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Stephanie Plum #17

Smokin' Seventeen

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Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and no one knows this better than New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum.
Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list.

Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Grandma Bella, Morelli’s old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts “the eye” on Stephanie.

With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.

308 pages, Audio CD

First published June 21, 2011

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About the author

Janet Evanovich

274 books36.9k followers
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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,367 reviews
Profile Image for Mrs. Badass.
566 reviews225 followers
July 13, 2011
Posted at Badass Book reviews
You don't know me. I'm a fan of your work, have been for years. I have gotten many friends and family hooked on Stephanie, Joe, Ranger and Lula. I had every one of your books. I love your work with Charlotte Hughes and the Full Series. I have laughed and teared up, I have giggled and gasped for years, but it's time I stand up and shout.

Your last three Stephanie Plum Novels have left me feeling cheated. With each new installment I hope for more. But I get the same old antics. I read a recent interview with you, in which you say that when an author finds a winning formula, to stick with it and milk it for all it's worth {Paraphrased}. I take issue with this. How can an author expect their fans to keep buying a novel with the same plots, same games, same lines, same everything? The books seem to be getting shorter, the font larger, and the quality poorer, all with a hardcover price. I used to recommend your books to all who would listen, but now? I shy away and that sucks!

In your latest installment of the Stephanie Plum Series, Stephanie turns into a Hoochie. I'm sorry to say it. I don't like the word, I don't like the meaning, but it's what you turned her into. I didn't mind so much previously when she would steal a few kisses here and there between Ranger and Joe (and hell Diesel) but having her sleep with both men, in the same book, on back to back nights is just shameful. Gramma Bella SHOULD put the eye on her! Joe SHOULD dump her, so should Ranger. So what, now that Joe and Stephanie have an 'open' relationship they can sleep with whomever they want, whenever they want, and each other? Yuck. I was a Joe fan in the beginning of the series, but then he turned rather chauvinistic, spouting how she should be barefoot and pregnant and not working, and that got my feminist hackles all up and pissy. I've always been a Ranger girl, but I can't understand how he can still be around playing for scraps. Is her vagina magic? Are you gearing up to make her like Anita Blake? Because if So, please for the love of books don't!!!

Characters need growth in a series. Stephanie has not grown, in fact I could argue that she has regressed. After seventeen books, she STILL can't shoot her gun, she can't use handcuffs, she blows up cars, and has no desire to learn self defense. I'm sorry, but she's an idiot. And not a funny one anymore.

To me, and I know that I am not alone, Stephanie used to be a source of comic relief. She made me laugh and took me out of the seriousness of my life or other more suspenseful books I was reading at the time. But she's no longer funny, she's a joke.

If you are tired of writing her, then please stop.
If you think your fans will stop reading if she chooses to stay with ONE of the men, they won't.
If you are doing this for the money, I'm sorry.
I won't be buying anymore of your novels.

If this alienates me in the book blogging world, so be it. I can't stand it anymore. I've held my council for the last three books and I can't do it anymore. It's my opinion, but I am not alone. I implore you to see reason. Please go back to writing meaningfully. Make Stephanie grow up a bit. Make her see that she has to learn.

I hate to see her the way she is. I hope you have a plan. I pray to the editors that you have a plan. Please don't string us along. Don't make us hate her. We fans, and Stephanie as well, deserve better than what you are giving us.

Profile Image for James.
Author 20 books3,723 followers
August 6, 2020
Stephanie Plum certainly has a lot of people in her life who want to tell her what to do. I'm not sure I'd handle it as well as she does... and she doesn't always handle it well. But that's why we all love her. Two key things about this particular book:

1. Dead bodies keep popping up. A detective's dream... I mean, yeah, it's bad for the person who was killed, but at least Stephanie is making some money off it, right? (I'm totally joking... she doesn't get paid enough to deal with it).

2. The relationship spin-o-wheel is on over-drive this time. Not only has everyone stuck their nose into whether she should have Ranger or Morelli, she's being setup on blind dates now... and her friends are making bets on what will happen.

