After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton’s premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it’s on Stephanie to track down the con man. Unfortunately, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape ... or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff’s lips seem to be tighter than the security, and it’s hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Stephanie is forced into working side by side with Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case.
The real problem is, no Cubbin also means no way to pay the rent. Desperate for money—or maybe just desperate—Stephanie accepts a secondary job guarding her secretive and mouthwatering mentor Ranger from a deadly Special Forces adversary. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around. Then again—a little food poisoning, some threatening notes, and a bridesmaid’s dress with an excess of taffeta never killed anyone ... or did they? If Stephanie Plum wants to bring in a paycheck, she’ll have to remember: No guts, no glory ...
There are a few storylines going on in this book. Stephanie is trying to find two skips who disappeared while in the hospital. Another skip used a tikki to post his bond that supposedly has powers ... Stephanie takes the tikki in hopes of drawing out the guy so she can collect her money. Ranger and a friend are receiving death threats so Ranger hires Stephanie as back-up (so she becomes the maid of honour in the friend's wedding?).
Stephanie is with Morelli now and he doesn't mind that she's working for Ranger (who she lets touch her inappropriately). Though he's talking marriage, Morelli's conversations with Stephanie are mostly sleazy. And Ranger is still talking suggestively to Stephanie and she's still tempted. Same old, same old.
Evanovich continues to follow her formula:
- Stephanie is lusting after Morelli and Ranger ... check
- Stephanie's mom's nerves are shot so drinks "iced tea" ... check
- Stephanie's dad is surly and rude ... check
- Lulu is eating all the time and gets mad when someone calls her fat ... check
- The people Stephanie has to track down are colourful characters ... check
- Stephanie's cars get blown up ... check
- Stephanie goes home to mooch meals from her parents ... check
I loved the series in the beginning ... the writing was good, the characters had personalities and spunk (not going through the motions are they are now over and over) and the books had substance.
Looking back, the last one I raved about was Lean Mean Thirteen back in June 2007. That's sad :(
Yes, I keep reading them ... they are quick and mindless ... but I stopped buying them a few books ago.