still, not as good as the first few in the series, but getting much better.

Does Stephanie finally choose between Ranger and Morelli?  No, but that's OK because that is all part of the mystery and fun.

4/5 stars

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