You know it's bad when it gets to that degree. And if you're on book 17, do you really want a regular review on this one? If you've never read the series before, go back and read 1 thru 3. They set everything up... and by then, you'll know if you have the hutzpah to handle 'em all.

And oh yeah... when I've got 18 books in the series I've read, and only done 2 reviews, and it's been 5 to 10 years since I've read them... it's gonna be hard to remember everything to finish these reviews. Yikes, why do I feel so much pressure to have a review for every rating when I've read a book. I'm such a type A over-achiever who needs a good swift kick in the...

And I bet that's how Stephanie feels too!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews33 followers
August 31, 2020
Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum #17), Janet Evanovich

Stephanie is running out of time. The bond office where she works has been burned down. Dead bodies have been showing up on the construction site.

No one knows why, or who's responsible - but it's clear Stephanie's name is on the killer's list. And to make a bad situation worse, cop and boyfriend Joe Morelli's grandmother has put the 'eye' on Stephanie. Now she has a pimple the size of Mount Vesuvius and her hormones are in overdrive. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز پانزدهم ماه آگوست سال 2018 میلادی

عنوان: یک پک: (ماجراهای استفانی پلام کتای هفده)؛ نویسنده: جانت ایوانویچ؛ مترجم: زهرا زادسر؛ ویراستار فرناز شهیدثالث؛ تهران آموت‏‫، 1396؛ در 294ص؛ شابک 9786006605838؛ موضوع: داستانهای ‬نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 21م

استفانی پالم، مأیوس از ازدواجی ناموفق، و در تلاش برای فراموش کردن گذشته، به کار خطرناک تعقیب و تحویل مجرمین بدهکار، می‌پردازد؛ آشنایی با رنجر، جوان ثروتمند، و خوش ظاهری که صاحب یک مؤسسه‌ معتبر سیستم‌های حفاظت و ایمنی است، او را بر سر دو راهی احساسی قرار می‌دهد؛ این کتاب شامل ماجراهای سرگرم کننده، و طنزآمیز، و خطرهای شغل «استفانی پلام»، به عنوان یک کارگاه خصوصی، در کنار پایانی نامنتظره، خوانشگر را، ناگزیر به سراغ «پُک»های دیگر «جانت ایوانویچ»، نویسنده‌ این اثر می‌فرستد؛

نقل نمونه متن: (اگه خواستی در ادامه ی جادو شدنت کاری بکنی، میدونی منو کجا پیدا کنی.؛ حقیقت شرم آور اینه که من میخواستم کارهای جادو شدن را، در این لحظات خاص انجام دهم.؛ بدجوری میخواستم.؛ رنجر را در حافظه ام داشتم، صدایش را که در گوشم نجوا میکرد، پشت عرق کرده، و موهای قهوه ای نرمش، که سطح پیشانیش را میپوشاند.؛ تنها چیزیکه مرا از نزدیک شدن به دفترش باز میداشت، آگاهی از این بود، که دستمان خالی است.؛ او فکر مرا خواند، و همین لبخند دیگری بر لبش آورد «کوچولو.»؛ گفتم: «جادو، چرنده!»)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 09/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Heather Book Savvy Babe.
496 reviews135 followers
July 19, 2011
Steph better pick a guy already….this series has been dragging the last couple of books, we need to pick a direction and move forward….

Alrighty, the review is up! You can also find this review, and see if I’m team Ranger or team Morelli on my blog @ http://booksavvybabe.com

In Smokin’ Seventeen, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is back in action. With not-so-trusty sidekick Lula at her side, Stephanie is on the hunt for skips, trying to decide between two men, fending off her mother’s matchmaking attempts, and of course, trying to stay alive.

