Saturday, July 15, 2006

TWELVE SHARP by Janet Evanovich

Beth reviews TWELVE SHARP by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's Press, 2006):

This Thursday several bins of summer's bestsellers arrived with shiny, new covers. Like many people, I hungrily wait for new books to arrive. I want, no need, to read the next in a favorite series or find a new author thanks to the shiny jacket, "Popular Library" sticker and some great cover art. I spotted TWELVE SHARP by Janet Evanovich and checked it out from my "home" branch (so that Highland Branch customers would have a chance to get their hands on a copy) and finished it that night. Now I am on to other new books—some series and some not—but already wondering "When is her next one due out?"

Stephanie Plum is back at it again. She, along with her outrageous sidekick Lula, are catching (some) bad guys and needing help with others. Ranger, the man in black, and Joe, the honest cop, work hand-in-hand to help Stephanie out of some tough scrapes with a stranger that appears to be stalking Stephanie. This stranger turns out to be a woman--a woman whose secrets turn both Stephanie and Ranger’s life upside down. Then the stranger is murdered right outside the bail bondsman agency and Stephanie begins to hunt down not a skip but a murderer. And ends up fighting for her life.

This Stephanie Plum novel is more suspenseful and less humorous than the previous ones. Sure there are the usual trying times at the Plum household with her grandmother (who takes her antics on the road not only to the funeral home but beyond!), but something was missing from this novel. For starters Stephanie begins and ends the novel driving the same mini Cooper! We also discover that Ranger is more "human" than we have been led to believe in the previous eleven novels. Ranger and Joe begin to almost blend into one character (except for those too-close-for-comfort moments involving Stephanie and both men). The new (and lovable) characters seem to add depth to this series…but in all honesty, I read this series not for its suspense but for its laughs. And this one just fell a belly laugh short. Here’s hoping Janet Evanovich finds the groove that made her a favorite!

Beth, Highland Branch Library

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