Larry Virgil skipped out on his latest court date after he was arrested for hijacking an eighteen-wheeler full of premium bourbon. Fortunately for bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Larry is just stupid enough to attempt almost the exact same crime again. Only this time he flees the scene, leaving behind a freezer truck loaded with Bogart ice cream and a dead body - frozen solid and covered in chocolate and chopped pecans.
As fate would have it, Stephanie’s mentor and occasional employer, Ranger, needs her to go undercover at the Bogart factory to find out who’s putting their employees on ice and sabotaging the business. It’s going to be hard for Stephanie to keep her hands off all that ice cream and even harder for her to keep her hands off Ranger. It’s also going to be hard to explain to Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, why she is spending late nights with Ranger, late nights with Lula and Randy Briggs - who are naked and afraid - and late nights keeping tabs on Grandma Mazur and her new fella. Stephanie Plum has a lot on her plate but for a girl who claims to have “virtually no marketable skills,” these are the kinds of sweet assignments she does best.
Stephanie works for her cousin, who is a bail bondsman. Lulu is a former 'ho and works with her. One night they are chasing after Larry, a fella who had skipped his court date. Larry is driving a stolen ice cream delivery truck and they discover a dead guy in the back, frozen and covered in nuts. Ranger, Stephanie's former colleague who has his own security company, has been hired by the ice cream company to increase their security. She goes undercover in the ice cream company in various jobs to see what she can find out.
Lulu and her buddy, Randy, are making a demo in hopes of getting their own reality TV show. They premise is they are naked and wandering around Trenton, NJ. Stephanie's grandmother has a new beau who is a bartender and drives a motorcycle.
This is the 23rd in the Stephanie Plum series and I've read them all. As in previous books, Evanovich continues to follow her formula:
- Stephanie is lusting after Morelli and Ranger ... check
- Stephanie's mom's nerves are shot so drinks and irons ... check
- Grandma Masur is outrageous and checking out the viewings at the funeral home ... check
- Lulu talks about food all the time ... check
- Stephanie goes home to mooch meals from her parents ... check
- Morelli calls Stephanie "Cupcake" and just wants to have sex with her ... check
- Ranger calls Stephanie "Babe" and just wants to have sex with her with no commitment ... check
Stephanie and Joe are back together ... they are "engaged to be engaged". This relationship is still drifting. Ranger is still lusting after Stephanie and she is allowing it, even encouraging it. For a person who is supposed to be engaged to be engaged, she doesn't act very committed to Joe. If she doesn't see a future with Joe, she should make the break once and for all and move on.
I didn't find the storyline or the whodunnit overly exciting. It's written in first person perspective from Stephanie's point of view. There is some swearing and some adult situations.
Since it's basically the same story over and over, I stopped buying these books a long time ago and now borrow them from the library. It's a mindless familiar read and there is some amusement.