Stephanie Plum novels can always be counted on to bring a laugh to the reader, and Smokin’ Seventeen did not disappoint. Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur didn’t have huge part, but she is always entertaining. Lula, the former hooker-turned-sidekick, was her usual zany, outrageous character. The romance dynamics between Ranger, Morelli, and Stephanie was pretty much the same too, with Stephanie trying to decide between them. Thanks to Grandma Bella’s curses and love triangle dynamics, the steamy scenes heated up in Smokin’ Seventeen.

Smokin’ Seventeen is a bit different from previous books in that there is not one major felon that Stephanie has to capture and turn in. Smokin’ Seventeen is more a series of smaller skips and exploits combined together. There is a feeling, which began in earlier books, that Stephanie is getting tired of the bounty hunter escapades and ready to move on.

I enjoyed reading Smokin’ Seventeen, it’s a light, fun, quick read. It is not my favorite in the series, but it is always fun to see what Stephanie and the gang are up to. This installment in the series was more of the same, not much changing. The book leaves off with excitement and anticipation for the future (a little bit of a cliff hanger), and I am looking forward to see what happens next.

The Stephanie Plum series is a highly entertaining and fun series, and one that I recommend!
Profile Image for TJ.
2,784 reviews168 followers
January 7, 2012
Why do I keep torturing myself with these books? Probably because I so loved them up until #14 and I'm an eternal optimist, hoping something will actually happen! The cover blurb was so promising on this installment, I actually allowed myself to get my hopes up.

Word of warning to those of you who would like to see things go somewhere between Stephanie and Ranger or Morelli - DON'T!! This time around, she has sex with both but that's it... wham bam, thank you ma'm skim overs then off to work, NO substantial feelings, NO emotional connection - nada. That goes double for the men,not one single scene of substance! It seems as if Evanovich uses the sex to placate fans then blames Stephanie's "confusion" as an excuse NOT to dig a smidgen deeper. This would not be so frustrating and I would have quit reading three books ago if there were not such a rich reservoir of possibilities to mine in either the Ranger or Morelli story lines (especially with Ranger, IMHO). Evanovich is such a genius at witty repartee, and sexual tension that steams right off the pages, what is she afraid of? As it is, the end result stands with NOTHING new... once again.
Profile Image for Marissa.
600 reviews107 followers
March 14, 2013
Dear God, seriously? Another guy for Steph?
I think I want to change my pick from Steph & Morelli to Morelli & Ranger. Yum!
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,243 followers
May 22, 2016
So, this series has held us in love-triangle hell for 17 books now. Imagine my glee when Stephanie finally starts having sex with the guy whose team I have been on the whole time! (Go Team Ranger)

But, there is a slight problem with Stephanie having sex with Ranger - which, again, I love! That is that she is also having sex with Morelli. And, she is trying to hide it from Morelli. And, she says that she would freak out if she found out that Morelli was even dating another woman.

Moral dilemmas everywhere!

Stephanie has a good reason for suddenly turning into super-slut. Morelli's grandmother put a hex on her, called the "vordo" and it supposedly makes her a dirty whore. Ranger is down with this whole thing.

"I got a lot of exercise last night. I deserve this muffin."

Ranger smiled. "I'll give you that. Why did you keep shouting
go vordo?"


Ranger closed the file. "What's your plan for the day?"

"I thought I'd do my bounty hunter thing."

"You know where to find me if you want to do your vordo thing."


At eight o'clock I called Ranger. "Are you busy?" I asked him.

"Is this about vordo?"

You gotta love a man who will help you through your vordo! I am getting vordo just thinking about him.

Despite Stephanie's sluttiness, I enjoyed the change of pace in this book. She usually spends all of her time waffling over these two guys and not actually doing much about it. It's pretty obvious, at this point, that her relationship with Morelli is going nowhere. Even her mother is trying to set her up with a new guy.

"You've been seeing Joseph Morelli for years now," my mother said. "It's the talk of the neighborhood. Why aren't you at least engaged?"

