Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum’s life is set to blow sky high when international murder hits dangerously close to home, in this dynamite novel by Janet Evanovich. Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 from Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, she’s flying back to New Jersey solo, and someone who sounds like Sasquatch is snoring in row 22. 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. The FBI, the fake FBI, and guns-for-hire are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying. Only one other person has seen the missing photograph—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 it’s business as usual—until the bonds bus serving as Vinnie’s temporary HQ goes up in smoke, Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls in love with their “largest” FTA 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.
From the Hardcover edition.
Yes this is the 18th book in the series, and yes this is the first one I read. Now that that is out of the way, we can get to the story. Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter. She works for her cousin Vinnie (heehee) Her best friend is Lula who is a ex-hooker. She is Italian and has a big family and bigger hair. She has a boyfriend and a Boy toy. Well that was easy.
So this book starts with an envelope and a bad/good guy. Even though Stephanie thinks the envelope was for someone else, other people aren’t forgiving. In fact at times it seems the whole world is after her. Of course no one believes her. At the same time she is still finding bounty’s for her Cousin Vinnie. Honestly I can’t get over his name. I assume everyone as see the cult classic My Cousin Vinnie? If not you should check it out. Anywoo, Lula, her best friend, helps Stephanie out when it involved a bounty near any type of food. To call her big boned would be an understatement. She does rock whatever color of hair and clothing she wants so there is that. So while on a bounty, a guy keeps stealing Stephanie’s car. A wanted criminal, who happens to somehow get under Lula’s tough exterior. Much to Stephanie’s chagrin.
As this book is based in Trenton, NJ, it has all the swagger, attitude, and lingo that you grew to love on Jersey Shore. Okay it really isn’t that bad, but if you aren’t from there, it does give you a little insight. Especially with regards to families and criminal elements.
After finishing the book, I talked to someone who has read them all. Her suggestion was that I should have started with 1, but that they can all be standalones. You may just miss some of the underlining jokes. While true, it shouldn’t stop you from reading this book. This book is considered a comedic thriller. There instances where Stephanie’s life may be danger, although they are usually at her own doing. The whole Ranger/Morelli thing killed me in this book, and it does no better in the next one I read. Overall a good book that deserves reading.