Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum's got a lot on her mind. How does cigarette smuggler Eddie DeChooch, a fugitive so geriatric that even the hot-to-trot Grandma Mazur won't go out with him a third time, keep giving her the slip? How did a woman who died of a heart attack end up in DeChooch's garden shed with five bullet holes in her chest? Who stole a rump roast from Dougie and Mooner, the two lovable potheads who have decided to be crime fighters in Spandex bodysuits? Can Stephanie's perfect sister Valerie make it as a lesbian single mother without driving her family crazy? And--oh yeah--what should Stephanie do about that damn wedding dress on hold at Tina's Bridal Shoppe, waiting for her to decide whether vice cop Joe Morelli's really the one for her?
I did look good in the gown. I looked like Scarlett O' Hara getting ready for a big wedding at Tara. I moved around a little to simulate dancing.
"Jump up and down so we can see how it'll look when you do the bunny hop," Grandma said.
"It's pretty but I don't want a gown," I said.
"I can order one in her size at no obligation," Tina said.
"No obligation," Grandma said. "You can't beat that."
"As long as there's no obligation," my mother said.
I needed chocolate. A lot of chocolate. "Oh gee," I said, "look at the time. I need to go."
To complicate matters further, Stephanie's made a reluctant deal with the devil: if she can't bring in DeChooch by herself, her sexy but dangerous cohort Ranger is willing to help--for a price that a girl who's not-exactly-engaged is uncertain whether she should pay. But when Dougie and Mooner disappear, Grandma is kidnapped, and a crazy widow starts taking pot shots, no one who hides her .38 in a cookie jar is going to turn down a little friendly assistance.
In Seven Up, Janet Evanovich serves up her usual bubbly fare: a totaled car, raucous viewings at Stiva's Funeral Parlor, buffoonish bad guys, and down-and-dirty mud wrestling, all stirred up with some snappy Jersey repartee and a few tart, new twists that will keep her fans impatient. Heaven can't wait for number eight. --Barrie Trinkle
From Publishers Weekly
It's always a treat to go out on a case with Stephanie Plum, the sassy, adventurous, but not always successful Trenton, N.J., bounty hunter. In her seventh outing (after 2000's Hot Six), Stephanie's employer, her bailbondsman cousin, Vinnie, gives her an easy job: pick up vicious senior citizen Eddie DeChooch, who is constantly sighted racing around Trenton in a borrowed white Cadillac, but whom no one can grab. The usual characters inhabit the novel: Steph's former high school buddies, the zonked-out Dougie and Mooner; and Evanovich's best creation, feisty Grandma Mazur. Stephanie's much-resented sister Valerie returns from California with her two daughters, her "perfect" marriage ended, and moves in with her parents, to their dismay. At times the plot meanders: Stephanie and pal Lula spend too much time running from house to house in the inbred Burg neighborhood, while two semi-retired crooks looking for DeChooch keep breaking into her apartment for little reason. All in all this is another zesty Evanovich read, but one that doesn't quite hit the high marks of her last two.
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