Which brings me to the last thing I wanted to mention in my review.. which I admit is a crappy review since I spent it lusting over talking about a fictional guy that I want in my book-boyfriend harem.. Mom says they have been dating for years. And, the series has gone on for years. And, Rex the hamster, was 2 years old in the first book...... I think you know where I'm going here.... Either someone is secretly replacing dead Rexes for new ones while Stephanie is sleeping, or Rex is the world's most amazing hamster. He's lived the lifespan of at least 2 or 3 normal hamsters. I think someone needs to contact the Guinness Book of World Records.

Rex must be on one hell of a workout program!
Profile Image for Anna.
232 reviews30 followers
June 22, 2011
I loved this book! Ranger was in it a lot, Morelli was being ok, there was a new guy, an ok plot, lots of funny Lula, and some Grandma Mazur. Cars were lost and I found myself laughing out loud during some parts. What more could you want??

Edit: After reading some other reviews I think I must be in the minority in that I don't want Stephanie to make a choice between her guys. I like them both and this is escapism. I don't need lots of character development with this series. I like it the way it is.
Profile Image for Crowinator.
810 reviews361 followers
June 24, 2011
This is one of those series that I keep reading despite acknowledging that they aren't that good anymore and haven't been for a while. The last one I truly liked was number 11 (my favorite of them all). But I still love the characters so much that I can't help it, and I keep hoping that the series will return to its former glory. You know, with actually decent mysteries and character development. If this is anything like the last five, though, it will take me only a few hours to read, make me laugh a few times, and be totally forgettable.

ETA: Also, this book comes with stickers that say I [Heart] Morelli and I [Heart] Ranger, which greatly annoys me. Who are these stickers for?

UPDATE: Pretty much as I thought, though better than the last one. Stephanie actually caught some skips quickly, for once, though all the standard stuff was there (cars exploding, getting food thrown on her, capturing someone naked, etc.). My two major complaints are how obvious the villain was (even Stephanie should have figured it out the first time she watched the surveillance video, like I did); and how Evanovich reused the "cliffhanger" ending from a much earlier book, where we end with Stephanie about to make a "decision" between Ranger and Morelli for a special event. I just don't care anymore.
Profile Image for Alyssa Ricks.
159 reviews2 followers
July 25, 2011
OK, so those of us who like Ranger will like this one a little better, but I still feel like we're being strung along. I don't dislike Joe and if she's going to be with him then fine, but please stop with the flip-flopping and guilt. Evanovich needs to take some lessons from Ward, KMM or even Roberts and give us a little more detail, especially with Ranger. I mean, come on. Also, her characters still talk the same way they did at the beginning of the series - it's not the 90s and it's time to update.

Profile Image for Elle G. Reads.
1,597 reviews773 followers
June 28, 2017
I love this series. It never get's old for me. And I will read every single one as long as they are published. With that, this is another FANTASTIC novel in the Stephanie Plum series and I highly recommend it.
337 reviews3 followers
August 23, 2011
I think Janet Evanovich is becoming much too formulaic in these books. This one starts out with Lula and Stephanie in the usual mix of eating, complaining and trying to make a living at Vinnie's Bail Bonds. The first 3rd of the book is really boring and focuses too much on Lula. I liked these books better when Lula was there as any minor character in Stephanie's life. She has become too much of a focus and really drags the story down.

Once Morelli and Ranger enter this story, it finally starts to pick up. The plot centers around dead bodies that turn up in the vacant lot of the bail bonds business. It turns out the bodies are from people who were in a weekly poker game and they are some very unsavory characters in deed.

As the story moves on, Stephanie's mom is trying to fix her up with a "nice" young man, a woman is trying to run Stephanie down in her car and there a bunch of FTAs (failed to appear in court) people she needs to capture, as part of her job as a bounty hunter.

