Desert Isle Keeper
If you’ve been waiting impatiently for Seven Up (the latest Stephanie Plum novel) to hit the shelves of your local bookstore, let me tell you that it’s definitely worth the wait. Even though I think I know by now the lunacy that usually comes from Stephanie’s work as a bounty hunter, recovering fugitives who’ve jumped bond, Ms. Evanovich has plenty of surprises in store in this book, including, yes, another cliffhanger.
As is the case with most of the jobs Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter extraordinaire (not) takes, what starts out as a simple order from her perverted cousin/boss Vinnie Plum, in this book, to find old Eddie DeChooch, ends up being a total adventure. Not only is Eddie one of Grandma Mazur’s dates, even if she is a little disenchanted with his sexual abilities, but he’s involved in a smuggling operation that ends up involving perennial losers Mooner and Dougie, not to mention Benny and Ziggy – the two guys who are more at home in Stephanie’s apartment than Stephanie herself – female mud wrestlers, and Stephanie’s archenemy Joyce Barnhardt.
Also around are the very sexy Joe Morelli, who seems to be, as Stephanie puts it, “about to marry Lucy Ricardo,” and mysterious Ranger, who has finally decided that all the sexual attraction between him and Stephanie should be dealt with, once and for all. Considering that her mother and grandmother are picking out wedding dresses and booking a reception hall, Stephanie is just a little confused about what should happen with Ranger. On the work front, it’s not looking much better, since every time Stephanie does run into Eddie DeChooch, or any other old person, she ends up either losing her prey or getting beat up. The fact that former-ho-turned-filing-clerk Lula is usually along as Stephanie’s helper doesn’t do a lot of good, since the only one who is remotely helpful is Bob the dog, who comes in handy every time Stephanie wants some revenge on Joyce Barnhardt.
Oh yeah, Valerie, The Perfect Sister with the perfect marriage, who makes our Stephanie seem a little aimless – to her family, anyway – gets her own secondary storyline in this book, and as usual, whenever anyone has a life crisis, it impacts Stephanie’s life. And what about Stephanie’s habit of losing cars? Forget about it, in Seven Up our heroine ends up riding a Harley.
The main problem with writing a review of a Stephanie Plum book is that there is so much that happens, so many fantastic bits of dialogue and things Stephanie does and thinks that I just have to leave out, not because they’re necessarily plot spoilers but because they’re priceless and deserve to earn full blown laughter on their own. One of these is the retelling of what happens when a certain senior who’s a little hard of hearing, misunderstands a key word in the instructions he’s given. But without this incident, we wouldn’t have Stephanie and Lula trading a frozen pig heart for a hostage. Life for Stephanie Plum may not be a straight line from A to B, but the trek is definitely worth it.