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What's a girl to do when handcuffed to her own refrigerator?
For those readers unacquainted with Stephanie Plum, she's a skip tracer, i.e. bounty hunter, working for her cousin Vinnie in Trenton, NJ. She's also a disaster magnet. So, when her latest assignment, Maxine Nowicki, who jumped bail after being charged with the theft of her estranged boyfriend's car, handcuffs Plum to the door of her own fridge, what's left to do while awaiting rescue but finish off the leftover banana cream pie, a jar of peanut butter, and a bag of baby carrots? And that's before her car explodes, her apartment is gutted by fire, and she gets raw egg in her hair.
As I work my way sequentially through the Stephanie Plum series, I stand amazed at the imagination of author Janet Evanovich that continually ups the ante on the absurdity of the situations in which Stephanie finds herself and the eccentricity of the characters that gravitate to our heroine like lint to a black dress. Yet, the craziness never seems pushed or over the top, but is just Stephanie's karma in a nutty world.
The continuing "male lead" in all of Plum's adventures is Joe Morelli, the rascally plain-clothes Trenton cop with whom Stephanie has a long love-hate relationship. When they were just pre-pubescent kids, the sexually precocious Joe lured Stephanie into his father's garage to play choo-choo. As teenagers, Plum ran down Morelli with the family Buick after Joe relieved Stephanie of her virginity on the floor behind the eclair counter in the pastry shop in which she worked. Yet, when Plum and her pet hamster Rex are left homeless after their apartment is torched in FOUR TO SCORE, it's the extra room in Joe's house into which Stephanie moves. Will she and Joe find True Love before they kill each other?
Like its predecessors in the series, this book is exceeded in trashiness perhaps only by a lurid bodice-ripper. But, should you pick up a Stephanie Plum adventure, I virtually guarantee you a good time.
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What's a girl to do when handcuffed to her own refrigerator?
For those readers unacquainted with Stephanie Plum, she's a skip tracer, i.e. bounty hunter, working for her cousin Vinnie in Trenton, NJ. She's also a disaster magnet. So, when her latest assignment, Maxine Nowicki, who jumped bail after being charged with the theft of her estranged boyfriend's car, handcuffs Plum to the door of her own fridge, what's left to do while awaiting rescue but finish off the leftover banana cream pie, a jar of peanut butter, and a bag of baby carrots? And that's before her car explodes, her apartment is gutted by fire, and she gets raw egg in her hair.
As I work my way sequentially through the Stephanie Plum series, I stand amazed at the imagination of author Janet Evanovich that continually ups the ante on the absurdity of the situations in which Stephanie finds herself and the eccentricity of the characters that gravitate to our heroine like lint to a black dress. Yet, the craziness never seems pushed or over the top, but is just Stephanie's karma in a nutty world.
The continuing "male lead" in all of Plum's adventures is Joe Morelli, the rascally plain-clothes Trenton cop with whom Stephanie has a long love-hate relationship. When they were just pre-pubescent kids, the sexually precocious Joe lured Stephanie into his father's garage to play choo-choo. As teenagers, Plum ran down Morelli with the family Buick after Joe relieved Stephanie of her virginity on the floor behind the eclair counter in the pastry shop in which she worked. Yet, when Plum and her pet hamster Rex are left homeless after their apartment is torched in FOUR TO SCORE, it's the extra room in Joe's house into which Stephanie moves. Will she and Joe find True Love before they kill each other?
Like its predecessors in the series, this book is exceeded in trashiness perhaps only by a lurid bodice-ripper. But, should you pick up a Stephanie Plum adventure, I virtually guarantee you a good time.
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Janet Evanovich has written her wackiest book in the first four. Some of the highlights include a coded set of mystery clues followed by a close encounter ending, a transvestite band, a jealous lover, a woman scorned, progress in the budding Morelli-Plum relationship, and torture. And those are just some of the complications. Each amazing complication is done with the maximum humor imaginable!
The Sally Sweet character is probably her most memorable character. Old nemesis Joyce Barnhardt does favors for Cousin Vinny and gets to compete with Stephanie Plum for a job bringing in Maxine Nowicki. As usual, Stephanie can find Maxine, but has a hard time apprehending her. In the meantime, someone's making threats, pouring gasoline over her car, and firebombing wherever she lives. The people she contacts to find Maxine keep turning up with strange wounds, and are very silent about Maxine's whereabouts. She seems to hit cold trail after cold trail.
You should be able to solve the mystery about half way through. This was one of Evanovich's more transparent efforts. But the mystery is really beside the point. To focus on that would be like studying history instead of partying during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The story of Stephanie Plum and her relationship to the other characters are where you'll find the attraction in this book.
The scenes, the set-ups, and the dialogue are marvelous. If you have a friend who is also reading the series, you'll be trading lines before you're done with this book.
After you have read and enjoyed this book, consider how little straight comedy is written now in fiction form. Almost all of it is in the context of crime and mystery novels. What does that say about our tastes and society's state? What would a non-bounty hunting, funny Stephanie Plum be like? I suspect she could be just as funny. In many ways, she is the Lucille Ball of the 1996-2004
Overcome your stalled thinking about how much fun a book can be with this one!
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When Stephanie is asked to hunt down a waitress who skipped bail after stealing her ex-boyfriend's car she thinks it'll be easy. That's before the ex-boyfriend offers her extra cash on the side if she'll tip him off to Maxine's location before the cops get involved though. It turns out that Maxine has been leaving clues for her ex and now Stephanie finds herself on a crazy treasure hunt trying to figure out what Maxine is really up to. When Maxine's friend loses a finger and her mother gets scalped the chase really starts to heat up and it looks like Maxine is in a lot more danger that Stephanie could have imagined.

