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on 21 September 2001
That last thing the world needs is another review of "Seven Up." However, after reading a number of reviews of this book, I do feel as though I have something to add to the mix.
This series reminds me of watching your favorite TV sitcom. When you turn on the TV, you know exactly what to expect...the same central core of characters in familiar surroundings. However, you know that no matter how many times you have seen these people sitting in their living room, somehow each week something will happen or a dialogue will ensue that will have you roaring with laughter. I feel the same way whenever I pick up a Stephanie Plum book.
For years, whenever someone would suggest I read this series, I always said that I didn't like funny mysteries. Finally succumbing to the pressure, I picked up the first book in the series. After reading it, I realized that the only way you can truly enjoy these books is if you give up the notion that they are mysteries. I find that the mystery is nothing but a backdrop for the antics of Stephanie Plum and the assorted off-center characters that are recurring characters and those that wander in and out of her life.
I thought that "Seven Up" was a fine addition to this very funny series. Just sitting here thinking about Bob the Dog brings a smile to my face. I also thought the introduction of Stephanie's sister and the exploration of her sexual identity was brilliantly funny. This is a classic example of the subtle humor that Evanovich weaves into her stories. I find this to be the perfect foil to the more slapstick and far from subtle humor that I associate with Grandma Mazur. There are those who say that Grandma Mazur is getting boring and predictable. Did we say the same thing about the Estelle Getty character in the "The Golden Girls," who to me is a Grandma Mazur clone?"
In the earlier books, another example of brilliant comedic writing is the description of the Buick belching its way down the street. At one time this vintage car, the size of a small tank, was my favorite character.
I don't know about you, but whenever I think of certain scenes in this book, I still find myself chuckling.
In closing, I can only say that if you liked any of the books in this series, you will not be disappointed in "Seven Up."
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Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter working for her lecherous cousin Vinnie in Trenton, NJ. Klutzy Stephanie often mistakes her can of hair set for pepper spray, and forgets to charge her stun gun. It's a wonder she captures anybody.
HOT SIX ended with undercover vice cop Joe Morelli proposing marriage - sort of.
In SEVEN UP, Vinnie assigns Plum to seize Eddie DeChooch, who's jumped bail on a charge of cigarette smuggling. But Eddie refuses to be brought in until he finds something he's lost, and he's willing to resort to gunplay to make his point. But Stephanie hates guns - she keeps her .38 in a cookie jar. And what has DeChooch lost? All we and Stephanie know is that it has to be kept cold. In the meantime, Plum must mentally grasp Morelli's marriage proposal. They've an on-again, off-again relationship ever since Joe took her virginity on the floor behind the pastry counter of the bakery where she worked at eighteen. Mrs. Plum, whose nightmare is her daughter as an Old Maid, takes Stephanie out to try on wedding gowns when the latter, in a desperate moment at the Plum family dinner table with guest Joe, blurts out "August!". Will it happen, you think?
Now seven novels into the Stephanie Plum series, it's evident that Evanovich writes to a fairly rigid formula, at least so far: Plum gets an ostensibly easy assignment that goes terribly wrong when her quarry proves elusive and one or more bodies are discovered; Stephanie has car problems; Stephanie must temporarily put up with an eccentric roommate; Stephanie dotes on her pet hamster, Rex; Stephanie is followed by suspicious characters; Stephanie takes her Grandma Mazur to viewings at local funeral parlors; Stephanie's sidekick in dysfunctional fugitive apprehension is Lula, ex-ho and Vinnie's file clerk; Stephanie has the hots for fellow bounty hunter, the mysterious Ranger. Whatever fantastical situations and characters the author additionally creates seem to be outlandish for their own sakes rather than maturing her heroine's persona. While that's not necessarily bad, it does lend each book a strain of boring predictability. The author needs to expand Stephanie's horizons. And I'm becoming increasingly annoyed that Plum's long-suffering parents remain ciphers.
Mind you, I still enjoy Stephanie's adventures immensely. But I'm unwilling to award any more five-star ratings unless Evanovich provides something surprising or very clever.
