46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Fizzled and didn't sizzle.,
This review is from: Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum Novels) (Hardcover)
Vincent Plum's Bail Bond business is in trouble and it is all Vinnie's fault. His gambling has him in debt to a 'break your legs' lender and he has embezzled from the business which is now owned by a large corporation. Vinnie has been caught on Stark Street literally with his pants down. His wife has kicked him out and threatened to sic her father on him. Plus the loan shark has now kidnapped Vinnie and it is up to Stephanie, Lulu, and Connie to find a way to raise 1.3 million dollars to save his worthless hide.
If you are reading Sizzling Sixteen you are probably familiar with the slapstick humor, characters and recurring themes. Yes, this book contains the requisite car blowing up, the diet of the day for Lulu, jokes about Vinnie's sexual preferences and the dithering Stephanie as she tries to figure out what she wants to do with life and who she wants to do with it.
The series has definitely lost the zip that made it laugh-out-loud funny. I listened to the audio version and found myself spacing in and out of the story. It has been about seventeen years since Stephanie Plum's antics captivated her audience. In that time we have seen very little growth in her maturity levels and we've seen the series stagnate and become mired in the what was once fresh humor and is now stale as the bread Morelli wants for breakfast (Steph and Joe's last fight was over toast).
As the series continues and we get deeper glances at Ranger I find myself wondering what he sees in Stephanie. She seems more like a pesky younger sister than a potential lover for him. Ranger is well traveled, some what cultured, hard working, and seems to have a variety of interests. We find out more about him as the series continues. On the other hand, Stephanie never seems to grow out of the laid off lingerie buyer now I hate to be a bounty hunter character. She doesn't seem to travel except to find donuts. Does she read? Go to movies? The theater? Museums? Do anything other than go to Cluck in a Bucket and funerals? We have also learned more about Joe Morelli and who he is. Yet it seems as tho all the women remain one dimensional caught up in the diet of the book, eating donuts, shooting things, etc.
There were some funny scenes in the book, but over all it just missed the mark that once made Janet Evanovich's Plum series a must read the day the book comes out for so many of us. It makes me feel a bit sad, kind of like realizing an old friendship has run its course and now we are just acquaintances and instead of being engaged in that friend's life--we are now at the polite exchange of pleasantries as we pass on the playing field that is life. However, as with any old friend sometimes the friendship can be rekindled to the depth it once had--hopefully Evanovich will read some of the reviews of her book and take a long hard look at the series and either revamp a bit so that Stephanie remains in our hearts as one of our best friends or she puts us and Stephanie out of our miseries and does a Final Seventeen!
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Initial post: Jun 25, 2010 7:41:27 AM PDT
I think you're 3 star rating is pretty generous.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2010 11:34:29 AM PDT
Victoria Wood says:
No matter how many stars, this review stated the case pretty well. The first book had it all -- a great thriller plot, outstanding characterizations, and laugh out loud situations. This last, though better than 14, 15, is pale in comparison.
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