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on November 28, 2012
Evanovich phoned this one in. The funny parts were not very funny, the romantic parts were not romantic - except for a brief scene with Ranger in a church, the scary parts are not scary and the suspense not suspenseful.

There are two independent story lines, one centered on an ex-special forces guy out for revenge against Ranger and the other story line has Joe and Stephanie searching for two fugitives who disappear from a local hospital. Neither story line is worth the price of the book. The Joe vs. Ranger thing continues, with no resolution in sight.

The bones were there to have an excellent book but it was just not complete. Perhaps Evanovich is too busy with her two other series to put any real effort into any one of them.
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on November 25, 2012
I pre-ordered. I've told my friends that after investing 10 years of my life, and who knows how much $$ that I feel like I have to see this series through to the end....but at this point it's just painful.

I'm not even really sure Janet wrote this book, it felt more like a ghost writer. It pains me to say that because I LOVED this series in the beginning, but the last...say...half dozen have just been ... boring. No Sally Sweet, no big Grandma laughs, and the characters have not moved forward, not to mention....a 10 year old hamster....Rex didn't even have any good lines this time around.

Truth is, I'm neither Team Ranger nor Team Morelli. If either of them was "the one" she would have decided it by now. I'm all for cutting both of them loose and getting Stephanie back on the market...or having her focus on her career....that's where all the good laughs were anyway!

What finally tipped the scale for me? Digging him up and stuffing him in the trunk of the Buick, and demanding a body receipt for him? That's too gross to even contemplate.

It gives me pain to be so negative. I have a tremendous respect for Ms. Evanovich, and can only imagine how hurt she would be if she ever ventured out to read these reviews...but I think in her heart she must feel the same way because there was just so substance, no laughs, no movement. She must be tired of writing, and simply be fulfilling her contract. I think others would agree with me, we want some real happiness for Stephanie...and we want to read the passion in Janet's work again.

She really seems to have lost interest.
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on April 21, 2017
I took a few years off after 18 came out. I got sick of the seeming flatline as far as character development. This book sadly didn't help the characters grow up. and from reviews i've read the following books are the same. the will they wont they with morelli and stephanie has gotten very old. either they love eachother and want to settle down or they dont and need to move on. even in the books it has to be about ten years by now and stephanie is hitting her 40s. While I personally love the thing with ranger that has gotten old too. something needs to give so these characters can grow up and move on. Obviously at this point in real life one or all three of them would have realized it was never going to work out and moved on. as far as the case goes, eh, its the same old same old. but i enjoy the antics. not as enjoyable as the antics used to be but maybe its because when i was 15-26 my mind set was different and my mind was developing and i felt the characters were growing with me. I will probably read the other books but, i'm not going to pay for them. this is likely the last one i'll ever pay for. I do tend to wonder though, is Janet even still writing these books or has a ghost writer taken over, or has she just gotten lazy with it? Its not that the style of writing changed, it just hasnt really developed.
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on December 29, 2016
I just finished reading this novel, still laughing and high on the story, and then I read a load of one-star reviews! Really? I'm wondering if they read the same book that I did. No kidding, I laughed out loud all of the way through it, and the blurb at the end had me digging out the next one, ready to have "a little taste" before bedtime. The gripe that irked me the most was the folks who grumbled because Stephanie and Joe and Ranger weren't older and more mature! Does Dagwood Bumsted change his hairstyle? Do his kids turn fifty on him? Are Mickey and Minnie in wheelchairs? I'm gonna grow old and die, but my fictional characters will (thank God!) live on to entertain readers not yet born, and they too will laugh out loud and love Ranger and Joe Morelli, and be hard pressed to choose between them, just like Stephanie. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
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on November 26, 2012
Well- I saw this coming a few books back. I don't know if she just doesn't care anymore or it's just about the money, but clearly Evanovich's heart is not in this series anymore. It does bother me that Stephanie doesn't ever seem to grow up or that Ranger and Morelli would put up with her for this long. She's simply entertainment for Ranger and this doesn't seem to bother her. I don't know what the time frame is from vol. 1 to vol. 20 but there should be some growth with these characters. I just told my friend, who is also a great fan, that this book was so lacking. Another reviewer said it was off and she was exactly right. Even the characters are bored! I hate getting so invested in such wonderful characters and then slowly watching them wither away. I'd like to see her commit to Morelli and have Ranger find a grown up to have a relationship with. Watching all of them commit to a relationship would be great fun. She should buy the cop bar with Lula and do bounty hunting as a sometime sideline. She is from the burg and belongs to it so she might as well do it up right.
I don't want to talk about specifics since I don't want to ruin anything. I'll just say I don't recommend paying full price. Find it used or borrow it from the library. There is no way this book was worth the money. The books no longer provide all those wonderful belly laughs. Instead, maybe a few chuckles, a smile or two, but that's it. I would recommend reading Evan Katy's books if you're a fan of the early Plum books. Com'on Janet, get back in the game. Don't be afraid to commit your characters, just don't hurt them.
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VINE VOICEon November 25, 2012
I have read all of the Stephanie Plum novels plus some of Evanovich's other series. This story disappointed me for several reasons:
1 - Way, way too much time and detail on the "back story" plus that same "way, way too much time" spent on minutae. So many trips to get food and what Stephanie and Lulu and Connie ate or what Stephanie's mom cooked and so on. This book is #19 -- if the reader hasn't read them before give them 1 page total of back story but that's it!!
2 - Stephanie's cars getting on fire or blown up or stolen or wrecked is funny on and off but the last few books both Stephanie and Ranger have cars blown up plus (SPOILER) Morelli too! This is over-the-top. And, yes, Plum books ARE over the top but this is even too far for them.
3 - There are two story lines and without giving anything else away, I think it is suffice to say the development of both was shoddily done.
4 - The climaxes of each of the story lines was kind of "wham-bank-thankyouma'm" as in just very sudden and rather abrupt.

