Stephanie Plum faces the toughest puzzle of her career in the twenty-fifth entry in Janet Evanovich's #1 New York Times bestselling series.
There's nothing like a good deli and the Red River Deli in Trenton is one of the best. World famous for its pastrami, cole slaw and for its disappearing managers. Over the last month, three have vanished from the face of the earth, the only clue in each case is one shoe that's been left behind. The police are baffled. Lula is convinced that it's a case of alien abduction. Whatever it is, they'd better figure out what's going on before they lose their new manager, Ms. Stephanie Plum.
Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O'Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.
Ok. Let me start out first by saying that I am a fan of these novels. Granted, the series started to slip when it tried to focus too much on the romance, but now we’ve decided to pretty much let that go. Steph is sleeping with the cop and Ranger slips in when he can find an opening. I’m not gonna hate on the girl ‘cause this is the fictional world and there are plenty of hot guys to go around. What I really love about these books are the side stories. Lost cats, killer hens, Grandma and her honeys, Lula and her diets. These characters are always available for some funny antics. So, I will keep my Stephanie Plum fan club going, even if I’m all alone. 💕💕📚
Why do I keep reading this series? It jumped the shark so long ago that the shark has died - just like this series. And yet, I keep reading them. Library or free versions only. I'm stupid, but not THAT stupid. It's not like I can't quit things. I'll quit the crap out of things that bore me or make me uncomfortable in any way. I have quit diets so many times that you would have to call me a professional yo-yo dieter. Like one of those freaks that gets really into yo-yos for some reason and can do all kinds of things that make you go "ooooh", and then it gets boring so you quit watching.
Yeah, that was great. Now, get the hell out . You're late for your mime lessons.
Stephanie has the personality of an elderly woman who isn't very bright. She can't bring herself to say the word "vagina", so we get words like "hoohah" and "doodah". She's less hip than my grandma. And, my grandma's dead. Still cooler than Stephanie.
Both, because she's freaking epic.
At least she didn't actually sleep with Ranger in this book, cheating on Morelli, like she usually does. She only kissed him a bunch of times. I mean, it's not like we'd be mad if our boyfriends went around kissing another woman, right? That's not cheating. *eye roll*
So, in this one, Stephanie and Lula work at a deli, because, hey, why not? At least it wasn't a chocolate factory. And, hilarity ensues. And by hilarity, I mean mild chuckles occasionally.
What I'd like to see happen in this series:
Morelli dies. Rex dies. (Because, hey, he should have died years ago) Grandma Mazur dies. Lula moves to Los Angeles and becomes a vegan. Stephanie decides on Ranger. Ranger realizes that she's a moron who cheated on her boyfriend so he finds someone better and they live happily ever after.
The Plum books will always get 5 stars!! I LOVE these books, more so in Audio! These are my go to books when feeling down! I love these characters, they feel like old friends!
I read once some person said Janet should stop writing these books! Well those people can kiss an arse. First off, who are you to tell an author what to do? Second, these books actually help people with depression and hard times. ANYHOO, loved it!
When Look Alive Twenty-Five from the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich was published last fall, I devoured the remaining books I'd not caught up on yet. I was surprised to see it already available at the New York Public Library (NYPL) and requested it around Christmas. What a shock when I moved up to #1 in the waiting queue last week. Since I had only a few days to accept it, I happily jumped into the book and finished it within two days. It pushed back a few other items on my reading schedule, but nothing I couldn't easily re-arrange. I wasn't letting this one slip through my fingers.
For fans of the series, you'll get the same thing you get every book but with a small twist. Instead of chasing six to eight felons, Stephanie's been recruited to manage a diner that her cousin Vinnie's father-in-law, Harry the Hammer, inherited when someone couldn't pay back a loan. Vinnie puts Stephanie in charge of keeping the place running well so Harry doesn't hammer him. Except it seems... all the managers are kidnapped. One shoe is left behind. Six are gone already. Will Stephanie be the 7th? Along the path, she runs into Wulf, the crazy vampire-like guy she met through Diesel. Lula and Ranger help her operate the diner, but one of their tight little family is actually kidnapped. Joe Morelli helps protect her, too, and we learn a lot more about the mob families in Trenton.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. It was a nice change of pace to have Stephanie follow one big mystery rather than lots of smaller ones. Her parents and grandmother play a very minor role, but one of them is part of a big cliffhanger involving Harry the Hammer. I suspect we'll get to know more about that side of the family in the next book. Lula's sandwich-making abilities are epic. Ranger's knowledge knows no bounds. And Evanovich is as funny as ever. I enjoy the books purely because I can laugh out loud without fail.
