Thursday, July 17, 2014

Top Secret Twenty One by Janet Evanovich



Catch a professional assassin: top priority. Find a failure-to-appear and collect big bucks: top score. How she’ll pull it all off: top secret.

Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures. So Stephanie is going to have to do something she really doesn’t want to do: protect former hospital security guard and general pain in her behind Randy Briggs. Briggs was picking up quick cash as Poletti’s bookkeeper and knows all his boss’s dirty secrets. Now Briggs is next on Poletti’s list of people to put six feet under.

To top things off, Ranger—resident security expert and Stephanie’s greatest temptation—has been the target of an assassination plot. He’s dodged the bullet this time, but if Ranger wants to survive the next attempt on his life, he’ll have to enlist Stephanie’s help and reveal a bit more of his mysterious past.

Death threats, highly trained assassins, highly untrained assassins, and Stark Street being overrun by a pack of feral Chihuahuas are all in a day’s work for Stephanie Plum. The real challenge is dealing with her Grandma Mazur’s wild bucket list. A boob job and getting revenge on Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella can barely hold a candle to what’s number one on the list—but that’s top secret

Sometimes I find myself wondering just how many more of these Stephanie Plum novels Ms Evanovich has in her.  My enjoyment of them seems to go up and down a little with some being better than others, and the previous one - Takedown Twenty - didn't do a lot for me.  However, I thoroughly enjoyed this one.  The focus in #21 shifted slightly to Ranger and I am a Ranger fan all the way to my toes.

Lot's of explosions again, with rockets in the picture this time around and lots of bad guys on the loose. Stephanie is helped by Lula as usual and also by Briggs - whom we've met in previous volumes.  He brings his own issues into the mix including some of those aforementioned rockets and a band of chihuahuas. 

There are some cheek warming situations - one in particular that includes Grandma Mazur and Ranger and had me laughing out loud,  and all in all, twenty one was fun. I doubt fans will be disappointed.

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