If you don't already know, there are two types of stories about Stephanie Plum, Trenton's most discombobulated bounty hunter of those out on bail who fail to show up in court when scheduled. The better ones are full novels and involve a number in the title (there are 13 to date with a 14th in the wings). The less good ones are novellas called "Between-the-Numbers" novels. Plum Lucky is one of the latter.
If you haven't read any of the books before, Ms. Evanovich does a fine job of bringing in the background in the first ten pages or so. Feel free to start here . . . although you won't like it as much as if you start with One for the Money and proceed through the numbers from there.
Grandma Mazur (Stephanie's man-loving, good-time-seeking older relative) is first seen fighting off a man who is trying to take a shopping bag away from her. Before long, grandma is gone and Stephanie's long-suffering mom wants her mother found. The trail soon leads to a casino in Atlantic City where Grandma Mazur is living it up, senior citizen style. That seemingly straightforward story is soon complicated by an injured race horse that needs a home, a Mob baron who looks more toad-like every day, and a marriage that needs repairing. With Lulu exploring her super model potential, Diesel looking to find a missing man who thinks he's a leprechaun, Connie taking target practice, and Stephanie trying to bring grandma home, it's a wild, but brief, ride.
The frenetic story has a predictability to it that makes potential humor a ho-hum affair in many cases. In addition, there's little interaction with either Joe Morelli (her main squeeze) or Ranger (her sometimes wannabe squeeze). Although there's a little sexual tension between Stephanie and Diesel, the huge finder of smart people who don't want to be found, it's just not the same as when Morelli and Ranger are raising Stephanie's hormones.
If you cannot survive until the next full-blown Plum, this one will do. But don't expect to be thrilled. Instead, you'll be looking for the action surprise on every page. William Faulkner used to put one remarkable sentence on every page that kept you reading closely. Janet Evanovich in Plum Lucky throws a major comic plot development onto every page. It's like reading a serial that changes episodes every 30 seconds.
If you like St. Patrick's Day, you might find you'd enjoy this book if you first drank some green beer and then settled down with Plum Lucky.