Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Three to Get Deadly" by Janet Evanovich

My summer with Stephanie Plum continues with “Three to Get Deadly”.

Stephanie has been asked to find Moses Bedemier, AKA Uncle Mo. Uncle Mo is a fixture in the burg because he runs a popular candy store and has done so since 1958. And his store has never been closed, not even for one day.

Unfortunately Uncle Mo was busted by a rookie cop for speeding. Low and behold, the cop noticed Uncle Mo carrying a concealed weapon - a big no-no in Trenton, New Jersey. So bond was posted with the court but Uncle Mo failed to appear for his court date. Now Stephanie must try to find him.

Everyone in the burg knows Uncle Mo. Everyone knows that Uncle Mo would never do anything wrong. They say ‘the man is a saint. He’s married to his job, like a priest’.

So Stephanie and Lula, her ‘assistant bounty hunter’, go to Mo’s store only to find it closed. They check out his apartment only to find nobody is home. His car is not in his garage.

Turns out Mo is missing and no-one knows where he is.

(Photo courtesy stock.xchng)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Done with ‘Two for the Dough’ by Janet Evanovich

This book has it all: suspense, humor, romance, car chases & car crashes, dead bodies & dead body parts. OK, I could have done with more romance and fewer dead body parts but that’s just me.

All in all, I enjoyed this book and plan to read ‘Three to Get Deadly’ soon.

You can buy the book here:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cagney and Lacey

Re: “Two for the Dough” by Janet Evanovich

This book re-introduces us to Lula. We first meet her in “One for the Money” as a self-described ‘ho’. She is attacked and injured in that book and now has decided to give up her former profession to work at Cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds office as a file clerk. Lula still has a lot of street-smarts left, a fact that Stephanie uses to her advantage.

Lula is so good at doing the filing that she wants to help Stephanie out and become an assistant bounty hunter. Connie, Vinnie’s secretary and Stephanie agree to the plan, and Lula is so thrilled she refers to herself and Stephanie as Cagney and Lacey.

Stephanie says she wants to be Cagney. But then Lula says she wants to be Cagney. They go around and around about it. Finally they go off in Stephanie’s big blue Buick on the first of many screwball adventures together.

In my opinion they are the Lucy and Ethyl of the female-sleuth world!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

How Do You Lose 24 Caskets?

Re: “Two for the Dough” by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie is asked to take on a ‘side job’ by Spiro Stiva, who helps operate Stiva’s Mortuary. He will pay her $1,000 to find 24 bare-bones (HA!) caskets that are missing. They were stored in a secure storage locker. Stephanie has a terrifying thought: what if the caskets aren’t empty? But Spiro assures her they are.

Of course Spiro wants to keep the theft hush-hush from the police, but Stephanie tells Morelli about it anyway. They both wonder why anyone would want to steal 24 caskets?

To check this out, Stephanie will have to find a new set of wheels as her Jeep has been stolen. Grandma Mazur has just the thing: her brother Sandor’s 1953 Buick. It’s powder blue with a white top and whitewall tires, and it’s big - very big. Stephanie’s father loves this car - says it’s built to last. We’ll see how long this car lasts with Stephanie!

(This is a picture of a 1953 Buick Roadmaster that was owned by Howard Hughes. Picture is courtesy

Thursday, July 16, 2009

“Two for the Dough” by Janet Evanovich

This is the second book in the Stephanie Plum series. As the book opens, Stephanie is after Kenny Mancuso - and so is bounty-hunter extraordinaire Ranger AND Trenton cop Joe Morelli. Mancuso has been charged with shooting his former best friend, a gas station attendant, in the knee. Now Mancuso is a fugitive from the law and Stephanie is determined to find him. In a strange twist, Morelli is related to Mancuso - they are cousins.

Soon we find out that the gas station attendant has been shot to death. His name was Moogey Bues. I wonder where in the world did author Evanovich come up with this name? Maybe her favorite band was the Moody Blues?

Soon we are introduced to Stephanie’s 72-year-old Grandma Mazur’s ‘hobby’: she likes to go to funeral homes to view the deceased. The problem is that when she does this, she usually makes a spectacle of herself. Not only by the clothes she wears (like a fire-engine red dress), but by the things she does. Like tripping over her own shoes and falling into a casket!

If I were her, I’d get another hobby. But then we’d miss those moments of outrageous behavior that are good for a laugh.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Done with ‘One for the Money’ by Janet Evanovich

It was hard to put this book down. Lots of suspense, a few funny moments, a crazed psychopath, a crazy grandma, a surprise ending and a dollop of romance make for one great book.

