Pros:Stephanie hasn't changed a bit! Books don't get much more fun than these.
Cons:Abrupt (albeit funny) ending
The Bottom Line: Ten Big Ones is everything Janet Evanovich is known for. A great, funny story with a little mystery thrown in. I highly recommend this series!
Janet Evanovich has recently released the latest in her Stephanie Plum series, Ten Big Ones (her books titles are numbers in order...One for the Money, Two for the Dough, and so on). It's not my favorite of the series thus far but still managed to provide me with a few hours of great entertainment and laughter!
Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter from Trenton, New Jersey, in an area of town called the Burg. She works for her sleezy cousin Vinny, a bail bondsman, who hired her only as a favor to the family when she needed a job. Stephanie's not a good bounty hunter but always seems to get the job done (and always seems to need to be rescued by fellow bounty hunter, the mysterious and very sexy Ranger or cop boyfriend Joe Morelli with whom she has a long history).
The other books in the series revolve around Stephanie bumbling her way after a criminal that's skipped bail. Some are more hardened than others but all present a difficulty for bounty hunter Stephanie. This book presents a different challenge though! Someone is after Stephanie. She happens to be heading to lunch with constant tag-a-long, former "ho" Lula (whose bark is a lot worse than her bite), and witnesses another robbery in a string of robberies (and loses yet another car in an explosion). Stephanie accidentally realizes the identity of the robber when he rips off his Red Devil mask. And all hell breaks lose.
Stephanie soon learns she is the target of a gang that brought in "Junkman," an assassin from LA. In her borrowed car from Ranger with a GPS, she learns one of the secrets that we've all wanted to know: the location of the "Bat Cave," Ranger's home. Steph moves on in after discerning that Ranger is out of town. Now, she could continue to hide out until the police catch Junkman but that wouldn't be very Stephanie. It also would make for a really boring book. She begins her own adventure, trying to capture Red Devil, complete with more wrecked cars, kidnapping, torture, and mayhem.
The eccentric supporting cast of characters in Evanovich's books brings the series to life and adds a lot of humor. She's perpetually torn between Morelli and Ranger. Stephanie's family plays a pretty big role in her life, especially Grandma Mazur. Just imagine Sophia from the Golden Girls with a penchant for attending funeral visitations. She's a big mouthed old lady, always up for action, and always says the first thing that comes to mind. She constantly manages to get herself taken along on Stephanie's jobs, and she loves the danger of it. Stephanie hates to pack heat but Grandma Mazur lives for it. She does seem to have less interaction with her family in this book due to being in hiding but they make their entrances a few times. The family dinner scenes always leave me laughing.
The characters Stephanie chases after in the series are also unique and always funny. In this book, we are re-introduced to Sally Sweet,a cross dresser who is now a bus driver trying to break himself (herself?) from a potty mouth. There's also the low carb diet lady arrested for holding up a potato chip truck. She's not a hard capture though, Steph just draws her out with Cheese Doodles. These are the types of outrageous, unbelieveable, but funny scenarios you constantly find in this series.
My only minor complaint about this book was that the ending was odd, very abrupt, as though a couple of pages had been left out of my book. It was a funny ending, it just ended sooner than I'd expected!
I read this books in order, from One to Ten, and recommend that! In almost every book is a reference to the past. However, enough info is given about the characters that you could pick any in the series up and know enough about them. I love a great thriller or mystery but these aren't one. There's a bit of suspense thrown in to every book and the thrill of Stephanie's chases but for the most part, they are just fun!
Janet Evanovich has done a great job keeping this series fresh and fun, although her books never stray too far from how they began. They are the perfect light summer read, a fun way to spend a few hours by the pool or curled up on the couch. I look forward to the release of each one.
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