It feels good to be caught up on this series, but I think I'm ready for it to end. It's not that the books aren't good anymore. It's just that we need something different. While reliable, they are too formulaic. That said, I'll always read them, and now that I can get #26 possibly as an ARC or the day it's published, the sweeter it'll be.
I really enjoyed the latest book in the Stephanie Plum series. I found it to be such an engaging storyline that I didn’t even miss Grandma Mazur until her mention at the end. Maybe it was the new environment as Stephanie and Lula take charge of the deli, or maybe I just needed a few laughs and a lighthearted read at this busy time of year, but whatever the case I loved the change of pace.
While our favorite bounty hunters are up to their usual bumbling and hilarious attempts to capture FTAs, those pursuits took a back burner to the daily routine of running a deli. Lula, of course, manages to spice things up with her creative sandwich making talents, and I liked the tit for tat that Stretch and Raymond gave as they found themselves surrounded by all kinds of crazy. No matter what else is going on, Lula always takes the cake!
Speaking of cake, there was a little less of it this time. There wasn’t as much family presence, and thus less leftovers and cake for Stephanie to casually swing by and pick up. Morelli was also not as prominent; Ranger has more of a central role in the deli dealings, up to and including sandwich skills!
I like how Janet Evanovich leaves things loose and open to your own interpretation when it comes to Stephanie’s relationship with Ranger. She spends the night in his bed… do they or don’t they? You decide. Your imagination can fill in the blanks in a way that gives satisfaction to you as the reader. Team Morelli? Nothing happened. Team Ranger? Something happened. Those who have read the whole series know that there’s enough interest, connection, and background material that it could easily go either way but Evanovich generously lets each reader choose the outcome he or she likes best.
Another fast and fun read in this enjoyable series. I’m already anticipating the adventures to come with Grandma and her honeys and book 26 can’t get here fast enough!
Unfortunately, the continued deterioration of quality of this series has caused me to bail on the whole thing.
And I am so mad about it. I invested 23 books worth of reading time but, man, Hardcore Twenty-Four was just *so* bad that I find I no longer have the wherewithal to continue following Stephanie Plum on her wacky adventures. Additionally, Hardcore Twenty-Four made it clear to me that Ms. Evanovich no longer cares about Stephanie Plum beyond how much money this series makes her. Stephanie Plum hasn't seen any kind of growth since probably (if I'm being generous) the 14th or 15th in the series, and there's only so many times a car getting blown up/stolen/stripped for parts can be funny.
And, for God's sake, if she's going to be a completely inept, if funny, bounty hunter, have her decide on a man! The 'who will she choose?!' romantic subplot has become super tiresome. It could be Rex the hamster at this point for all I care; it's just not even a good cliffhanger to end on anymore, and I want so much more for Stephanie after spending 23 books with her. If she were really one of my friends, I would've shaken her out of frustration; as it is, I'm relegated to writing one star reviews on books that aren't even out yet, which I'm also annoyed about.
I have read all the books up to this point and so I have a lot to compare them too. I enjoy reading this series, still after 25 books, because Janet and her characters make me belly laugh. I gave up ever getting an ending. This series will go on forever. I gave up Stephanie making a choice between Morelli and Ranger. I am in it to laugh and have fun.
This one didn't make me laugh. This story was a little tedious. I didn't like so much time spent in the deli, but I have to give it to Janet, this one broke the mold and did some very different things. The problem is, I didn't think it was all that funny. There were still some moments that made me laugh and Lula is a hoot, but I expect more. The previous books had me in stitches. Also, there was so little of Grandma Mazur in this one. She is my favorite character. I didn't get enough. We had 2 quick scenes.
There was also another first for this book. We had a cliff-hanger. How could Janet do that to us. Now, I need the next book.
Another issues I had with the book is that Wolff showed up and he is from her 7 deadly sins series that she hasn't finished. I LOVE that series and I want her to finish it. Just 4 more books left. Come on, give it to us. I love those stories.
I feel like Janet got a little tired writing this. She had a scene with a man putting his penis in a hotdog bun on film. It felt like Janet is trying too hard to be outrageous. They can't all be hilarious, this is simply a little funny. I'll see how the next one goes. I hope it's better. Maybe the entire company will go to Atlantis. That would be fun.
