Monday, August 16, 2010

“Finger Lickin’ Fifteen” by Janet Evanovich

I was recently out of town and had a lot of time on my hands. So I read three books. This is the first of the three.

"Finger Lickin' Fifteen" is the 15th installment in the popular Stephanie Plum bounty hunter series by Janet Evanovich.

Here we see Stephanie helping her bounty hunter mentor Ranger with his security business which is located in Trenton New Jersey. Several of his client’s homes and businesses have been broken into and that’s not good for business - or for Ranger’s reputation. So he asks Stephanie to help him figure out who is stealing the secret pass codes. She does.

Stephanie and Ranger are also wildly attracted to each other. Does she give into temptation? I’m not telling!

In another side-plot Lula, Stephanie’s sidekick, is the sole witness to a murder and we see her getting chased by the bad guys. The man that was killed was a TV chef who was going to sponsor a local barbecue cook-off contest. Lula is convinced the killers will show up for the contest so she decides to enter it. This leads to a lot of jokes about getting gas from eating lots of meat with barbecue sauce on it.

Stephanie’s goofy Grandma Mazur is recruited to be Lula’s assistant chef and that leads to all sorts of comic complications and messes.

At one point Lula and Grandma Mazur are at Stephanie’s parent’s home testing a new barbecue recipe. They serve the food to Stephanie’s dad, at which point he asks “What the Sam Hill is this?”

I know firsthand what this expression means. Sam Hill was an actual person who had dreams of building a Quaker settlement along the Columbia River Gorge in Washington state.

Unfortunately the land he purchased was dry and desolate, and he couldn’t convince folks to join him.

Sam Hill even built a home for his wife there, but she refused to live in it. Local residents were evidently astonished by what Sam was doing, and so the phrase “What in the Sam Hill?” was born.

Eventually the home was dedicated as a museum, called the Maryhill Museum. You can read more about it at their site:
Maryhill Museum. I’ve been to the museum and I thought it was pretty nice.

To wrap up, I thought this book was quite interesting for the first half. But the second half was a let down for me. There were a lot of good ideas that didn’t really go anywhere and I found that to be a disappointment.


Librarian said...

Thanks for the Sam Hill explanation! Ethymology is one of my everlasting loves :-)