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Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times best seller

Catch a professional assassin: top priority. Find a failure-to-appear and collect big bucks: top score. How she’ll pull it all off: top secret. 

Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures. So Stephanie is going to have to do something she really doesn’t want to do: protect former hospital security guard and general pain in her behind Randy Briggs. Briggs was picking up quick cash as Poletti’s bookkeeper and knows all his boss’ dirty secrets. Now Briggs is next on Poletti’s list of people to put six feet under. 

To top things off, Ranger - resident security expert and Stephanie’s greatest temptation - has been the target of an assassination plot. He’s dodged the bullet this time, but if Ranger wants to survive the next attempt on his life, he’ll have to enlist Stephanie’s help and reveal a bit more of his mysterious past. 

Death threats, highly trained assassins, highly untrained assassins, and Stark Street being overrun by a pack of feral Chihuahuas are all in a day’s work for Stephanie Plum. The real challenge is dealing with her Grandma Mazur’s wild bucket list. A boob job and getting revenge on Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella can barely hold a candle to what’s number one on the list - but that’s top secret. 

Praise for Top Secret Twenty-One 

“The combination of biting dialogue, outrageous characters and intense story lines are consistent throughout. And [Janet Evanovich] novels are the true definition of a guilty pleasure.” (Associated Press)

“Evanovich doesn’t disappoint.... [She] weaves setting, family, romance and crime to pull the plot of Top Secret Twenty-One forward.” (Bookreporter)

©2014 Janet Evanovich (P)2014 Random House LLC

What listeners say about Top Secret Twenty-One

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • GH
  • 06-20-14

Stagnant Stephanie - Plodding Plot - Not great

We want to learn something new about Stephanie, new about Ranger or Morelli. Yikes, the characters have turned into caricatures. I won't even bother to discuss the plot opening because you can pick any of the last 10 books, change the character names, pick a pedestrian crime of interest and viola you have this plot - yawn.

Evanovich spiced up the language in this book a bit which was okay and Lorelei Kind did a good job as usual doing Stephanie. But we HAVE to see some forward motion in this series. Wow, now I am interested how long she can keep this series going without conflict or content. Do something Evanovich; give Morelli a love interest that threatens Stephanie and has Step do something; bring Ranger and Morelli to blows; have Stephanie move in with Ranger just to get him out of her system -- anything to stop the boredom.

At this point, this series is car wreck -- you can't look away. Only listen if you must; otherwise pass. By the way, the movie "One for the Money" didn't help.

56 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Stephanie Bombs -- Lorelei Rocks

Did Top Secret Twenty-One inspire you to do anything?

Top Secret Twenty-One inspired me to stop reading/listening to the Stephanie Plum series. I won't, though. I'll keep reading it until it finishes dying a slow, painful death.

Any additional comments?

You can tell that Lorelei King is getting just as bored as the rest of us. But, just as we keep coming back for more, King keeps taking that practically guaranteed Plum paycheck every year. Of course, Lorelei King is STILL great at her job. She's an incredible voice artist, but you can tell she's thinking "I'm still doing this?" as each novel comes along.

15 people found this helpful

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Perfect Summer Book

This is a perfect book for a summer read. It's got a good plot with some nice twists and turns towards the end, sympathetic characters, it's performed well, and it's very entertaining.

There's a good dollop of humor, as in most of the Stephanie Plum novels. The chihuahuas are a nice touch. Ranger gets some depth to him, and the "babe" exhalation takes on some meaning.

Lorelei King is one of the few narrators who can give voice to the opposite sex. Without seeming forced or affected, she uses separate and entirely credible voices for Ranger and Morelli.

This book isn't great literature and it won't tax your mind, but if you're looking for light summer reading that is just plain fun, you can't go wrong with Top Secret Twenty-One.

4 people found this helpful

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Pretty good

But these books are getting a little stale and boring - same plot over and over with no resolution in Stephanie's choice between the two guys - the policeman and the security expert. I am definitely getting over this series

3 people found this helpful

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Going downhill.

I've read all of the books in this series, so I care about and like the characters quite a bit.

That said, the series is really going downhill and Evanovnich is starting to play fast and loose with some offensive content. A few parts of this book (regarding Ranger) were icky in a racist way and had me wincing.

It's gotten a little too slapstick and predictable and lost a lot of its quirky appeal. Still not terrible, but nowhere near as enjoyable as the earlier books were.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Got to stop doing this to myself

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It is ok for a fast listen and requires absolutely no thought process on the part of the listener, I tend to zone out.

Have you listened to any of Lorelei King’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I really like the narrator, although it did take me a few books to get used to her.

Did Top Secret Twenty-One inspire you to do anything?

It may have inspired me to stop listening to Stephanie Plum books

Any additional comments?

This story line is completely played out now, actually, it was played out about 6 books ago. At first it was cute with all the back and forth between Joe and Ranger, but now Stephanie isn't a young woman and so it just seems pathetic. Rather than being likable characters they are starting to seem narcissistic and boring.

5 people found this helpful

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Lorelei King is the best!

If you could sum up Top Secret Twenty-One in three words, what would they be?

Laughing out loud.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters are some of my favorites. I'm a lifelong reader and Evanovitch's characters stand out from the rest,

Which scene was your favorite?

Any scene with Lula in it.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No.

Any additional comments?

Lorelei King is half the reason these books make me laugh my head off. Her delivery of Evanovitch's words is really remarkable.

2 people found this helpful

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diasppointing for the series

This is the first time I've been disappointed by the Stephanie plum series. It is a case of '"same ol' thing" and one gets the feeling we are being strung along unendingly....It is beginning to get the "wheel of time" feel to it.
I was excited about the plot at first but less than halfway through, it felt as if the same old jokes, gags etc were been trotted out, barely recycled......I think this does it for me with this series, except a miracle happens!
If you get the book, it isn't too bad, but uf you've pre-ordered it for months like I have......don't hold your breath.

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A fun story badly read

The 21st installment of the misadventures of Stephanie Plum is another piece of mind candy.
Very unfortunate that the narrator and her attempt at voices is as annoying as a back up on the NJTP, and as refreshing as a deep breath on the Pulaski Skyway. Time to return to a previous narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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Get Off the Pot!

What did you like best about Top Secret Twenty-One? What did you like least?

I have loved this series for years, but I have to admit that Stephanie and her constant yo-yo-ing between Morelli and Ranger is getting old. I loved Stephanie's relationship with her friends and family, but Morelli is really starting to bug me. I would really like to see a total shift in the story and see Stephanie officially involved with Ranger. The series needs some spice and to shake it up!

What was most disappointing about Janet Evanovich’s story?

I'm disappointed in the relationship between Morelli and Stephanie. I feel like it's just in a holding pattern and Morelli's personality has been bugging me. Again, I'd love to see Stephanie with Ranger for a while and develop that relationship.

Have you listened to any of Lorelei King’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

She's great, but she can only work with what she is given.

Do you think Top Secret Twenty-One needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

If Evanovich is going to carry on the way she is, then no. However, if she is willing to change things up and put Stephanie with Ranger, then yes.

Any additional comments?

I've loved this series, but it either needs to end,or Evanovich needs to shift gears when it comes to Stephanie's love life. I've had enough of Morelli to last a lifetime.

3 people found this helpful