on 8 August 2010
I'm very late to the Stephanie Plum party having only found the series about two months ago. Since then I've read all the books in the series. I'm giving this book a three star review but I think that if I'd been reading the books over the years like most other fans then I'd be giving it a one star. If I'd had to wait a year to read sixteen I would have been so annoyed with it. The whole thing is a disappointment, especially when contrasted with the delights of the first books in the series. Nothing happens, it's not nearly as funny or gripping as it could have been. It's all filler and there's nothing of substance. It feels like an exercise in treading water.
The series started out so wonderfully - fresh, funny and original. While there are (fleeting) moments of funny in Sixteen, there's nothing that's either fresh or original. In fact it's all very tired and as samey as the eight before it. It's also lost the grit and sexiness of the earlier books and feels much shorter too.
I don't want, nor expect to see Stephanie become super bounty hunter but I would expect that after all this time she'd have learned something. I feel that Janet Evanovich is doing a disservice to her characters by not allowing Stephanie to progress or grow as a person or a professional. Lulu has become an annoying, ridiculous caricature, Ranger is creepy and God knows why Morelli puts up with Stephanie. It's sad to see the creator of these wonderful characters now letting them down so badly.
Janet Evanovich is a talented and wonderful writer and it's well within her capabilities to re-invigorate the series and restore it to it's earlier glory. I'll wait in hope for Seventeen.
It seems as if this book was written by Evanovich in her sleep. There is very little to say here if you have read the previous fifteen instalments of the Plum saga. What started off as fresh, funny and innovative in the first few books has now become a dull, repetitive grind of sameness.
What irks me most about this series is that nothing ever gets resolved. Stephanie never moves on, never makes any decisions or does anything much of anything any more. At least in the earlier books there were some surprises, some hooks that would keep you guessing until the next book came out, but now all the plot lines and characters are neatly finished and parcelled up with everyone back in the same position they were in at the start of the novel, waiting to do it all over again the next time.
Sometimes the writing is still quite sharp, sometimes the episodes are amusing, but the repetition grinds down even those elements until it all becomes so wearily predictable.
In this book Vinnie, Stephanies boss and cousin, is kidnapped by mobsters when he cannot pay off his gambling debts. With the bail bonds office under threat of bankruptcy, Lula, Connie and Stephanie step up to the plate to rescue Vinnie.
If this is your first experience of Evanovich, you may well enjoy it, but if you are a faithful follower you will be disappointed.
If you want to see Evanovich at her best read the first four books in this series. You won't regret it.
on 3 August 2010
I like the Plum novels, but Sephanie needs to move on. I want more emotional dilemma between Joe and Ranger. Joe is becoming one-dimensional, the old reliable. Even Ranger has lost his dangerous feel. We need something unexpected on the love front Ms Evanovich (should you read this!)
I love the Stephanie Plum books and this one is as good as all the others. I laughed from start to finish. Yes, I agree with the other reviewers that at times it seems a little repetative, but this is what I want and expect from Stephanie Plum. As always Stephanie finds herself in bucketloads of trouble, with Ranger and Morelli always appearing to get her out from this. Lula, eats as many donuts as always, but I liked the way Connie played a bigger part in this book. The scene with the hobbits was the funniest I have ever read and I would advise reading the book just for this if nothing else. I am really looking forward to number 17, may it arrive soon.