The story has its funny parts, but I figured out the killer less than half way through the book and there was a lot that I didn't care about. This book is fine easy summer reading, but I think Evanovich needs to take a breather on these, so she can breathe a little more life into them.
Profile Image for Tina Loves To Read.
2,532 reviews1 follower
October 11, 2020
This is a humor/cozy mystery/chick-lit, and this is the 17th book in the Stephanie Plum series. I have listen to this whole series on audiobooks, and the narrator of the audiobooks does a great job on this book. All the books in this series will make you laugh so much, and I will say the way to read these books is by audiobooks. All the characters are so fun and developed. I love this series so much. Stephanie Plum always gets into big messes, and she will make you laugh so much. (*)
Profile Image for Alyssa.
516 reviews89 followers
June 30, 2011
Review posted at Hesperia Loves Books

It is hard to put into words how utterly disappointed in this series that I am. When I first started reading Stephanie Plum, I was immediately sucked in by her & the world in which she lives. Each book was so hilariously funny and outrageous that it quickly became a 'go-to' read for me when I needed a pick me up, escape or just good tear-streaming laughter. Now I just feel like I'm watching a really bad episode of Jersey Shore and can't stop saying 'WTF'!! This series has now earned it's spot on my do-not buy list, I will not continue to spend my $ on a product that is just being recycled from one book to the next. I would like to say that I'm never going to read the series again, but I honestly can't. After investing my time in reading the previous books, I have to know how the series ends. Hopefully, Ms. Evanovich you will end it soon!

I would take the time to discuss the plot of the book, but, once you've read one book, the story pretty much never differs. Stephanie is after skips, Stephanie takes Grandma Mazur to visitation @ the funeral home, someone is out to kill Stephanie, Stephanie is torn between Joe & Ranger, Stephanie goes through cars like underwear & she is just as clueless and just as big of an idiot in book 17 as she was in book 1. In the beginning it was funny, now it's just painful to read.

My biggest complaint with this book is this: In the past Stephanie has always made a very diligent effort to not cheat. If she was with Morelli, no matter how strong her attraction was to Ranger, she never gave into it. Now all of a sudden, she has no problems with sleeping with either of them and even back-to-back! Don't even get me started on the Porsche 'beep-beep' back alley sex, professional much?! It's like she used the curse Grandma Bella gave (which she says she doesn't believe in) to give her free license! Now, I know that her & Joe agreed to an 'open' relationship but if she found out that Joe was sleeping with Joyce or Terri, how would she react? Would she consider that cheating? You bet your ass she would! Morelli & Ranger are two very alpha males, and I honestly don't understand why they keep hanging around for whatever Stephanie decides to give them. Stephanie perceives them as commitment phobic men but has she ever considered that maybe her actions are what makes them not want to commit!

I ended my Sizzling Sixteen with "God, I hope the next one is better." I've learned my lesson unlike Stephanie :/
Profile Image for Cyndi.
2,340 reviews101 followers
June 1, 2018
Love Stephanie Plum! Reread June 2016. Well, romance got even tougher. Steph goes back and forth between Morelli and Ranger a lot, but when her mom finds another candidate, it gets worse.

Reread May 2018 — Steph gets a lot more action in this book. She gets cursed by Morelli’s scary grandma and finally gets lucky with Ranger. (Maybe not so much a curse as a blessing) Meanwhile her life is in danger...again.
5,062 reviews57 followers
June 22, 2022
Dead bodies are showing up under the asphalt of the parking lot at Stefanie Plum's place of work. Her parents want her to start going out with a guy from high school who returned to Jersey. Joe Morella's grandmother gives her the evil eye.

All that plus a dancing bear and a wannabe vampire give Stefanie all she can handle.
Profile Image for Amber.
1,029 reviews
February 10, 2020
Stephanie Plum and friends are back in a brand new adventure. When someone is murdering people close to where Stephanie lives and works at, Stephanie tries to figure out who did it all while dodging a stalker and more. Can she survive? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a great installment of the Stephanie Plum series. I am reading these out of order but if you like action, adventure and more then be sure to check out these books at your local library and wherever books and ebooks are sold.
Profile Image for Donna.
1,050 reviews52 followers
July 6, 2011
This series used to be fun, addictive fluff, but it's wearing thin.

