Monday 23 October 2023

Book ~ "Dirty Thirty" (2023) Janet Evanovich

From Goodreads ~ Stephanie Plum, Trenton’s hardest working, most underappreciated bounty hunter, is offered a freelance assignment that seems simple enough. Local jeweler Martin Rabner wants her to locate his former security guard, Andy Manley (a.k.a. Nutsy), who he is convinced stole a fortune in diamonds out of his safe. Stephanie is also looking for another troubled man, Duncan Dugan, a fugitive from justice arrested for robbing the same jewelry store on the same day.

With her boyfriend Morelli away in Miami on police business, Stephanie is taking care of Bob, Morelli’s giant orange dog who will devour anything, from Stephanie’s stray donuts to the upholstery in her car. Morelli’s absence also means the inscrutable, irresistible security expert Ranger is front and center in Stephanie’s life when things inevitably go sideways. And he seems determined to stay there.

To complicate matters, her best friend Lula is convinced she is being stalked by a mythological demon hell-bent on relieving her of her wardrobe. An overnight stakeout with Stephanie’s mother and Grandma Mazur reveals three generations of women with nerves of steel and driving skills worthy of NASCAR champions.

As the body count rises and witnesses start to disappear, it won’t be easy for Stephanie to keep herself clean when everyone else is playing dirty. It’s a good thing Stephanie isn’t afraid of getting a little dirty, too.

Stephanie works for Vince, her bail bondsman cousin, and Lulu, a former 'ho, works with her. They have people they have to track down who didn't show up for their court date, including Duncan who was arrested for robbing a jewelry store and has disappeared. Coincidentally, Stephanie is hired by the owner of the jewelry store to find Andy, an ex-employee, who he is accusing of stealing more jewelry during the confusion of the first robbery. During this, Morelli, her longtime boyfriend who is a police officer, is out of town and she's taking care of Bob, his huge dog. So she has to depend on Ranger, her former colleague, who is more than happy to help her ... but is she willing to pay the price?

This is the 30th in the Stephanie Plum series and I've read them all. They are mindless familiar quick reads. As in previous books, Evanovich continues to follow her formula:
  • Though dating long time boyfriend, Morelli, she is lusting after both Joe and Ranger ... check
  • Lulu talks about food all the time and eating lots ... check
  • Lulu gets mad when people insult her about her weight ... check
  • Stephanie goes home to mooch meals from her parents ... check
  • Ranger calls Stephanie "Babe" and just wants to have sex with her ... check
  • Stephanie's car explodes or gets totalled ... check
  • Lulu says "on account of" about a million times ... check

This book was okay.  I would have liked it better without Lulu thinking she is being tormented by an ogre, which was a ridiculous side story.  It's written in first person perspective from Stephanie's point of view.  Stephanie is still torn between Morelli and Ranger ... she feels that she loves both Morelli and Ranger and there appears to be the possibility of a resolution at the end of the book (a cliffhanger?). As a head's up, there is swearing.

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