Sizzling Sixteen is the sixteenth full length novel in the Stephanie Plum series by popular American author, Janet Evanovich. In this instalment, Vinnie Plum is kidnapped by a local thug and held for ransom for his $786,000 gambling debt. Vinnie's sexual exploits have not endeared him to his wife and rich father-in-law, so Stephanie, Lula and office manager Connie Rosolli need to find him and raise the ransom, or they will be out of a job. In between tracking down Vinnie, Stephanie tries to raise cash by going after skips: a geriatric, shoplifting bigamist with 5 wives, a drug dealer with a pet alligator and a toilet paper thief. Ranger loans her a Jeep, which, of course, gets totalled. This time, explosives, bombs, fire, pepper spray, a stun gun, a Maglite, a rusty fire escape, a cellarful of rats, stink bombs, donuts and extra-crispy chicken are all part of the action. Someone breaks their foot, Lula goes on a hilarious "one of anything" diet, someone is shot in the knee, Lula engineers a cow stampede in the streets of Trenton, an alligator escapes, Stephanie is kidnapped by a Bulgarian mobster and, as always, funeral parlours play an important part in events. Readers never go to Stephanie Plum for depth: the deepest she goes is a bit of Catholic guilt about her attraction to two gorgeous men; these books are pure fun. Evanovich could fill a book with Lula's entertaining maxims. Plenty of laughs.
on 20 June 2011
I think this series of novels should be brought to a conclusion. The first 8, even 10, were incredibly funny; Grandma Mazur was a hoot, and Stephanie's misfortune with vehicles was hilarious. Funny enough that I was brought to tears of laughter. Living in the US for many years, and on the East Coast, I could easily picture, and hear in my mind's eye, the Jersey characters, very accurate.
The last few novels are the same old stuff, in effect a re-hash. Ms Evanovich could have written them from past manuscripts with minor changes. The only reason 'fans' are still buying this series is to find out who Stephanie chooses - Ranger or Morelli. Ms Evanovich is taking advantage of her devotees by stringing out the final resolution.
The novels are shorter in length, and if anything the continuing characters have less involvement. There is no evolvement of the regular cast, they are all, without exception, just like Rex - treading the wheel going nowhere.
If I hear again about Lula's diets, too tight spandex tops and skirts, Cluck-in-a-Bucket fried chicken and doughnuts it will be too soon!
Enough already Ms Evanovich, write one last Stephanie Plum novel tying up all loose ends, and move on to a new series.
Your talents could be put to better use.
on 9 August 2010
I have read all the "numbers" novels - they are laugh out loud funny and this one is no different, it does what it says on the tin and surely that is why fans keeping reading this series? If you want to find fault, it's easy to do - Plum never changes, she is still dithering between the same two men, the scrapes she gets into are always resolved by both men, and the hamster lives forever, but hey, I choose to read them and I have never felt let down (the other books that Evanovich writes are a TOTALLY different story...).
One thing does bother me though, are there two versions of this book going around? I ask because I read a review that mentioned Plum working on an assignment for Ranger and Lulu entering a BBQ contest - those events do not happen in THIS book. In addition, the dust jacket states that Vinnie runs up charges for pay-per-view channels in Ranger's apartment, again, that is not mentioned in the book and I'd like to know where the info came from.
on 20 March 2011
Found the first few Stephanie Plum novels hilarious - laugh out loud funny - but the series has just gone on too long, in my opinion. I asked Janet Evanovich, at a book reading, how long she would keep writing about Stephanie and she replied "As long as they are paying me to" - so it could be a while. Will probably buy the next one, nevertheless - but won't be anticipating it with as much as excitement as I used to.
on 24 February 2013
I have read all the books up to this one over the years and in the beginning I adored them. I liked the tension of will she won't she Morelli or Ranger? Some books I wanted her to go with Ranger, most I wanted her to stop bickering with Morelli.
I love the hamster Rex and by now, he is the most interesting character.
This is yet another plot by numbers story. In fact when I started reading this, I couldn't remember if I'd read it before - it seemed all too familiar.
Perhaps Stephanie Plum should be dropped and Grandma Mazur gets her own books. She's still a bit interesting
on 24 November 2010
Enjoyable, a quick read, but I feel Miss Evanovich is running out of steam with her characters. It is all a bit samey. I think after reading books by Stieg Larsson and CJ Sansom with wonderful writing, Miss E compares badly. I think I am just fed up with the formula. Miss E should get Stephanie to ditch the boring cop (all those doughnuts), marry Ranger, and move to Miami where they can have fun scuba diving and shell gathering. The End.