Finally even when at the end of the book, I just did not feel that sense of completion the other books have with the main plots. I also agree with reviewers about the Morelli/Ranger thing just being rather left hanging even as the reader is treated to Stephanie's thoughts on the subject.

Altogether, some fun but mostly a mess.
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on December 29, 2012
Okay, when you start a series that eventually gets boring, you cannot help but trudge through the next one hoping it will stop spinning its wheels and get someplace. I have invested so much time in the Plum series I hate to just quit. But, I think at this point Evanovich has a template and just fills in diffferent names of goofy new bail bonds characters and is coasting. And of course we yet again get to hear about Stephanie trying to resist Ranger ("Babe" is getting irritating. ), make up her mind about Morelli, her car will blow up at some point, Lula will be called fat and eat constantly, mom will drink, dad will grumble and so on and so on. I think I will make my New Year's resolution to be NOT to read anymore Stephanie Plum books. I think the next one should be called ~Twenty is PLENTY~!
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on October 3, 2016
I'm absolutely in LOVE with the Stephanie Plum series....Started out years ago reading these and have been hooked ever since. I get really excited when a new one is released cause I know I'm going to laugh and cry right along with all these characters. l look froward to all the hi-jinks and drama Stephanie, Lula, Ranger, Joe and (my favorite)Grandma Mazur gets into....I love reading books that draw me into the story and with all the crazy characters in this series I almost feel like it's my family.
With each new book Stephanie Plum bounty hunter extraordinaire(sic) brings in the the laughter with Grandma Mazur addiction to funeral viewings, the groans of pain when trying to apprehend a new bounty with the ever expanding Lula. And in the just who will Stephanie end up with???? Joe, the hot cop from her past, Ranger the even hotter bounty hunter, or Rex her ever present and always there for her, hamster???? Guess you'll just have to read them and see, you wont be sorry....
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on December 3, 2012
I keep buying these hoping they'll get better. They don't. As one reviewer perfectly stated, the only thing that changes are the names of the skips. The jokes...the few that are there, are forced. I said I wouldn't spend the money on more of her regurgitated stories after the last one and my memory must have slipped...or I just HOPED the author was back on track...but, big disappointment this book was. It's like watching Lucy and Ethel re-runs, only less funny.
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on November 14, 2017
The story may be okay but the woman reading the book was terrible. She read it so "over the top" that I couldn't stand it and I did not finish listening to it. Even the story has words that seemed inconsistent with what I imagine for the main character. She should be somewhat tough but she uses words that remind me of a parent trying not to cuss in front of a child by saying "H-E-double hokey sticks" instead of saying hell. It just didn't match.

Will not EVER get a book read by this woman reading this one and will not likely read any more from this author, either.
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