Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Smokin' Seventeen

by Janet Evanovich, 308 pages

Here we are with Stephanie Plum in book 17 of the series. In typical Evanovich fashion, the mystery plays second fiddle to the other antics. This time the bail bonds office owned by her cousin Vinnie has burned to the ground, but somebody is planting bodies in the construction site. The corpses all seem to have mob ties, but the killer is adept at disposing the bodies without leaving much evidence at the scene. Both Joe Morelli and Stephanie end up investigating the murders.

In the meantime, Stephanie's mother is trying to match her up with a guy named Dave. He went to high school with Stephanie and is a gourmet chef, but Steph has a hard time convincing him that two men in her life is all she can handle...barely. She doesn't have room for a third, but he keeps showing up and cooking her fantastic meals. Everyone but Stephanie and Morelli think Dave is a great catch.

Mini spoiler: Trust me, he's not.

This far along in the series the books seem to be basically the same plot. Stephanie juggles the two hot men in her life and manages to get her car blown up by various baddies. Stephanie's life is in danger, either from the bad guys or from eating too many doughnuts. In the real world, Stephanie would have been killed by now or at least would have moved on to a better job. That said, I still enjoy listening to them as I commute. I find myself laughing out loud at some of the things Lula (Steph's hilarious sidekick) and Grandma Mazur say and do. There are usually some funny secondary characters as well, like Mooner, the amiable stoner. So if you are looking for a fast, funny read, I'd recommend the series, but space them far enough apart to give yourself a break. Otherwise you'll end up feeling a little queasy, as if you ate too many doughnuts yourself.

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