Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

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. 
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…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.

Favorite Quote: “Okay, great. I’ll do the lifting, but you’re going to have to ditch the Via Spigas. I don’t want to get gored by a stiletto.”

Lula took her shoes off and threw them over the top of the fence into Joyce’s yard. “Okay, I’m ready. Give me a boost.”

I tried boosting, but I couldn’t get her off the ground.

“You’re going to have to climb onto my shoulders,” I said.

Lula put her right foot onto my thigh, hoisted herself up, and wrangled her left leg over my shoulder. Her spandex skirt was up to her waist and her tiger-striped thong was lost in the deep, dark recessses of her volumptuousness.

Stephanie Plum is back from the vacation.  At the end of Smokin’ Seventeen, Stephanie decided to take a vacation to Hawaii with one of the two men in her life, but she’s back in Trenton, annoyed and tired.  Seems that her vacation wasn’t very relaxing.  Well, it was, but then it wasn’t.  But she doesn’t want to talk about it, not even with her best friend and bounty hunter sidekick, Lula. 

When Stephanie returns home, she finds a picture of a man in her purse that doesn’t belong to her, so she throws it away.  Then she finds out her seatmate, who was also on the way to Jersey, didn’t get back on the plane after their layover in Los Angeles and has been murdered.  It appears the photo she found in her purse belonged to the her seatmate and now there are numerous people trying to find her to retrieve the picture, including real FBI, fake FBI, someone who claims to be the victims’ fiancé, and some bat-poop crazy European.  To top all this off, Joyce Bernhardt has skipped bail and gone missing, and Stephanie’s on her trail. 

This installment was on par with the rest of the series.  Very funny, high-speed, thrills a minute.  Lula falls in love with the help of a love potion intended for Stephanie, which is hilarious. Stephanie is being followed and pursued by the stupid, the incompetent, and the violent, but, being Stephanie, manages to come out with minimal permanent damage.  There’s also plenty of Ranger and Morelli to keep everyone happy, or unhappy as the case may be, because she is still having problems on that front.  And I loved the way it ended.

Pecans: 4/5

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