TO THE NINES
"My same is Stephanie Plum and I was born and raised in the Chambersburg section of Trenton, where the top male activities are scarfing pastries and pork rinds and growing ass hair." Within pages of this elegant introduction to the latest installment in Evanovich's bestselling numbered series, the less-than-stellar bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has managed to haul in a fat, naked and, yes, furry "skip" who has greased himself up with Vaseline to literally give her the slip. In the midst of taking him to the police station, however, Plum drops everything to help her beloved Grandma Mazur, who calls to say that Stephanie's mom locked herself in the bathroom to escape the craziness of the Plum family. Finally, Plum checks in at the office, where her employer and cousin, the bailbondsman Vinnie, assigns her back-up duty on the thorny case of a missing Indian man, Samuel Singh. Vinnie previously wrote a bond ensuring that Singh would leave the country when his visa expired, so the latter's disappearance drives Vinnie to call in the devastatingly attractive Ranger, his star enforcer, and assign Stephanie to help him. As fans know, the mysterious Ranger has long competed with the equally sexy Morelli to be the object of Plum's desire, so his presence—just as Plum has temporarily moved in with Morelli—keeps the sexual tension high. An awkward plot that takes Plum to Vegas is the weakest course in this meal. Yet Evanovich's many fans will be more than happy with their latest serving of Stephanie Plum—that cute, bumbling, irresistibly average Jersey girl—who just happens to have more laughs, more sizzling sexual tension, and more nonstop, zany adventure than anybody else around. (One-day laydown July 15)
FYI:Look for an Innovators Series feature on Janet Evanovich in the June 30 issue of PW.