Ok, I love this series. About 10 books back, I was frustrated that Stephanie couldn't make her mind between Joe and Ranger and maybe the series should be over. I've settled in and just love the characters and kicking back for some fluffy, predictable fun. Each new book brings more mishaps and funny dialog from Lula and Grandma Mazur.
Grandma Mazur was missing from this one, but Lula made up for it. This time Stephanie is going to be the manager of a deli where people are disappearing and replaced by a shoe. Lula will be making sandwiches the way only Lula can :) They are going to figure out who is behind this and catch the bad guy. Right? You know the ending.
Didn't think I'd say it but I am starting to get tired of Stephanie. Maybe this time off I had before this book came out gave me some perspective or maybe 25 books of juggling the same two men got even me bored. I don't know. I still stand by #TeamRanger but at this point I'd be happy if she picks one and sticks with that choice. Knowing it's probably never gonna happen I expect the series to go on until it's year 2058, Ranger is a space cowboy, Morelli is a Man in Black and Steph put a turbo engine into Big Blue and flies around with Lula as part of a vigilante duo Wreck&Smack. Rex's clone is upgraded to the point where he can speak and he's now a brain center for the team.
In this 25th book in the comical 'Stephanie Plum' cozy mystery series, the bail enforcement agent gets involved with a series of bizarre abductions. The book can be read as a standalone.
Stephanie Plum works as a bounty hunter for her cousin Vinnie's bail bond business in Trenton, New Jersey.
Stephanie and her sidekick Lula - a voluptuous former ho - are comically inept at picking up bail jumpers, but usually get the job done in the end.
As the story opens, Stephanie stops by the bail bond office to get new 'skips' when Vinnie announces that his father-in-law, a mobster called Harry the Hammer, needs a manager for the Red River Deli he's just acquired.
The previous managers have disappeared, one after another, and someone has to run the place. So Stephanie is appointed manager, and Lula is made assistant manager - jobs they're supposed to do in addition to bounty hunting.
Stephanie and Lula are concerned about working in the deli because they don't want to join the ranks of the 'disappeared.' All of the missing deli managers seem to have been abducted, with a single shoe being left behind in each case.
Lula speculates that the managers were beamed up by aliens, but a more earthly explanation seems likely. So Stephanie's two guys, her boyfriend Joe Morelli (a Trenton cop) and her sexy friend Ranger (a security expert), work out a plan to keep her safe. Stephanie has been vacillating between these two hotties for the entire series, and the triangle has gotten old (to say the least).
The deli employees are an amusing bunch of recreational drug users who work hard and claim to know nothing about the abductions. Being careful of their own safety, they refuse to throw out the trash since the kidnappings occurred in the dumpster area. This is a bonanza for raccoons, roaches, and rats, which abound in the run down neighborhood. 😝
To add to the mayhem a murder occurs, and the victim appears to be connected to the abductions. The rapidly escalating situation leads to an all out search for the kidnappers by the cops, Ranger, and an oddball illusionist called Wulf - who knows one of the abductees.
The story has few of the series' signature shenanigans, with minimal appearances by Stephanie's Grandma Mazur and no bombs. Most of the laughs come from Lula, who - given sandwich making responsibilities at the deli - ignores the actual orders and makes her own creations. So if you order tuna salad on whole wheat, you're likely to get sliced chicken with hot sauce on a hamburger bun.
As usual, Stephanie and Lula make a hash of catching bail jumpers; Lula self-soothes with donuts and fried food; and Stephanie gives her hamster Rex peanuts and affection. Same old, same old.
I got a few laughs from the story but it's not nearly as funny as the best books in the series. Still, if you're a Stephanie Plum fan you might like it.
This was my summertime virtual vacation book and it did not disappoint! I found myself giggling, snorting and, yes, laughing out loud! Hysterical antics, as always! Stephanie, Lula & the entire wacky cast of characters get themselves into some tight spots, but there's always humor, lots of junk food, miscreants, law enforcement & security personnel. The sexual tension between Steph, Morelli & Ranger has seemed to have evened itself out into an uneasy truce. Both men want to be sure that Stephanie's not in danger & are willing to back off of their machismo BS in order to keep her safe. In this particular outing, we may even be dealing with space aliens!