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on 5 June 2001
Stephanie Plum is back in the game, this is the seventh book in this series and it has all the usual ingredients. Ranger,Morelli,Vinne, the Plum family, Joyce Barnhardt, Bob & Rex. When I read the first chapters I actually wondered if the same author wrote it. As I read further however it was the usual suspects. A missing Mooner, an elderly FTA who keeps outsmarting Stephanie & Lula, Grandma Mazur keeping things interesting and Ranger looking hot and saying not much. I really enjoyed this novel,Janet Evanovich manages to keep humour, romance and mystery happening at the same time. If you enjoyed High Five this is definitely for you.Stephanie is still facing a moral dilemma and in this book she seems to be closer to making some serious decisions. A definite must have for all the Stephanie Plum fans out there. These novels are in the same vein as Denis Lehane & Robert Crais novels but a lot lighter in tone and style. Buy Seven Up - You will like it !
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on 7 May 2002
First of all, I don't want to be finicky, but the gun-toting babe on the cover didn't call to mind Evanovich's feisty but incompetent heroine. More proof that you shouldn't judge a book by the cover.
There's not much wrong with the text though, even if very little happens in the first half of the book. Even when the story starts to become clear it's all incredibly daft, but the real pleasure of the Stephanie Plum books is reading about the minutiae of her crazy lifestyle and her even crazier family.
There are plenty of opportunities to laugh out loud and, once things get going, plenty of outrageous action. The mud wrestling was my favourite.
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on 4 January 2006
Others will describe the plot. This review is for quality of the plot and dialogue.
If you are new to the Evanovich Stephanie Plum series start at One for the Money and then go on to Two for the dough. Seven up is funny, but not as good as the earlier books.
There are some laugh out loud moments, but the story isn't the strongest and it does feel as if Evanovich was working to a deadline so it isn't as polished as some of her other works.
Still worth buying, I wouldn't pay for a hardback copy.
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on 22 May 2016
Witty and chaotic, I fully understand why people give this book five stars. As a Tom Sharpe fan, I feel I should be more appreciative of this a book in this genre, but for some reason it doesn't cut it for me.
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on 3 March 2002
There's a standard formula to all the Stephanie Plum novels, but Janet Evanovich manages to keep producing witty, page-turning, fun filled crime tales. Unsurprisingly, this is the seventh in the series - you could read this as a stand alone novel, but I would strongly recommend starting with 'One for the Dough' and working your way through - they are addictive!
The central characters provide endless entertainment: the unstoppable Grandma Mazur, Stephanie's dispairing mother, the larger than life Lula, the hapless Mooner and Dougie and of course the love interest - will it be Morelli or Ranger?
Its a great tale of accidental girl power - the bounty hunter who, with the help of some great (but mostly eccentric) friends and relatives and a lot of luck (aka Ranger), manages to get herself into and out of a whole lot of trouble.
Everything about these novels are surreal, and this style, along with the unique plots make Janet Evanovich novels stand out from the rest. If you liked the previous six novels - Seven Up won't let you down.
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on 7 June 2001
Getting the new Janet Evanovich book is an experience which demands peace, quiet a comfy sofa and some chocolate. I loved this book as I love all of the Stephanie Plum books. I dreamt about Joe Morelli and how lucky Steph is to have him and when times are hard, I try and think of a good Steph put-down for whoever upset me!! I really don't think that the series has gone off of the boil (as the previous reviewer said. Janet Evanovich has so many of us to please now, that some of us will be a little disappointed! There are still laughs a plenty and enough of Stephs family and the gorgeous Joe and Ranger to keep the hardened fans happy. Once I had finished this one I went straight to the bookcase and started 'One for the Money' again!! If you are thinking of buying this book, I really recommend it as a feel good book, it'll give you a bit of escapism and a few laughs and you will be bound to fall in love with all the wonderful characters. A word of advice though, please start with One for The Money - the series just isn't right unless you read it in order!! Thanks Janet for another great read - could you just make the next one a bit longer???? Another tip for all evanovich fans is to visit her fabulous website...
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on 2 September 2001
My father got me hooked on the Stephanie Plum series just a few months ago. After only 10 days I had read every book and found 7 Up to contain more twists and funny lines than in the first 6 put together. For thoes of you who don't know the series, Stephanie Plum is a Bounty Hunter who is helzter skelzter, seemingly unfit for the job, but ends up always getting the job done! If there is something in her path, Stephanie makes sure it's demolished!
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on 10 August 2014
This is first Evanovich book I have read. Couldn't get 1 thru 6 on Kindle ( shame).Whilst the central bountyhunting plot was very lame and most ridiculous, I really enjoyed this book. There are loads of wonderful characters that are beautifully observed and written. Quite joyful to read. I will definitely be getting book 8.
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