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on 3 February 2004
I am a massive fan of the Stephanie Plum series of books, and I really looked forward to this one; I saved it for 4 weeks to take on holiday with me. First of all it was short compared to the usual books and it just was not as laugh-out-loud funny as the usual books. Lastly, the whole story seemed a bit pointless - I got the impression that this book had just been written for the sales. I've read To The Nines since, which was superb, so am guessing that this is just a one-off. I really wouldn't waste your money on this one - if it's one special offer, great; if not, just do not bother.
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on 25 March 2003
I'm sorry, but anyone who gave this book a bad rating just didn't get it!!!
Please bear in mind that American are very big on holidays, this is why every year the "Simpsons" will have a thank giving /christmas special on Fox...
As an American ( from New Jersey no less) Evanovich follow on that trend and wrote a good Chistmas tale which is both amuzing and modern.
But make no mistake, it is what it is: A chrismas special, and as such, it didn't deserved the poor rating it has received by some of the readers.
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on 6 December 2002
Ok, so we all know Stephanie Plum is the bounty hunter from hell and more often than not has bad luck...who else could have to try and slap cuffs on Sandy Claws for being FTA 5 days for Christmas? Christmas is coming fast and Steph is as unorganized as ever- only this time her life is even more complicated by the arrival of the mysterious Diesel. The part with the elves made me laugh right out loud on the bus- another brilliant read from Janet Evanonvich.
My only minor disappointments were that it was shorter than I would have liked- but thats true of all her novels, (you end up turning the pages faster at first as it is so good, and then slower as you try to make it last!) and there was not as much Joe or Lula as I would have liked...which is why I gave it four stars instead of 5.
So kick back, grab your donught and coffee and prepare for a Christmas story that will really make you glad you bought the book...and watch out for the Christmas shopping tips from Lula...
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on 10 May 2004
Stephanie Plum already has two gorgeous men in her life, Morelli and Ranger, so when a third stunning male suddenly appears in her flat one day, you can't help feeling it's a little unfair. The sexy newcomer is Diesel, who has mysterious powers. He is, apparently, there to help Stephanie find her latest FTA, toymaker Sandy Claws, and to help her enjoy Chrimstas too. Not surprisingly, he creates quite a stir in the Plum household. Almost all the regualr characters are in this story, only Ranger is absent, and there is a welcome reappearance of the irascible dwarf Randy Briggs. The scene in the toy factory, where Stephanie is attacked by a horde of enraged elves,is particularly hilarious. Lula's novel method of parking at the shopping mall should win the admiration of any motorist. This delightful book is beautifuly read by Lorelei King, who is marvellous at doing all the voices (her Randy Briggs is particularly good). There are more laughs and thrills in this slender story than there are in many books ten times the length.
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on 17 June 2003
An hilarious Stephanie Plum story for Christmas, involving elves,
Santa Claus, and (of course) a drop-dead gorgeous man( angel ?)
called Diesel. Unputdownable, I read it three times over Christmas. The Stephanie Plum books just get funnier and funnier
with each new one, this one is sublime. I nearly did myself an injury laughing at the part where she gets attacked by crazy elves. Does Stephanie really need anotheer gorgeous man in her
life though? Oh well, why not, it's Christmas after all.
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on 12 February 2003
Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum is back and just as funny as ever. This holiday novel is a step off the beaten path from the usual Plums though. A little bit of fantasy is thrown in, just for good measure I guess. Add some "little people" donning fake pointy ears to resemble elves, an FTA who bears a strange resemblance to Santa Claus and a guy named Diesel who just "appears" in Stephanie's kitchen one morning and you have a definite recipe for hilarity. Some die-hard Plum fans may find this novel hard to swallow, but remember, it's fiction!
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on 17 December 2002
In this novel, Stephanie Plum is looking for a fugitive named Sandy Claws ...geddit? This latest book in the Stephanie Plum series is more of a "holiday interlude" than the previous eight books, but is entertaining nonetheless. All the usual suspects make an appearance: Lula, Grandma Mazur, Morelli, Stephanie's family, and there is a new studmuffin, both for Grandma Mazur and Stephanie.
The plot is a bit thin and the characters are a bit under-developed, hence the three stars, but the book is very entertaining and should instil readers with some holiday spirit.
If you haven't read any of the Stephanie Plum books, this might not be a good place to start as the other books are funnier and more complex, but real fans won't be disappointed.
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on 20 September 2003
I am an avid reader of Stephanie Plum's adventures and looked forward to reading this "special". However, it was really disappointing and not up to the usual standard of "laugh out loud" humour I've come to expect. Let's hope this is only a blip in what is otherwise an excellent series.
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Firstly, these are not really novels. They are novellas. This means that if you're a devoted Plum fan expecting your normal read, you're already going to be disappointed. There is a couple of hours of reading material here at best.

Having said that, these are interesting, and in my opinion worth reading. This is the first of Evanovich's 'Between the Numbers' books. This one based around Christmas time, the one following involving Valentines day. Stephanie takes a small time out from her regular bounty hunting activities to hook up with a new partner, Diesel. Diesel is a hunter with a difference. He hunts people who may be said to have supernatural powers.

If you can suspend your disbelief, much as Stephanie is forced to do, as no coherent explanation for this sudden burst of supernatural activity is given, these are fairly entertaining. The usual cast of characters appear including Rex, the longest living hamster in the history of the world, and Evanovich's sense of humour gets let out to play once more.

In my opinion if you buy the hard back versions you're going to feel a bit burned in terms of pages per coinage spent. If you waited for the paperback version you should be happy with a bit more plum in your pudding until the real thing comes along.
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on 11 March 2003
An incredibly sexy man has simply materialized in Stephanie Plum's kitchen. Plum, you must understand, is an inept New Jersey bounty hunter quite used to having people appear uninvited in her kitchen, but never before has one simply materialized. But in good Plum fashion she doesn't see fit to call the cops, even though her boyfriend is one, and the mysterious man identifies himself as Diesel and insists on helping her snag her latest bail jumper, a toy maker named Sandy Claws. Well, snagging Sandy just ain't that easy, not when he's got an assaultive bunch of little people calling themselves elves working for him, and not when Mr. Claws himself is really Somebody Special just like Diesel -- who, it turns out, has a special assignment here in Jersey, tracking down yet another Special person. Throw into this mix the obligatory car bombing, some Christmas trees that don't make it home, a wild shopping trip, a lot of cookie making and throwing, a good old fashioned pregnancy panic, and some of Grandma Mazur's famous conversation -- this time concerning a studmuffin she's just gotta bring home for Christmas -- and you have Janet Evanovich's latest gift to fans of the Plum world.
Seldom does a book cry out to me for only one star, but VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS was in full voice. I cannot imagine what Evanovich was thinking about when she created this horrific little 149 page Christmas rip-off. Money? Her face in bookstores? She certainly wasn't thinking about plot, characters, or dialogue, although her setting came out reasonably all right. Maybe her computer failed halfway through and she was forced to make do with her first draft. Whatever the reason, this pint sized joke starts out improbable (men materializing in her kitchen??) and ends up impossible (people with supernatural powers??) I read it in an hour and a half, dropped it much the same way you drop the dead mouse your cat has brought home to you, and got on with my life.
If you simply must read every new installment about Stephanie Plum, don't let let me scare you away from VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS -- unless you also like to read about Joe and Ranger. Because in the middle of all this mysterious mayhem Joe makes only a couple obligatory appearances and Ranger doesn't appear at all. And without them ... sugar plums are only dreams, not visions.
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