No wonder why the Stephanie Plum series is so successful! Two thumbs up!

You can buy the book here:

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Prey: Joe Morelli

Re: ‘One for the Money’ by Janet Evanovich

In ‘One for the Money’, Bounty Hunter Stephanie Plum is after Joe Morelli. He is a police officer and is wanted by the same police for shooting and killing an unarmed man.

Stephanie and Morelli have a history together. They both grew up in the same neighborhood, The Burg. He lived two blocks from her. Her mother warned her to stay away from the Morelli boys since they were trouble. Of course Stephanie didn’t do that and wound up in the Morelli garage playing train with Joe. She was the ‘tunnel’ and he was the ‘train’. Choo-Choo!

Their next encounter was ten years later when Joe came into the bakery where Stephanie worked after school. (This was high school). He stayed until the store closed and they did a few things of a sexual nature on the floor of the bakery.

She didn’t see Joe again for three years until one day she spotted him on the sidewalk outside the local meat market. She was driving her dad’s Buick, and took the opportunity to drive up on the curb, hitting Morelli in the process and breaking his leg. All this because she was mad at him for not calling her!

Their paths cross again several times in this book. The sparks definitely fly when these two are together!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bounty Hunter Training

Re: One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Most everyone needs some on-the-job training when they start a new job. Stephanie sure does in her new role as a bounty hunter and apprehension agent. So Vinnie’s secretary Connie sets Stephanie up with Ricardo Carlos Manoso, a.k.a. Ranger. Connie says Ranger is supposed to be pretty good as he was formerly with Special Forces.

At first Ranger doesn’t take Stephanie seriously. But he likes her and says it’s OK to be like Professor Henry Higgins in the movie My Fair Lady. As Stephanie progresses on-the-job, he realizes he has to help her more than he thought. So he helps get her a gun and handcuffs and all the other gear she’ll need to be a bona-fide bounty hunter.

Grandma Mazur is very proud of Stephanie’s new career and to show it, picks up Stephanie’s gun and pretends to fire away. Only the gun is loaded and she shoots the chicken they are having for dinner that evening. And also breaks a plate and puts a hole in the tablecloth and the table. Seems the fun never ends at the Plum house!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hello Stephanie Plum!

Re: 'One for the Money' by Janet Evanovich

We get our first introduction to Stephanie Plum in this book. She was born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey in a blue-collar area called The Burg. Stephanie is single and lives in an apartment by herself. But she routinely heads home to have dinner with her mother, father and Grandma Mazur (her grandma on her mom’s side). Stephanie has a married sister - a fact that her mother is always bringing up to her.

Stephanie had been working in Newark as a discount lingerie buyer but got laid off from her job. So she’s been hocking her possessions to come up with money to pay the bills. Unfortunately her Mazda Miata has just been reposessed and she is desperate. Her mother says she should go see her cousin Vinnie Plum as she heard he has a filing job open at his bail bonds company.

When Stephanie gets there she is informed that the filing job has been filled. But Connie, Vinnie’s secretary, talks Stephanie into doing skip tracing. The job involves finding people that don’t show up for their scheduled court appearance. If she succeeds, she can earn 10% of the posted bond amount.

So for Stephanie’s very first assignment, she decides to go after a guy who’s bail was set at $100,000! Doing the math - if Stephanie can bring this guy in to the police station, she can make $10,000!

As she drools over this thought, she asks who the guy is: it’s Joe Morelli. You could say Stephanie is ‘intimately’ acquainted with Morelli as he took away her virginity when she was in high school.

So Stephanie decides to become a ‘bounty hunter’ and go after Morelli.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Summer with Stephanie Plum

Next up: One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Given that ‘Finger Lickin’ Fifteen’ came out in hardcover AND ‘Fearless Fourteen’ came out in paperback on the same day, 6/23/09, I thought I’d start reading the Stephanie Plum series again with book number one. I normally don’t start with the first book when a new book comes out in the series, but it’s been awhile since I’ve visited Trenton, New Jersey. Plus I thought it might be fun to spend part of the summer with Stephanie and the gang.

My first Stephanie book was ‘Hot Six’. I picked that up at a book sale and when my husband saw it, he gave me this ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ look. Like we all know she meant ‘Hot Sex’!

I had to explain to him that this is a ‘numbers’ series and it’s kind of like what Sue Grafton does with the ‘alphabet’ series. Then he got it because he’s read a few of the Sue Grafton books himself.

At first I didn't like 'Hot Six' but I decided to give it a chance. Once I did, I was hooked. Soon the Stephanie Plum books became LOL - Laugh Out Loud - material.

So ‘One for the Money’ - here I come!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy July 4th!