This one was not a favorite of the series. I enjoyed it and will read the next, but this one was more focused on the mystery/crime and not so much on Stephanie's antics. There were definitely central things missing in the usual formulaic story - think Grandma, viewings, family dinners and things blowing up. I am also not a fan of Wulf ( or Diesal for that matter). This one had Ranger and Morelli, but her inaction has led to it feeling like she has chosen so there wasn't that back and forth play. This series has become a Thanksgiving tradition for me and I look forward to the next one. Anyone who loves the series will enjoy this one.
Stephanie is the temporary manager of a deli and Lula is the expert sandwich maker. But the managers have a way a disappearing from this deli, and maybe Steph is next! Morelli and Ranger are taking turns protecting Stephanie, but from what or whom, they’re not sure. The characters are at their best in this humous adventure. To me, this series always delivers. It’s the hot fudge sundae of my book life: I know what I’m getting, it never strays too far from what I expect, it’s always a good treat, and I never get tired of it. I hope Ms. Evanovich is still writing them and I’m still reading them for many years to come. It’s the series that will Still Be Great at Forty-Eight!
It is so hard to review a book by an author when you have read and just love everything they write. "Look Alive Twenty-Five", for the most part, is a funky, fun mystery that follows the Stephanie Plum Series formula and it delivers in a lot of ways. It also misses in some ways too. The funky Lula is always a wacky diversion and she is just wonderful as the under appreciated Sandwich Diva who gives her customers what she creates for them, not necessary what they order. The hot, intense, off the charts sexy Ranger is just, well . . . he and Stephanie amp up the sexual innuendo to new levels in this one, but Joe is still her bed buddy. Last week in a Goodreads chat post it was put out there that maybe Ranger was connected to Diesel in more than their mutual admiration of Stephanie and in #25 we have the mysterious Wulf, Diesel's cousin making an appearance. Hummmmm. Oh, I almost forgot the cliffhanger - WOW!
Stephanie gets a "real" job. Will it be her last? The Vincent Plum Bail Bonds Company has gotten The Red River Deli as a bond forfeiture and Harry (the real owner of the Bonds Co.) has decided to keep and run it, much to Vinnie's dismay. Harry assigns Stephanie as the Deli Manager. One very big problem, among several very big problems, with this: the last three managers have mysteriously disappeared leaving only one shoe behind. Both Moretti and Ranger are against Stephanie being the next to disappear and set out to make sure that doesn't happen.
I absolutely love Stephanie, her love triangle with Morelli and Ranger (I'm totally Team Ranger) and the entire cast of characters, especially Lula and Grandma Mazur.
I feel like #25 was missing some of the best parts of the series... Grandma Mazur was practically nonexistent, Stephanie spent almost no time at her parents house, she didn't even ruin a car. There wasn't even really any ridiculous situations that ended in disaster except for one. That's what makes this series so magical! I did laugh out loud a few times, Lula was amazing as always, but it just felt a little bland in comparison.
After a few disappointments I was so ready to give up on the Stephanie Plum books and then I got my hands on Hardcore Twenty-Four which I thoroughly enjoyed. This lead me to Look Alive Twenty-Five and....YES!!! ... it is another winner. I had a lot of fun with the story and of course it too is over the top but still not that much over the top that it would be so ridiculous that it would put me off. I will stick with this series and hope for some more crazy fun to come.
Loved this book. I do see people who keep complaining about it follows the same formula and blah blah but honestly if you are reading book 25 in this series and don't realize by now that the books are the same over and over then I don't know what to tell you. I like these books because they are quick reads and fun. The make me smile and are really just fluff. Sometimes these are the type of books I need to read after reading something long and serious.
I feel like the series has totally found it's stride again. There was a little while there were I wasn't really enjoying what I was reading... I little too much love triangle. One of the things I liked this book is that it took place not in the normal locations of the series. We got to read about Stephanie in a different job. And... Stephanie basically had one bounty to catch rather then a whole bunch of them. I was happy to see the mysterious Wulf character make a surprise appearance which made this book even more fun. I hope that Evanovich keeps this stride going for book #26.
