Sunday, July 26, 2009

Finger Lickin' Fifteen

It's not summertime without a new Stephanie Plum book to spice up those warm, lazy days. Which must be why I always end up on an airplane seated next to some hapless stranger who has to listen to me giggle, chuckle, and possibly even titter during the entire plane trip. There's only so far you can inch away from such an annoying travel partner as I am when I'm reading a Stephanie Plum novel, particularly when you're seated in economy. I admit to feeling unrepentant.

In this installment of the series, Lula bursts into the bail bond office, astonishing Stephanie (inept but well-meaning bounty hunter) and Connie (the office manager) with her tale of having just witnessed a murder. As she was sitting in her Firebird, a man was decapitated right before her eyes. Lula tears away in her car before the surprised murderers can do more than stare after her. It turns out that the two men got a good look at the car, however, and it isn't long before Lula is being terrorized with potshots taken at the Firebird, among other dastardly deeds.

Meanwhile, someone is burglarizing homes monitored by Rangeman security, and Ranger asks Stephanie for help in catching the perpetrator. Unfortunately, all signs point to it being an inside job. Stephanie is grateful for the extra money - although the prospect of spending so much time with the unbelievably attractive Ranger when she and Morelli are on the outs does make her a bit nervous.

Then the decapitated man is identified as Stanley Chipotle, celebrity chef - and his sponsor offers a million-dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of the killers. Lula hatches a plan (aided and abetted by Grandma Mazur) to compete in the Chipotle-sponsored barbecue cook-off as a way of going undercover to catch the killers and nab that reward money. (Of course, it would help if they could actually make edible barbecue without anything catching on fire.)

In typical Stephanie Plum style, the absurd plot strands wiggle all over the place, cris-crossing in in surprising and hilarious ways, and come together in a very satisfying conclusion. Opening a Stephanie Plum novel always feels like opening the door to some good friends I haven't seen in a while - I love spending time with them, catching up on the Burg and its doings, and getting some good laughs along the way. If laughter gives the immune system a boost, then I should be in excellent health for a while!

Books in the Stephanie Plum series:
1. One for the Money
2. Two for the Dough
3. Three to Get Deadly
4. Four to Score
5. High Five
6. Hot Six
7. Seven Up
8. Hard Eight
9. To the Nines
10. Ten Big Ones
11. Eleven on Top
12. Twelve Sharp
13. Lean Mean Thirteen
14. Fearless Fourteen
15. Finger Lickin' Fifteen

Finger Lickin' Fifteen (#15 in the Stephanie Plum series) by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's Press, 2009)

Also reviewed at:
Bookworm Barista: "For those of you who follow the series like I do - you won't be let down. Well you might be let down at how quickly you read the book."
Lesa's Book Critiques: " I thought it was the funniest book of the series since one of the early ones when Grandma Mazur blew up a funeral home."
Redlady's Reading Room: "For me, these books are fun, escape reading that I always enjoy. I look forward to the quirky cast of characters and situations that they get themselves into."

15 comments:

  1. Darla, yet another series that I've been wanting to read but haven't gotten around to it yet!! I've heard that this series is sooo hilarious, so I'm looking foward to reading it!

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  2. OMG Stephanie you'll love it! J Kaye's Book blog is even having a competition about reading the whole series!!

    Yet again Darla you don't disappoint with the reviews :)

    I can't wait for the 16th book!!! Who will she choose?!! BAH!

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  3. Stephanie - I agree with Margo - you are in for a treat! I'll be interested to hear what you think!

    Margo - I'll have to check it out. And you know, Stephanie can choose Morelli - I'll take Ranger. :-)

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  4. Also, you know... Ranger *sigh*

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  5. :) Maybe I'll take Ranger and leave Vince? Bwhahaha. I love in the 1st book he speaks "street" and then in the 2nd his speech is refined and polished. I LOVE these series :)

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  6. Being a female bail bondsman, I find Stephanie Plum entertaining. If you learn what bail life is really like, read my blog post Bounty Hunters and Bail Bondsmen: Stephanie Plum vs. Reality.

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  7. Cat - Absolutely!

    Margo - I called him first!

    Tonya - You mean you don't keep your gun in a cookie jar? My illusions will be shattered! :-) Your book sounds interesting - I will come and check it out.

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  8. Hi Mrs Darla! Too bad since I was born first, making me the oldest, I get him....but then Italians are sexy too....so drat I'm back to were I started :/

    On other notes - I have tagged you! Please be so kind as to hop on over to my blog and see what it's all about. :)

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  9. Yeah, I wish you were born first!

    I'm intrigued - I'm off to check out the taggage.

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  10. I haven't read the whole series, but I have read the in-between novels. I plan to get further along in this series soon. Thanks for an excellent review...I'm looking forward to this one.

    I could totally imagine you sitting on the plain in economy laughing out loud.

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  11. I liked this one and my mom really loved it. Still wish it had more Ranger in it though :(

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  12. Serena - The first time it happened I was on the second one, and I just could not stop laughing! So many people came over to ask me what I was reading. I bet Evanovich made a few fans that day!

    Ladytink - I brought the book to Florida with my mom and kids, and being the marvellous selfless daughter that I am, I let my mom read it first. It was a little annoying to hear her laughing it up when I was dying to read it. :-) Anyway, it's funny that you and I and our moms all enjoy this series!

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  13. Ladytink - Ps. Is it possible to get enough of Ranger? I don't think so! :-)

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  14. I really love these books! Miss Plum is my one and only hero :)

    Starting on book 10 today, so I never read the review - but I kind of like reading these without knowing the story =)

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  15. Denise - I completely agree. I would never dream of reading the cover flap on any of these books. It would ruin the fun!

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