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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 22 June 2006
Twelve Sharp is characterised by the Evanovich formula; laugh out loud funny in parts, smart dialogue and larger than life characters. The story formula is on safe ground in this book and fans will find it satisfyingly familiar - Stephanie's life is in danger, Ranger is mysterious and irresistable, Morelli sexy and loyal, Lula outrageous, grandma crazy. Those hoping for something to tie up the love triangle or move forward the dynamic will be left disappointed, although there is a tease towards the end. Vintage Stephanie Plum and I thoroughly enjoyed it; on completion I immediately turned back to page 1 to start all over again.
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Only a Stephanie Plum novel would cause some to complain because the plot had an actual mystery and intrigue in it. That shows how much we've been spoiled by Janet Evanovich's comic touch. We come to the new books in the series for the entertainment (much like people once did for Charlie Chaplin) and we're surprised when serious themes emerge.

I thought that Twelve Sharp was by far the most impressive novel in the series. The story-telling moves beyond Pink Panther comedy into dealing with the serious consequences of actions we take. At the same time, the book goes down very smoothly.

The serious side is well done. Stephanie finds herself stalked by a young woman with a gun she doesn't mind using who claims to be Ranger's wife. What's that all about? Stephanie is also at risk for being kidnapped. And then Ranger's daughter is missing. It's a nicely complicated mystery and is unraveled in fine fashion. While this part of the story is not yet up to Dame Agatha's best, it's more than satisfying.

The character development of Stephanie and Ranger through the plot is quite remarkable in this story. In the past, Ranger has been the Superman of mystery who could do no wrong. She's been in his thrall . . . but kept at a distance only by his self-restraint. So why has he been self-restrained? In this story, we learn more about Ranger and begin to sense his vulnerabilities. An unexpected pregnancy made Ranger a father at a young age. Since then, he's met his financial responsibilities and kept his distance from similar complications. But that all comes unglued when his daughter is kidnapped and Ranger is the suspect the police are looking for. As a result, Ranger has to go undercover. Ranger's only hope of solving the kidnapping is through Stephanie's efforts because the crumb also wants Stephanie. As a result, Stephanie finds herself in deeper peril than ever before. Both of the men in her life want to protect her. Oops! That's certainly one serious complication that a woman who loves two men never thought about. How do you keep them apart when there's danger?

To me, the best comedy in the series comes when Stephanie and Lula (the retired lady of the evening) team up to bring in fugitives. They are the Laurel and Hardy of bounty hunters. In this book, Stephanie's solutions turn out to work best when she follows her heart rather than trying trickery. Because Vinnie has been taking chances, there are more fugitives than usual, and several of them are pretty dangerous. With Ranger away, Stephanie and Lula will play.

The next best comedy comes when Grandma Mazur gets into the action either at the funeral home or in chasing men. This book has some of each, as Grandma decides to join the band that Sally Sweet and Lula are forming. There are new, friendlier owners (two gay men) at the funeral home, and this change opens up new comic possibilities.

A new comic dimension is added when Connie and Stephanie decide to hire some more bounty hunters. Naturally, this brings Stephanie's old nemesis, Joyce, into play for some good moments.

So, whose bed will Stephanie end up in and with whom? You'll just have to read to find out. I have to leave that important mystery untouched.
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on 1 July 2006
This is the twelvth (well actually it is the 13th novel) in the fantastic Stephanie Plum series, if you haven't already read them they are uncofusingly numbered - starting with One of the Money, and this year up to Twelve Sharp. They feature Stephanie Plum, a 30ish youngish, big-haired, Jersey girl, who, having lost her job buying lingere for a cheap chain store turns to bounty hunting for her cousin Vinnie to pay the rent. Lucikly her parents live a couple of miles down the road in the 'burg' as well so she doesn't have to stray too far for food.

In between incompetent bouts of bounty hunting with her side-kick Lula, a fuller figured black woman with delusions of becoming a singer in a band, and a tendency to wear spandex clothes a couple of sizes too small, Stephi actually does solve crimes. Trenton crimes that is. And she is torn between the two men in her life; Ranger, a tall dark silent Latino bounty hunter and every woman's wet dream; and Morelli, a tall dark silent Italian detective - and every woman's wet dream......