Five stars for humor, three stars for the mystery. The cast of characters here is irresistible: quirky, bizarre, and over-the-top. Dopers, petty criminals, mobsters, tough-guys, and whack-jobs of every stripe. It's funny on so many levels, and turned up two more notches if you listen to the audiobook, as I did. The audio-book reader is unbelievably skillful, giving us the accent and inflection of all sorts of cultures and live-styles, including 'Joisy'. ('What'r you lookin' at?') Three fourths of the book is, essentially, a romp in the nut house. Plum's boss has acquired a deli; she has to manage it. Turns out, the last three managers disappeared without a trace. Uh-oh. So with no apparent direction, we bumper-car our way through deli crises (out of catsup,) work crises (bonded client is on the run) and personal crises (I need a donut.) There is no apparent plot, until there is. In the last quarter things are tied together in a clever and imaginative way and the world becomes a safer place.
This is #25th book in the Stephanie Plum series. This one was just okay for me. I can't say anything new about this series that I haven't said before, so I'll keep this review short. I've read all of these books in this series.
I loved the first half of this series, but I've become bored with it. I like Stephanie, Ranger and Morelli but there is absolutely no progression, just antics....sometimes amusing, sometimes not. I think the author has recognized a gravy train and is intent on the ride.
I have mixed feelings about this book...it is different from her usual formulaic tale, but still very similar. Instead of crashing cars, Lula managers to destroy a building. Stephanie does not drive much but rides around with Ranger, his men or Morelli. The plot was very weak, but provided a way to carry all the other business.
Stephanie Plum is the new manager at the Red River Deli. The deli has a reputation for good food and missing managers. Their last three have dissapeared, leaving only one shoe behind. Now Stephanie is in charge, will she be next?
I will start by saying that this is my first Stephanie Plum book I have read. I am not familiar with the style, characters or overall story. Perhaps, if I was, my rating would be different. As it is, my rating is based solely on this book (as I see the overall series is quite popular). With all due respect to all those that love this book, I just do not understand the hype. This book was just not for me. Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter but she has been named manager for the Red River Deli. Managers seem not to last as the deli has gone through three. They dissapear and the only clue left is their shoe. As Stepahnie is following leads, and chasing down clues, she comes across many colorful characters. There is a surplus of characters, I simply could not keep up with the plot and the mystery aspect was underwhelming. I know this book is not to be taken as "serious" but still some structure would have been nice. I will say Lula made me laugh several times but beyond that there was little I enjoyed. I should have started with book number one, maybe that was my mistake. All and all, an interesting read.
Vinnie and the Hammer repossess the Red River Deli in Trenton, but the managers keep disappearing, leaving on a single sneaker behind. Stephanie Plum and her sidekick Lula are having a bad string of luck in apprehending folks who have skipped out on their bonds so Vinnie makes them work at the Deli. The two kitchen workers are funny, but both Ranger and Morelli are worried about Stephanie disappearing. And Wulf keeps popping in with interest in one of the missing managers. Not enough of Stephanie's family in this one, and Morelli is way too understanding about Stephanie's sleeping in Ranger's apartment. The plot is, as usual, pretty far fetched. Shocking for readers of this series, eh?
Was it because I listened to this on audio instead of physically reading it that this one didn't zing me as much as other books in this series? Or maybe it was the addition of Wolf, who is annoying to me for reasons I can't fully explain. I have been looking forward to this book since Hardcore Twenty-Four, and, if I'm being honest, I was underwhelmed. The book started off well enough -- favorite characters in their true forms doing wackadoodle things and actually achieving little or nothing. Usually, that formula is hilarious! However, in this book, the wacky seemed just a little too, and the buildup went on for far longer than necessary. Normally I would be the very last person to have even one critical thing to say about one of Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books; however, #25 left me wanting more (or less).
A demented Scooby Doo-alike plot but this is just so much fun! Lula and Steph are running a diner where the managers all disappear while taking out the rubbish, leaving a single shoe behind... and the scrumptious Ranger has a full role to play (though, sadly, a fully dressed one - apart from a tantalising few inches of perfect abs 😍) And don't even get me started on Lula and the chilli dog penis...! Brilliantly bonkers, the perfect cold weather antidote.
There were a few new turns in this book to the normalcy that is Stephanie Plum - however even with that being said it all went as expected.
I'm in too deep to stop reading these books so even though this was novel that erred on the forgettable side in the series, there were some sweet moments and one liners that made me laugh out loud or smile stupidly to myself.
I'm thinking "Quick Sticks Twenty Six" for next November?
Loved it! Some Ranger, some Morelli, some Lula, Stephanie, a mystery and lots of laughs. A light read that's entertaining, not meant to be taken seriously, and is pure enjoyment! I can't wait for the next book!