This is the first "Plum" book that I have been a little dissapointed in. I have read all of the series and have many audio books from the series. This is the first time I have been dissapointed in the book. Usually these books keep me laughing and trying to figure out who Stephanie will end up with. 14 just did not cut it.
I felt there was not enough of my favorite characters. Ranger has a very small part and Grandma M. doesn't cause a lot problems in this one.
It was cute and funny. But I was hoping for more action between stephanie and ranger. I'm really hoping she ends up with ranger. I also have read all the plum series. my favors are: 3 to get deadly - 12 sharp and including all the in-between stories. I'm waiting for plum spooky and number 15. however, I still would pay this one. It's part of the series and like I stated it has funny parts and it has a cute little monkey named carl. And the country singer gives ranger a run for his money!!!!
I've "read" One through Fourteen and the between the numbers books, all were so entertaining and fun I've read them all multiple times!
Can't wait 'til Fifteen or a new between the numbers book becomes available.
I really enjoyed the earlier Stephanie Plum books both in audio & print form, but Evanovich seems to've totally phoned this one in...& phoned it in poorly. The first 8 or so chapters are beyond dull; nothing happens, we get repeated, extended descriptions of Bob the dog tinkling & eating, Stephanie eating comfort food, Stephanie driving around Jersey endlessly, tons of Lula finding things to complain about (more on her in a moment). It's mundane crud, and even the introduction of an aging country music star with massive "quirks," which I assume was supposed to add spice & humor to the book, just provided another series of thuds.
The characters have become caricatures of themselves, or worse. All the usual suspects are here: Stephanie somehow continues to be a clueless bounty hunter --after 13 books of doing it, you'd figure she'd learn something-- yet at the same time she makes occasional near-Sherlockian leaps & bounces between a terrified & queasy newbie & a weary pro. She's just not authentic at all. And the outrageous and creative situations she used to get into are in the past, with nothing particularly inventive happening in the whole book.
Ranger, the sexy, near-ninja mystery man, has ended up in the truly unfortunate position of being uxorious toward Stephanie without actually having any kind of relationship with her --the most he gets is an occasional pat on the hand, maybe, but he acts like her lap dog anyway.
Joe Morelli has turned into a cardboard generic "cop" who adores Stephanie. Period. Yawn.
Lula gets the shortest stick in a veritable pile of match-sized kindling, though: whereas she used to be funny, quirky, and a unique character who (tho a former ho) had a considerable helping of...well, innocence or naivete may not describe it, but a rather charming sort of clueless unsophistication that made her endearing despite her volatile nature. Now Lula just seems dumb and downright mean, and her campaign against Tank verges on creepy....she's a worse stalker than the guy who's supposedly stalks the country singer, who just seems to be a harmless dweeb.
All in all, if this is the turn that the Stephanie Plum books take from now on in the series, I'm done with her. I suppose I should be happy that there were a dozen or so good ones, but it's annoying to have an author get so lazy & sure of their audience that they churn out garbage & hope nobody notices, or that their fans will be grateful for garbage if it's THEIR garbage, or however Evanovich excuses this tripe (other than the "laughing all the way to the bank" excuse). I do know that most authors get a certain number of fans who're so rabid that they will gobble up anything that author deigns to produce & they'll gush & fawn over it, no matter how wretched the dreck is (Laurell K Hamilton springs to mind as a particularly egregious example of dreck with rabid fans). I'd hope most people are more discerning & don't so enthusiastically reward lousy, lazy writing. I certainly won't. I may reread the old books, but am going to require proof of quality before throwing my hard-earned money in Evanovich's direction.
Lorelei King does what she can with this turkey, but not even her skillful reading can save it. It also seems as if the director has to pad the audiobook to get it near the requisite length; the pauses between chapters are the longest I've heard on any audiobook....I kept thinking my ipod batteries had died. I don't know how many pages the book was...however many it was, it was a waste of trees.
I travel extensively and have followed the Stephanie Plum advertures from book 1. Now as I travel it's like traveling with an old friend who fills me in on what's going on in the Burg since my last visit. The addition of new characters keep it fresh and Gramma Mazur keeps it down to Earth. Thank you Janet Evanovich.
If this was not a series. I would sugjest you skip this book. The story never really came together for me and there were long sections that I found boring.