Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127, Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. And a ragtag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.
Only one other person has seen the missing photo: Stephanie Plum. Now she’s the target, and she doesn’t intend to end up in a garbage can. With the help of an FBI sketch artist, Stephanie re-creates the person in the photo. Unfortunately, the first sketch turns out to look like Tom Cruise, and the second sketch like Ashton Kutcher. Until Stephanie can improve her descriptive skills, she’ll need to watch her back.
Over at the bail bonds agency, things are going from bad to worse. The bonds bus serving as Vinnie’s temporary HQ goes up in smoke. Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls in love with their largest skip yet. Lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie’s apartment. And everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii.
Morelli, Trenton’s hottest cop, isn’t talking about Hawaii. Ranger, the man of mystery, isn’t talking about Hawaii. And all Stephanie is willing to say about her Hawaiian vacation is... it’s complicated.
Jersey girl: listen to more in the Stephanie Plum series.
©2011 Janet Evanovich (P)2011 Random House Audio
I am an avid eclectic reader.
Lorelei King does a great job narrating this series. This book and series is good for laugh and a few hours of easy listening. Lulu was her usual hilarious self but I felt Grandma was not up to her usual outrageous behaviour. Kept waiting for Stephanie to get into more of a mess but she seems a bit more normal in this book. This is okay for a funny light read.
The Explosive Eighteen is indeed an extra treat for this year - two Stephanie Plums thrilled me. The suspense concerning how Stephanie had to return early from her vacation was perfect. Adding to the drama, the gentlemen in Stephanie's life finally show their immature side and that was good for Stephanie and her constant thoughts about her life plan. Anything missing? For me there is never enough Lula. She is a perfect foil for Stephanie and speaks such street wisdom. Long live their partnership no matter what male Stephanie ends up with.
Carol Deming Casey
With the number 17 book, I declared I would not read the next installment. Being the curious yet fickle reader I am, I could not resist giving Explosive Eighteen a chance. After just finishing this installment of the Stephanie Plum novels, I realize I should have buried my curiosity with energies devoted to other books. I had been enamored with all the characters of this series. As the episodic installments of this series continued, the characters have not evolved, but rather there has been devolution of these once rich, full of potential characters. The initial installments of this once potentially multi-layered series were full of whacky humor, suspense, drama, and excitement. As each installment rolled off the press into my hands, I was in anticipation of what adventures Stephanie Plum would encounter. But as I progressed with each book, I grew more disenchanted progressing to this installment of being gravely disappointed. The book begins disjointed and as it continues only grows more disjointed to the conclusion that really left me empty, wondering where Janet Evanovich's talent for story telling disappeared. The obvious lack of suspense and absence of whacky humor usually intertwined within Stephanie and Lula's adventures was blatantly absent. I grew more anticipatory that there would have been some humor surrounding the other ancillary character of Stephanie's grandmother, only to be even more disappointed. Alas I suppose it will only be my last resort to read any more of the Stephanie Plum novels and if I may be so bold to recommend Janet Evanovich that she put this series to bed...as in my eyes, it is stale, cold, and concluded.
Characters like Elmore Leonard's farcical Chili Palmer have a similar comic punch. You can find Chili in Leonard's
King has great skill at affecting changes of voice and inflection. She uses this skill quite effectively in order to create a baffling array of distinctly separate characters. Love her over-the-top
It appears that Evanovich has succumbed to pressure from her publishers - as have so many others NYT Bestseller writers.
Smokin' Seventeen was part one, Explosive Eighteen is part two, and whatever Nineteen is called, let's hope it is the last and final part of what should have been a single book.
Don't get me wrong, this is classic Stephanie Plum - funny with olenty of Lulu and Grandma. I loved it and I'm not sorry I bought it.
I love this series...I started reading it 20+ yrs ago....and some have been better than others...what irks me is that the books seem to be getting shorter and shorter....all in all a good laugh with the characters we've come to love...
There are still laugh out loud moments and great characters in this ongoing series. Lorelei King is Stepahnie and keeps it interesting. I just don't know how much longer the whole back and forth romance situation between Moreli and Ranger can go on.
I have really enjoyed this series. Explosive Eighteen is better that the last 4 books I would say. I still think Lorelei King is a terrible narrator for this series!! CJ Critt was the perfect voice for all these characters.
I usually don't listen to fiction twice and won't listen to this one again but it was an easy listen
I was waiting for the car fire and something to blow up - I also was waiting for Grandma Mazur - she is always a gas
toss up between Lula and Stephanie and always love Grandma
This is an easy to listen to, light comedy that is very predictable but fun. My husband and I love to listen to her stories when we travel so we save hers until we take a trip. We always laugh and sometimes have to pull over for the laughing.
60-year-old retired library worker, some college , married 30 years, husband retired railroad yardman. one son, 18 years old. God does have a sense of humor!
Better than some of her recent offerings; the story is good, the plot decent, and, as always, Lorelei King is a joy to listen to.
(Spoiler Alert!) It leaves open the possibility that Steph is pregnant!
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