Hardcore Twenty Four by Janet Evanovich (2017)

Two other books in the Stephanie Plum series have been reviewed on this site. To find them, click on the “Janet Evanovich” tag on the main page.

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Stephanie Plum, the inept but lovable bounty hunter, is back to solve yet another mystery with her unique brand of mediocre sleuthing. Hardcore Twenty-Four opens with Stephanie in her usual predicaments: running low on cash, juggling feelings for two men, and partnered with wildly unpredictable colleague who hinders her work as a bounty hunter about as much as she helps.

Trenton New Jersey is abuzz with gossip about a series of bizarre crimes: someone has been breaking into funeral homes and decapitating bodies awaiting burial. If that was not creepy enough, the police begin to discover other bodies all over town: some headless, some with their heads left on but their brains gone. The predominant theory:  a zombie horde has invaded Trenton.

When she is asked to track down a young man who blew up a building trying to cook meth (and missed his court dates), Stephanie finds herself drawn into the zombie mystery. While she tracks down her criminal, she keeps having run in’s with people who very well could be zombies — or at least people who look like the living dead. Rather than leave it to the police to solve the mystery, Stephanie feels compelled to keep tracking the so-called “zombies,” certain that if she can find her missing skip, she can get to the bottom of the strange string of crimes upsetting the city.

While Stephanie does get to the bottom of the things, she does so in her signature way: with plenty car crashes, explosions, gun fights, with help from all manner of crazy side-kicks. Hardcore Twenty-Four does not add anything new to the Stephanie Plum series, but it does not disappoint loyal fans either.

 

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Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich (2016)

Book #23 in the Stephanie Plum series (Book #22 reviewed here: http://wp.me/p6N6mT-3x )

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Everyone’s favorite bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, is back for yet another ridiculous, hilarious, wholly improbable but none-the-less enjoyable caper. She has brought along her entire rag-tag team of companions — including but not limited to: Lulu, Connie, Grandma Mazur, Randy Briggs, Joe Morelli (yum!), and Ranger (yum! yum!) — along as she tries to round up skips and as she goes undercover in order to solve a string of murders.

In this book, Stephanie is helping Ranger piece together a bizarre series of crimes plaguing a local ice cream factory and its employees, including two grisly murders. Going under cover on the factory line, on the loading dock, and even as a clown in the ice cream truck; Stephanie does her best to solve the mystery and (as always) manages to do so in a wild, round-a-bout way.

I have to admit that I whole-heartedly enjoy this series and, even after twenty-three books, I still am happy to send a rainy evening reading about Stephanie and her outrageous exploits. While other series I have been devoted to have fizzled (see my latest review of JD Robb’s latest Eve Dallas book http://wp.me/p6N6mT-19D ) this one remains strong. The reason for this, I believe, that it is Evanovich’s humor and her commitment to absolutely ludicrous story-lines that make no attempt to be realistic. It does not hurt that Stephanie is still, after all these years, engaged in steamy relationships with both Morelli and Ranger.

A series that is well-worth reading, if just for a quick, funny break from the craziness of the holidays. Enjoy!

Tricky Twenty Two by Janet Evanovich (2015)

A Stephanie Plum Novel

I have to begin this post with a confession: I love Stephanie Plum and I giddily picked up her most recent caper as soon as it came out this fall. Are these books silly and at times nonsensical? Sure. Are they also hysterical and a ton of fun to read? Absolutely.

This book is the twenty-second adventure for Stephanie Plum and her largely incompetent set of companions including; Lula, Connie, Ranger, Joe and Grandma Mazur. Since her very first day on the job as a bounty hunter, Stephanie has been plagued by bad luck and poor decisions and this installment is no exception. To further complicate her unstable professional life, she remains firmly ensconced in a love triangle that has her unable to commit to the two men she loves, perhaps because she is unable to do her job without them both.

Twenty Two finds Stephanie searching for a prank-pulling frat boy who evades her attempts at capture and who ultimately draws her into a triple-homicide investigation. Although not at all qualified, she finds herself attempting to solve the murders which she is sure are all connected despite police being unable to find any strong evidence to link them. Throughout the story Stephanie finds herself just one step behind both her “skips” and a lunatic who has much larger crimes in mind. Through a series of good hunches, madcap chases, and near misses Stephanie closes in on the murder suspect and uncovers a plot much more sinister than college boy jokes, one that just might involve biological terrorism.

Always worth a read, Janet Evanovich delivers us another light-hearted, funny romp that, although it leaves her a bit ragged, finds Stephanie Plum Bounty Hunter on top of her game once again.