Author: Janet Evanovich
Series: 16th book in the Stephanie Plum series
First Published: June 2010
First Line: "My Uncle Pip died and left me his lucky bottle."
One Word Review: Fizzled
Synopsis: When Stephanie's cousin and boss, Vinnie, is held for ransom Stephanie has to find a way to get Vinnie back even if it's just to ensure that she has a job in the near future. Stephanie also has the added encouragement of family guilt and loyalty to spur her on in her search. Vinnie gave her a job as a Bounty Hunter when she needed a job the most so with the help of Lula and office manager Connie the trio set off to find Vinnie and ultimately find a way to pay off the mobster who's holding him.
My Thoughts: I wouldn't call this book "sizzling" ... more like fizzled out. When I first got my hands on the Stephanie Plum series about 10 years ago I could not stop reading or giggling over Evanovich's wonderfully quirky series. Sadly, the quirkiness and the overall writing have gone downhill from the 12th book onwards.
While this book did have a couple humourous moments (fueled by Grandma Mazur) overall it wasn't nearly as funny as the first dozen books in the series. Grandma Mazur and Lula have usually been the characters who have made me laugh out loud (literally) but they were boring and predictable this time around (Lula loves to eat, Grandma loves funerals - we get it). There was more donut and fried chicken eating than actual mystery solving!! Grandma didn't even really have any mishaps at the local funeral parlour for goodness sakes! She's known for that!
Sadly, this book was a big disappointment. The mystery itself wasn't great and the humour just wasn't there. I found myself skimming through the last third of the book just to get through it ... definitely not a good sign. The whole "Ranger vs Morelli" thing has to come to a conclusion soon (personally I'd choose Ranger) - it's getting old.
If you're looking for a wonderful, easy-to-read, funny mystery series please pick this series up but start with "One for the Money" and read them in order. It truly is a wonderful series ... at least for the first dozen books. One of the redeeming factors with this book is that Evanovich opens up a scenario that may change the whole back drop of the series. I'll probably read #17 when it comes out to see how that pans out but I fear that it's time for Stephanie to call it quits.
My Rating: 2/5 stars