Smokin' Seventeen

by Janet Evanovich (Headline Review) ISBN: 9780755384891 R190, 00 

Life in Trenton continues for Stephanie Plum, the world’s worst bounty hunter. 

The writing is as good as ever. The wonderful characters are back.  But Stephanie’s ‘love’ for two men has been going on for too long. It’s enough. At 30-something and still acting like a spoilt teenager, Stephanie’s act is wearing thin. I wanted to jump into the book and slap her, and offer this advice: Choose Morelli. Ranger doesn’t want you. He doesn’t want anyone. 

Otherwise our favourite cast is back. Rex, the hamster, and Morelli’s dog, Bob, play their parts. 

Lula crams her voluptuous body into miniscule ‘glam’ outfits. Grandma Mazur is still obsessed with viewings at the local funeral home. Mrs Plum irons her way through stressful situations and Mr Plum reads the paper and eats dinner. Mooner’s bus has become the bail bonds office which was burnt down. Bondsman, Cousin Vincent Plum, is as creepy as ever. Grandma Bella curses Stephanie. Again. 

Enter Dave, a high school friend of Stephanie’s. Her mother just wants her married and is willing to overlook some of his alleged shady business dealings. Dave cooks and Stephanie likes food. So Dave gets to hang out in her apartment for a while. 

Add the usual murders, blown up cars, skips, fast food outlets like Tasty Cakes and Cluck-in-a-Bucket, the ‘different’ cockfighting as the crime and you have a recipe for success. By the end of the book, Stephanie has five people who want her dead. Explosive Eighteen is out in November. 

Amanda Patterson
3/5

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