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on November 20, 2012 and has 302 pages.
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Nineteenth in the Stephanie Plum comic romantic suspense series revolving around a rather inept bounty hunter and her fractured life.
This is not one of those Plum stories that make you wish you had a bucket of fried chicken, donuts, pizza, and a few meatball subs while you read. Steph must be on a diet as there’s no birthday cake either.
This is better than her previous flops, but it’s still missing the heat between Stephanie and Joe and Ranger. It feels more like everyone’s emotions are taken for granted — the characters and the readers. As if this story is a rote requirement that Evanovich contracted to complete than the hot confusion we had become accustomed to. A good indicator on emotionless is Joe isn’t talking about Pepto-Bismol anymore. Mom gets a reference with her “iced tea”. Whatever happened to her dreams of becoming a nurse?
It’s just not as exciting anymore. Vinnie is in Sex Addicts Anonymous. Connie’s family career path gets a very brief mention. Joe seems half-hearted. Even the scene where Ranger has his hands roaming over Stephanie’s breasts as he’s wiring her up doesn’t do much for me. It’s more of a clinical description than anything. Although the bridesmaid dress scene at Morelli’s…phew…
Kinsey and Olesen’s wedding has Stephanie yearning for marriage and assessing Joe or Ranger’s fitness. Then there’s the nudie beach — what a crack up!
Bounties are going missing and Vinnie is going nuts at the thought of all that money fleeing out the door of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds.
Meanwhile, Ranger and his friends are in the crosshairs, and he needs a date.
Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter at her cousin Vinnie’s agency. She’s not particularly competent, but she is fun to watch — just ask Ranger. Rex is her beloved hamster. Lula, a former ‘ho, is supposed to be the files clerk at the agency, instead she’s more of a comical sidekick for Stephanie’s adventures. Grandma Mazur is her maternal grandmother and lives with Steph’s parents. She will crack you up. Uncle Sandor’s ancient Buick, Big Blue, is a tank and safer than a bunker.
Joe Morelli is a Trenton cop with an off-again, on-again relationship with Stephanie that’s been ongoing since high school. Bob is the dog he sort of inherited, part golden retriever, part Wookie. Bob’ll eat anything. Literally. Grandma Bella is Joe’s grandma, and she’s terrifying.
Ranger is former Special Forces who owns a highly successful security company. He’s not into relationships, but he’d like to be into Stephanie. Tank is Ranger’s second-in-command at Rangeman. Eugene and Hal also work for Ranger. Robert Kinsey is one of Ranger’s old army buddies; he’s marrying Amanda Olesen. Orin Carr is another old buddy.
Connie is the office manager at Vinnie’s Bail Bonds. Think Betty Boop with a mustache. Randy Briggs is now working as the head of hospital security — this damned economy. Simon and Melvin Diggery are into gravedigging. Carl Costanza is a cop with the Trenton PD and an old childhood friend of Stephanie’s. Mary DeLorenzo runs the bridal shop in town.
Melvin Barrel, Elwood Pitch, Floyd Dugan, and Geoffrey Cubbin are all FTAs. Susan Cubbin is a furious wife. Dottie Luchek‘s new career choice isn’t exactly working out. Brody Logan is tiki-obsessed. Willie Hernandez is another of the disappeared. Arthur Beasley is a bartender at the Surf Bar.
Dr. Craig Fish was Cubbin’s doctor. Norma Kruger and Julie Marconni are two of the night nurses at Central Hospital. Dr. Abu Darhmal is a biochemist. Franz Sunshine is the head of FS Financials. John is also known as Yeti.
The Cover and Title
The cover is brilliant reds and yellows in a subdued tie-dye pattern with the focus on the author’s name in white while the title is a brilliant yellow with the text outlined in a holographic gold.
The title is the clue to where this story fits within the Stephanie Plum series, a Notorious Nineteen.