The bail bonds crew is working out of Mooner's van and going to desperate lengths to drum up business as bodies pile up on their lot. The usual formula is in full force, but without much of the charm of previous books. Stephanie and Lula chase wacky skips, Grandma Mazur makes a scene at a viewing, people get tasered, cars are destroyed.

Even Ranger and Morelli seem to be sick of this shit, they show up for surprisingly soulless romance scenes but mostly stay clear of Stephanie's investigation until their car-loaning or police-reporting services are needed. Possibly they sense that she doesn't really need them this time, considering that the mystery is obvious almost from the start (even though the reader isn't given all the connections until the inevitable confession).

These books used to work in character development between the hijinks. Stephanie was learning the ropes as a bounty hunter, starting a relationship with the kind of guy she's supposed to want, and being tempted by each new reveal about the one she shouldn't. The last few novels have felt like they're in just as much of a holding pattern as the continuity-optional "between the numbers" entries, though.

I used to sympathize with Stephanie's confusion, but stringing along these guys is doing more than stagnating the series. It's starting to make me feel like she's a bad person for treating them both that way.

It's getting old, especially now that I'm caught up and have to wait around just to be disappointed by the lack of movement in each new release. As someone who read most of these books just last year, I can't even imagine how frustrated some of the long-time fans must be.
Profile Image for Amanda Patterson.
896 reviews272 followers
August 15, 2011
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.
Profile Image for Paige.
61 reviews3 followers
June 25, 2011
Just finished this book in two days! I love her mysteries, they are full of funny characters - love her ablility to create interesting characters! She always weaves a mystery in with the storyline being based in her small NJ town. She creates a storyline in which I could picture myself as the main character, guess that is why I keep reading her books.. to see what type of trouble she will get into next! Her sidekick Lulu is a "hoot"!! I look forward to #18.

Profile Image for QueenB.
61 reviews68 followers
June 26, 2011
Like a lot of other people on here, I'm going to state that this is more of a 3 1/2 star rating (where's the half star option, goodreads?)
The last few books from 13 on have really lost all charm and appeal for me. Recycled lines, plots, jokes, sexual tension that's not even a ping on the radar and less than no character development. I honestly felt like after 12, Ms Evanovich reached a point where she might actually have to go forward with the characters and series, so she backed off. Unfortunately, she took it so far that she basically put it in reverse.
These books are not supposed to be taken overly seriously. They're supposed to be ridiculous and funny and larger than life and zany with some action, suspense and smexy times thrown in. Unfortunately since 12 she hasn't delivered on most of that.
However, this book was worlds better than the last 4. I actually laughed hysterically at a few parts and she definitely stepped up the steaminess which felt like overdrive considering the absolute desert we'd been wading through for several books, but you won't hear me complain. At this point I felt like I needed it as bad as Steph did.
I do believe that there will be something happening with the relationship choice soon, unfortunately because of the awful way it's been written this far, if it isn't handled right in the next couple books, either way she goes is just going to feel off for me.
I honestly feel that at this point the relationship with Morelli has been so very destroyed, plus the character of Morelli has been cut up pretty bad, that she really needs to make a clean break with that relationship at least for a few books while she and Ranger try to make an honest go of it. If, in the end, the Ranger thing doesn't work she can run back into Joe and they can start fresh with her and Ranger as friends and allies. Or, she and Ranger might really shock themselves and work and she and Joe can be good friends and she'll have an in at the police station. Either way, something that makes sense needs to happen at some point, but that's just my two cents.
All in all a much stronger and sexier and funnier addition (though the mystery and the third love interest was basically nonstarters)that will leave fans hopeful that we're getting our Stephanie Plum back.