I really struggle to write reviews for this series, not because I don't love these books but because I just want to rave like a lunatic about how fantastic they all are. The main trouble is that I've probably said it all before, I adore these characters, they're all over the top and completely stereotypical but absolutely brilliant in spite of that (or possibly because of it). These characters are larger than life, funny as hell and all of the books make me snort with laughter. If you enjoyed the previous books then you're bound to love Four to Score too, I'm on at least my 3rd read through of the earlier books in this series and that probably says more about my love for these books than anything else could. It's a series that I continuously go back to when I need something that is going to put a smile on my face.

Stephanie is just as out of her depth here as ever, but she always manages to come out on top no matter how crazy the situations she lands in are. Grandma Mazur and Lula are two of my favourite fictional sidekicks but here we have the addition of transvestite Sally Sweet who I really hope is going to become a cast regular (it's been so long since I read these books last that I really can't remember if he crops up again later but I'm keeping my fingers crossed). We also have two great guys to swoon over and after all these years I'm still not sure if I can choose a favourite. Things are progressing well between Stephanie and Joe Morelli though and we even get to meet his family in this book. His grandmother is one scary lady and I certainly wouldn't want her giving me the evil eye! Ranger is still around too and I love the friendly flirtation between him and Stephanie, I don't think it'll ever go anywhere but I enjoy it all the same and who doesn't like to daydream about a batman type of superhero? These books are pure entertainment, perfect for when you're in the mood for something light hearted, a little bit silly and guaranteed to make you giggle and I don't think I'll ever get bored of spending time with Stephanie and her friends!
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on 25 June 2012
As always Janet Evanovich doesn't fail to delight with this, her fourth novel describing the hilarious exploits of her heroine, Stephanie Plum. This is one of her best although she always has me laughing aloud to the consternation of my other half who thinks I'm almost as nuts as Stephanie (although I tend to think I should perhaps be compared more realistically to Granny Mazur!). If anyone reading this is prone to depression or just needs to relax with a delightful, quick and entertaining book then this is definitely for you. Buy it! You won't be disappointed and will want immediately to read the other 15 books in the series. NB. It is probably best to start the series with this, or a later book, where you have the pleasure of meeting the many memorable characters that surround Stephanie - then read the rest from the beginning.
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on 25 January 1999
If you liked the other 3 books you'll love this one even more. If, like me you've been waiting for some action with Joe Morelli, then you'll be more than satisfied with this book. As usual she works her way through a good selection of cars and clothes and gets into adventures with her mismatched side-kicks including Lula, the hefty ex-prostitute that she rescued in Book 1 and transvestite Sal, whose lack of subtlety gets him described as 'not quite a Stealth Transvestite'. Who cares what the plot is and who knows how she's stayed alive to make it to the 4th book. Stephanie is FAB.
If you like Stephanie Plum, try the novels of Sparkle Hayter
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Janet Evanovich has written her wackiest book of the first four. Some of the highlights include a coded set of mystery clues followed by a close encounter ending, a transvestite band, a jealous lover, a woman scorned, progress in the budding Morelli-Plum relationship, and torture. And those are just some of the complications. Each amazing complication is done with the maximum humor imaginable!
The Sally Sweet character is probably her most memorable character. Old nemesis Joyce Barnhardt does favors for Cousin Vinny and gets to compete with Stephanie Plum for a job bringing in Maxine Nowicki. As usual, Stephanie can find Maxine, but has a hard time apprehending her. In the meantime, someone's making threats, pouring gasoline over her car, and firebombing wherever she lives. The people she contacts to find Maxine keep turning up with strange wounds, and are very silent about Maxine's whereabouts. She seems to hit cold trail after cold trail.
You should be able to solve the mystery about half way through. This was one of Evanovich's more transparent efforts. But the mystery is really beside the point. To focus on that would be like studying history instead of partying during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The story of Stephanie Plum and her relationship to the other characters are where you'll find the attraction in this book.
The scenes, the set-ups, and the dialogue are marvelous. If you have a friend who is also reading the series, you'll be trading lines before you're done with this book.
After you have read and enjoyed this book, consider how little straight comedy is written now in fiction form. Almost all of it is in the context of crime and mystery novels. What does that say about our tastes and society's state? What would a non-bounty hunting, funny Stephanie Plum be like? I suspect she could be just as funny. In many ways, she is the Lucille Ball of the 1996-2004 period.
Overcome your stalled thinking about how much fun a book can be with this one!
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on 25 January 2013
I am getting through these Stephanie Plum books like wildfire. I am completely hooked! What can she get up to next? Just when you think she is out of the woods she gets herself into more trouble - a bounty hunter who doesn't want to shoot people so won't take a gun and sometimes ends up on the wrong end of one! But it is so hilarious it is like a comedy and I thoroughly enjoy reading, so much that I just cannot put the book down!
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on 17 May 1999
Stephanie is 'back in ass kicking form' as one might say, and boy, she really is! The plot is complicated, and, as with all of Stephanie's adventures, totally wacky! The action with Morelli makes it even better, the whole book is fabulous, a MUST READ if you loved the others! If you haven't read any, start with 'One for the Money' then you'll catch on much better!
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on 12 May 2011
When I began reading my first 'Plumb book' I did not know quite what to expect. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and have enjoyed all the others I have read since then [ up to and including 'Seven-Up'].
See my reviews with regard to 'Hot Six' and 'Seven-Up' both of which apply equally to 'Four to Score' and all the other Plumb books that I have read thus far.
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