Top critical review
Some hilarious scenes can't make up for a meandering plot
on 27 November 2014
It’s several months after TWO FOR THE DOUGH. Stephanie’s been working as a bounty hunter for 5 months and prides herself on having never turned down a job. Then Vinnie asks her to bring in Moses Bedemier, better known as Uncle Mo, who’s skipped bail after being arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. Uncle Mo is an institution in Trenton – his ice cream and candy store has been open for 50 years - everyone goes there and everyone loves him. Stephanie knows that bringing him in won’t make her popular but the case will earn her $500 and she’s desperate to get rid of the old Buick and buy a new car. But bringing him in isn’t going to be easy and as Stephanie tries to find out where he’s hiding, the body count begins to rise …
The third in Janet Evanovich’s STEPHANIE PLUM SERIES has some great humorous scenes in it but the plot meanders and Stephanie is slow to make obvious connections while the Plum/Morelli romance leaves me cold. This is a shame because the characters are great, particularly Lula who wants to discover more about Ranger and has an idea that she might join Stephanie in the bounty hunter game – a scene involving Lula, a car chase and a dead body literally had me in stitches. I also love Grandma Mazur, the Plum family dinners remain a gem of observation and it was good to see more of Ranger in the book and get a glimpse of Stephanie’s ex-husband. However Morelli’s alpha male antics leave me stone cold and although I’m supposed to root for him and Stephanie, I really don’t. Ultimately, this was an okay read and there’s still enough here for me to continue reading the series.
Lula gets a lot more page time in this book, which I enjoyed although it did seem to come at the expense of Grandma Mazur, who nonetheless gets all the best lines. There are a number of scenes with Lula that had me laughing out loud and I liked the way she’s so intrigued by Ranger’s background (and equally good is the further information we get on him). Trenton as a town gets more development as well with Evanovich doing a great job of sketching out the people and areas within it and the sense of community that exists there.