As an aside, a big gripe I have is that in order for dumb luck to save Steph and not Ranger, she constantly runs to Morelli with all her concerns and possible leads which he never is able to do anything about instead of going to Ranger who is the only one to ever be effective at protecting her, and then she gets almost killed. Every time. Just saying.
Profile Image for Angie.
6 reviews17 followers
June 22, 2011
I can't wait for this book to come out. I just really hope there is more Ranger and Joe in this book. books 15 and 16 were not her best work.
Profile Image for Louise Culmer.
847 reviews42 followers
June 26, 2011
I have enjoyed all the Stephanie Plum novels up until this one, some more than others. But this one failed to engage me. You don't read the Plum novels for the gritty realism, but the plot of this one I thought was more than usually silly, especially the man who thought he was a vampire. And while I know Lula is supposed to be eccentric, it is a bit too much to swallow that she really believes that the chickens that are sold in supermarkets are bred without feathers. She seems to be turning into a female Homer Simpson.

I've always found the whole Ranger/Morelli thing a bit unbelievable anyway - I mean we are constantly told that Stephanie is only average looking, so it is a bit hard to believe that TWO drop-dead gorgeous men are smitten by her. And apparently prepared to put up with her dithering between the two of them indefinitely. But now she's jumped into bed with Ranger again, and Morelli isn't supposed to even mind that? Is he a man or a mouse?

I never thought I would get tired of this series, but it seems I have.
Profile Image for Sue.
1,347 reviews5 followers
July 24, 2011
I purchased this book through Amazon.ca, as it had great reviews, and I love reading mystery suspense thrillers. I was very disappointed.I found the novel to be flimsy when it comes to plot and character development.I have never read anything else from the Stepanie Plum Novel Series, and maybe this is the problem.

Stephanie Plum is a bond enforcer for her cousin Vinny,and after Vinnie's Bail Bonds burned down and he had no money or influence to build it back up,Vinnie returns to his wife and connected father-in-law and is able to rent stoner Mooner's trailer as his temporary place of business.

Dead bodies start piling up. Some are dedicated to Stephanie. And she is being romanced by a new swain who is a great cook, but too overheated for Stephanie's taste (especially since he is mother-approved). Joe Morelli's Grandma Bella puts a curse on Stephanie so that she becomes a sex maniac, and she has a hard time choosing between Joe and Ranger.

Sorry I couldn't rate it higher. Even though there were funny scenes in the book,I didn't find the plot developed enough.
Profile Image for Jacqueline J.
3,478 reviews325 followers
June 22, 2011
Maybe 3-1/2 stars. It was much better in some ways than the last few books. Lula wasn't nearly so unbelievable. Stephanie actually caught some skips. I enjoy Mooner. I was disappointed in the developments in the love triangle. It actually left a bit of a sour taste. The mystery that she gets involved in plays out differently than you expect at first, although I did guess who just not why.

It was cute, it was humorous. It has stickers in the back so you can be on either the Morelli or Ranger team. I'll keep reading but my vote is kick Ranger down the road and marry Morelli.
Profile Image for Dagny.
448 reviews83 followers
May 17, 2015
The usual laughs but Stephanie spent a bit too much time dithering between boy friends for me. It may have been caused by Morelli's Grandma Bella's evil eye. Still, there were mom's fix-up dinners in her mission to find a husband for Stephanie and Lulu's usual insane antics. Grandma Mazur is still carrying a gun in her purse, so all is well in the Burg.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
219 reviews10 followers
March 7, 2020
Another enjoyable Stephanie Plum book. Not quite as funny as the others, but still a good read.
Profile Image for Lily Herman.
569 reviews590 followers
January 17, 2022
It's 2022 and I'm back on my Stephanie Plum bullshit, besties!!! Reading the first two Finlay Donovan books earlier this month made me decide it was time to return to the cozy murder mystery queen, legend, and icon herself, Janet Evanovich.

Are these books more than a bit dated? Yes. Does every character stay pretty much the same in every single book? Sure. But are they generally a good time? Absolutely.

Ah, I probably won't remember the plot of this book five minutes from now, but it's nice to be back in Trenton.

CW: Murder, sexual harassment
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