Sunday, June 29, 2014

Book Review: Top Secret Twenty-One

Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum, #21)Author: Janet Evanovich
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Bantam
Series: Stephanie Plum # 21

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’s 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.

I sucked in some air and made an effort to settle my stomach. So big deal if I am a cupcake. Seemed to me it was a lot better than being a bagel.

“If those people who figure it out start shooting at you, I’d appreciate it if you’d step away from me.”

“This isn’t working for me,” Lula said when I got back to the Buick. “I don’t want to be locked in the car with short stuff anymore.”

Stephanie Plum is, as always, back at it and has solved another crazy mystery with the help of her hot, hunky, loyal, and hilarious friends! In this installment in the Stephanie Plum series Stephanie is dealing with a Russian assassin that shares a little bad blood with her trusty sidekick, Ranger. Not only this, but she is also tracking down a man by the name of Jimmy Poletti who was not only running a car dealership, but apparently was also dealing in the trafficking of young women. She has a midget named Briggs in tow whose apartment was blown up and now has no other place to go. She decides to keep Briggs however because of his connections to Poletti. With so much action-packed fun, a lot of things blowing up, like usual, and of course so many famous one-liners from Lula, this Stephanie Plum novel is just as good, if not better, than all the rest!

What I always remember most from this series of books is the laughter that I share with the exciting cast of characters. There were so many places in this book where I paused and had a good laugh. Lula always breaks the tension in any situation and her choice of words is always phenomenal. I especially love the conversations shared between her and Stephanie. Lula loves to tag along on missions with Stephanie and I don’t know about Stephanie but I sure do enjoy her company. Lula is not the only characters or situation that will cause you to double over with heaving belly laughter though. Fans of this series know that the story cannot be over until one or more things has been blown up. So of course this is always cause for a few good laughs!

As I mentioned before, Stephanie is not the only one who finds herself in dire need of some help in this book. Big, rough, and tough Ranger finds himself in danger this time around. A pissed off Russian named Vlatko is in America and out for blood, specifically Ranger’s. It was nice to see Stephanie become so defensive over Ranger. I am one of those fans who is not sure if I would rather see her with Joe or Ranger. I like them both for different reasons. Ranger is just as protective over Stephanie as Morelli is, and it was nice to see Stephanie be so quick to aid in Ranger’s defense. After all, he has saved her life more than a few dozen times!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Bantam in exchange for my honest review***

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