In this outing Stephi is the only bounty hunter working for her cousin Vinnie, so they interview for new BEA (Bond Enforcement Agents) with varying success - mostly they seem to be a variety of black lether and chap wearing, shot gun wielding pychos.

And Stephi is being stalked, it seems, by Carmen Manoso, Ranger's wife - only who knew that Ranger got married 6 months ago. When Carmen turns up dead and Rangers 10 year old daughter from a previous marriage is kidnapped, Stephi's instincts kick in and she starts investigating. Only she still has to make rent so there are a variety of dead-beats and arsonists she has to pull in for money.

Stephi's arh-enemy Joyce Barnhadt is back too. Meaner and in tighter black leather than ever.

Evanovich's novels are immensely good fun - the sexual tension in the love triangle of Steph, Morelli and Ranger is sizzling hot - but with the same immensely good nature as always. Evanovich knows how to write them light and frivolous. Well worth picking up to read!
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on 14 July 2006
Some may have found last previous books, like 10 and 11 frustrating. I know I have! Although Stephanie gets a new case and solves it with the usual hilarious high jinks (and often losing multiple cars), her personal life and that of the people around her stay still. So, when I read this, in one sitting, finishing some time around the dawn chorus I was more than happy.

Evanovich does not tie up any loose ends, so she maintains interest for the rest of the series, long may it reign! Lula, for instance, finds an additional occupation and manages to drags members of Stephanie and Rangers crews along for the ride. Therefore, developing her own stand alone character, independent of working with Stephanie.

As said in other reviews, we are introduced to some new characters. The 'love triangle' is taken up a notch. And Tank speaks more than 5 words! All of this to the backdrop to a child kidnapping close to Rangers' heart.

Any one who love the Stephanie Plum series will love this. Any one looking for suspense and more than a few laughs along the way should definitely get in these books.
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on 26 September 2006
i ordered this book with trepidation having read the mixed amazon reviews. i really enjoyed it, yes stephanie's love life is a mess and her morals leave a bit to be desired and i felt sorry for Joe, but i can see the appeal of Ranger and understand the temptation when she finds him in her bed. Ranger had more more depth revealed to his personality and his care for his daughter was apparent and she has obviously inherited his character even if she has no contact with him. Grandma Mazur in a tight leather outfit trying to sing in a band moved her on although she still tries hard to peek in a coffin. The new funeral directors will give plenty of scope in future books, as will the entertaining new office employee, Melvin Pickle and also Lula's new love interest might reveal a different side of her.

i thought the book was better than some of the last, the characters had more depth and the baddie was interesting and unpredictable, it still made me laugh out loud and was hard to put down.
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HALL OF FAMEon 5 November 2006
Don't buy this book if you're into deep literature or complicated and twisted thriller plots. This book is for those of us who like to be entertained. There's a Stephanie Plum in all of us and I had to try really hard not to finish this one in a day as it's virtually impossible to put down. Sure, the Stephanie Plum books are written to a formula, and if you didn't like it in the previous 11 offerings not much has changed. But if you still enjoy reading about Stephanie's adventures with Lula, grandma, Morretti and Ranger, then this is a great way to spend a weekend. I loved it just like I've loved the previous 11 and I can't wait for #13.
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on 8 January 2014
I love Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels. They are totally hilarious & laugh out loud funny. They can be a bit cheesy & predictable at times but they are totally worth it. My friend gave me the 1st one & now Ive got the whole collection & have even managed to get my other half hooked. There is something for everyone - adventure, action, romance, comedy & sex. Only thing I would recommend is that you start with the 1st book & work your way through the series to get the whole picture of who the different characters are although there is a brief introduction at the start. Would love to see it brought to the cinema.
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on 7 July 2006
I love these books and I have introduced them to all my friends and colleagues.After a lull in the last three or four, when they had become a bit samey,I think this is a return to form. Clearly written, very funny and sexy.

