Most helpful positive review
WORLD'S MOST INEPT (BUT LOVEABLE) BOUNTY HUNTER
on June 29, 2004
After reading, in no particular order, a half dozen or so of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels, I decided that I had to review at least one of them (call it a compulsion to do so), and __HOT SIX__, being the most recent one I've read, got the nod.
I believe that the plots in these novels are mostly there to provide a background for the machinations of our intrepid bounty hunter and her friends and relatives. The plot has been pretty well described in the 300+ previous reviews, so I'll just give it a very short discussion before getting into the part of this review that's the most fun for me.
In her position as a bounty hunter (officially bond enforcement agent), Stephanie is given the job of apprehending and bringing to court, the man who taught her everything she knows about the art of bounty hunting, the elusive man known as Ranger. Ranger, who is out on bond, has missed a court appearance. He is the suspect of choice for a murder. Stephanie, and everyone else, knows that bringing in Ranger is impossible -- no one captures Ranger. No one! But, it does seem that everyone wants to find him, the good guys, the bad guys, and a few intermediate semi-bad guys. This situation provides background for the true meat of the novel, Stephanie's adventures and misadventures along the way.
To give you a an idea of just how good a bounty hunter Stephanie is, consider the following: Most of the time Stephanie sets out on her apprehension tasks by leaving her gun at home in a cookie jar. When she does take it, it usually has only one bullet, or even none, because she has forgotten to buy more. When she does catch up with someone, her intended target more often than not gets away, and in so doing, wrecks her car, and/or sets her on fire, and/or handcuffs her with her own handcuffs, and/or just walks away while she is preoccupied with something else. At any rate her success rate on the first few tries with each bail jumper is very, very low
She attempts clandestine surveillance in a nice inconspicuous "Rollswagon," a car with the front of a Rolls Royce attached to the body of a Volkswagon. Nobody'll spot this car! It's a temporary replacement for her most recent wrecked car.
While trying to peer into the window of a suspect's house, our Stephanie falls out of a tree into his walled off back yard, and gets shot at.
There's lots more, but you get the idea.
Stephanie lusts after two men, the aforementioned Ranger, and her sometimes lover, sometimes protector, sometimes a few other things, Joe Morelli, police detective. This lust is reciprocated by both men.
Stephanie has a grandmother who frequently totes a gun herself, thinks that she, too, would like to be a bounty hunter, and, spreading fear throughout the area, somehow passes the driving test and gets a drivers license.
Stephanie has a sidekick named Lula who is a retired prostitute and who frequently accompanies Stephanie on her misadventures. Lula is a very large woman who dresses in skintight spandex apparel, carries two or three guns and, on every case, tells Stephanie what havoc she is going to wreak on each target. Then when the time comes, tends to run away even faster than Stephanie.
Stephanie has a long suffering mother whose answer to any problem is to start ironing.
And, oh yes, did I mention that Stephanie's idea of home cooking is to make a peanut butter and potato chip sandwich.
There are also a few other colorful characters in Stephanie's life, both human and animal. These include her cousin Vinnie, the owner of the bonding agency, and her boss; her "arch enemy," Joyce Barnhardt; the inadvertantly comedic duo of Moonster and dougie, "the dealer" as well as her pet hamster, Rex; and Bob, the dog who eats everything he can reach, including furniture, and whom you'd like to hate, but can't because he's just too sweet.
When you toss all of these people and animals in a hopper, then add a few gangsters and lunatics to the mix, you end up with a laugh or two or even three on every page from the opening line right up to to the concluding sentence. Thanks, Janet Evanovich, you keep me laughing.