Thursday, June 30, 2011

Smokin' Seventeen - Janet Evanovich


Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list.

Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Grandma Bella, Morelli’s old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts “the eye” on Stephanie.

With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.

After the bonds office burned down in Sizzling Sixteen, we pick up the story with Vinny's bonds office being set in Mooner's bus/travel trailer. The bus is parked in the same lot as the bonds office was, and on the way to the "office" Stephanie stumbles on the EMT, police and ME just to find out that there is a dead body of a mobster that is buried in a shallow grave. As the story continues, more bodies are found, then suddenly they start to have labels added to them, saying "To Stephanie". While on the hunt for her FTA's and trying to stay out of the line of fire when it comes to bodies popping up, Morelli's grandmother puts another hex on her, causing her to be a "slut". During all of this, Stephanie's mom has found out that a lady from the berg that graduated highschool with Stephanie is getting married and is bound and determined to get Stephanie set up with Dave, the highschool quarterback that is back in Trenton after some shady dealings and recent divorce. With all this drama, it is a wonder she has time to feed Rex the hamster.

Notable Quote:
"I don't shoot people", I said, "almost never".

To say that I was disappointed in this book would be a gross understatement. This storyline should have stopped, in my opinion, around book 11. When the series started, Stephanie was a naive young woman trying to make it, and has progressed to her being a slut with bad judgement. At this point, the story is all the same, Stephanie's car gets blown up, she is in love with Morelli but attracted to Ranger, her life is in danger and she has to find the bad guys in order to pay her rent. Same story just a different bed for her to jump in. The only relief for this series, is Lula. I actually laughed out loud several times with what comes out of her mouth. Needless to say, book 18 is not in my future.

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