However, I think that we need to move on with Stephanie's love life. Something different needs to happen. Would your boyfriend, who has been your boyfriend for years and years, really not say anything about a sexy new man being in your life?

I just find this a bit irritating that in every book we have the same dilemma. Move forward!!! Oh and thank god her car wasn't blown up in this one cos that was really starting to bug me!! I do really love these books-honest!!! :)
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on 3 December 2014
What a great addition to the Stephanie Plum novels.  In this action packed addition to the number series Stephanie literally  puts herself on the line as bait in an attempt to entrap Edward Scrog kidnapper of Rangers daughter Julie.  Previous to the kidnapping Scrog had become besotted by Ranger following him and stealing his identity.  The  police are looking for Ranger believing that he is the kidnapper while Scrog has taken Julie, murdered his Stephanie look a like wife and is shooting Rangers men all the while trying to kidnap Stephanie.  
I loved the ingenuity Stephanie showed in her dealings with Melvin Pickle who is indeed in a pickle.  Stephanie to the rescue, she talks him out of  jumping to his death, has him he rebounded and gainfully employed as file clerk at the bail bonds office.  
 Lula is now singing with Sally Sweet and his band, the impromptu concert at the funeral home is fantastic as is the band turning up to do a dress rehersal including Grandma Mazur.  
This was a treat to read lots of action and heroics, laughs and surprises along the way.
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Only a Stephanie Plum novel would cause some to complain because the plot had an actual mystery and intrigue in it. That shows how much we've been spoiled by Janet Evanovich's comic touch. We come to the new books in the series for the entertainment (much like people once did for Charlie Chaplin) and we're surprised when serious themes emerge.

I thought that Twelve Sharp was by far the most impressive novel in the series. The story-telling moves beyond Pink Panther comedy into dealing with the serious consequences of actions we take. At the same time, the book goes down very smoothly.

The serious side is well done. Stephanie finds herself stalked by a young woman with a gun she doesn't mind using who claims to be Ranger's wife. What's that all about? Stephanie is also at risk for being kidnapped. And then Ranger's daughter is missing. It's a nicely complicated mystery and is unraveled in fine fashion. While this part of the story is not yet up to Dame Agatha's best, it's more than satisfying.

The character development of Stephanie and Ranger through the plot is quite remarkable in this story. In the past, Ranger has been the Superman of mystery who could do no wrong. She's been in his thrall . . . but kept at a distance only by his self-restraint. So why has he been self-restrained? In this story, we learn more about Ranger and begin to sense his vulnerabilities. An unexpected pregnancy made Ranger a father at a young age. Since then, he's met his financial responsibilities and kept his distance from similar complications. But that all comes unglued when his daughter is kidnapped and Ranger is the suspect the police are looking for. As a result, Ranger has to go undercover. Ranger's only hope of solving the kidnapping is through Stephanie's efforts because the crumb also wants Stephanie. As a result, Stephanie finds herself in deeper peril than ever before. Both of the men in her life want to protect her. Oops! That's certainly one serious complication that a woman who loves two men never thought about. How do you keep them apart when there's danger?

To me, the best comedy in the series comes when Stephanie and Lula (the retired lady of the evening) team up to bring in fugitives. They are the Laurel and Hardy of bounty hunters. In this book, Stephanie's solutions turn out to work best when she follows her heart rather than trying trickery. Because Vinnie has been taking chances, there are more fugitives than usual, and several of them are pretty dangerous. With Ranger away, Stephanie and Lula will play.

The next best comedy comes when Grandma Mazur gets into the action either at the funeral home or in chasing men. This book has some of each, as Grandma decides to join the band that Sally Sweet and Lula are forming. There are new, friendlier owners (two gay men) at the funeral home, and this change opens up new comic possibilities.

A new comic dimension is added when Connie and Stephanie decide to hire some more bounty hunters. Naturally, this brings Stephanie's old nemesis, Joyce, into play for some good moments.

So, whose bed will Stephanie end up in and with whom? You'll just have to read to find out. I have to leave that important mystery untouched.
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