Thursday, February 2, 2012

Explosive Eighteen

In this eighteenth installment of the screwball comedy/mystery series featuring Stephanie Plum, Stephanie returns to Newark from a trip to Hawaii, and once she gets home she finds a photograph in her carry-on bag.  Beyond noticing that the man in the picture is pretty good looking, she shrugs and tosses the photo in the trash.  The next thing she knows, all sorts of people, from thugs to sobbing widows, come out of the woodwork wanting to get their hands the picture.  It turns out the man she was sitting next to on the plane was murdered during their stopover...

Once again, Stephanie is up to her neck in trouble, and this time her troubles include her disastrous trip to Hawaii, which we gradually learn about in retrospect as the book progresses, her typically inept (but becoming slightly less inept) attempts to catch FTAs, and, of course, all the people who want the photo but refuse to believe she threw it in the trash.

I always enjoy a Stephanie Plum novel, and that is probably because my expectations are targeted at exactly what they are: fun, escapist, silly and action packed.  I did think that it might have been more rewarding to actually witness the events that occurred in Hawaii, rather than hearing about them piecemeal, related after the fact from off stage.  There was also a moment that surprised me a bit, but in a good way, that happens when Stephanie and her friend Lula are talking.  Lula is often little more than a caricature, way too over the top to truly be believed, but of course I adore her, so when she makes an offhand comment that suddenly sucked the humor right out of the moment and made her into a real, vulnerable person, I was a little surprised.  But I liked it.

At any rate, I have yet to see the movie, but I intend to, and I will try to keep my expectations reasonable.  And I'm looking forward to the future adventures of Stephanie and her Trenton friends, because they never fail to brighten my day.

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
Finger Lickin' Fifteen
16. Sizzling Sixteen
18. Explosive Eighteen

Explosive Eighteen (#18 in the Stephanie Plum series) by Janet Evanovich (Bantam, 2011)

Also reviewed at:
Book Series Reviews:  "The basic plot wasn't that bad, it was the execution of the plot, and the silly shenanigans getting there, that were the problem."
Dru's Book Musings: "This was another romp in the life and antics of Stephanie and I had a fun time seeing where she was headed."
Lesa's Book Critiques:  "There’s all the familiar humor, the familiar situations, and the characters readers love in this latest novel. But, an introspective Stephanie, one who actually stops and thinks, is a refreshing change of pace."

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