To the Nines by Janet Evanovich

To the Nines by Janet Evanovich

Reviewed by L.D.Y.

Hardcover (available in mass market), 312 pages, 2003

Rating: 9/10

Reason for Reading: Latest in the Plum series.

Synopsis: Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is back with her partner, the ex-hooker Lula, as well as the mysterious Ranger, and the handsome cop Joe Morelli, who seems to be, more or less, her boyfriend. Stephanie is sent to find Samuel Singh, who has vanished a week before his work visa expires. She tries to track him down in her usual haphazard, disastrous-but-lucky manner.

Why you should read this book: The usual fast-paced hilarity marks most of the book, but Evanovich is finally letting the characters make some more permanent decisions, rather than just having Stephanie and the others floating back and forth all the time. Stephanie and her crew’s trip to Las Vegas gets full marks for the laugh factor, as do all of Lula’s crazed dieting schemes.

Why you should avoid this book: The series is pretty much in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mode. Stephanie will spend 90% of the novel being funny before she buckles down and allows a few moments of suspense before fulfilling her bounty hunting duties, but the crazy characters generally keep it from feeling completely stale at this point.

Opening paragraph:

My name is Stephanie Plum and I was born and raised in the Chambersburg section of Trenton, where the top male activities are scarfing pastries and pork rinds and growing love handles. The pastry and pork rind scarfing I’ve seen firsthand. The love handle growing happens over time. Thank God for small favors.

Fabulous quotes:

Morelli stood hands on hips, starring at the flowers on the table and the photos still spread out on the floor. ‘It’s like you have a sign on your door welcoming nuts and stalkers to walk in. Everyone breaks into your apartment. I’ve never seen anything like it. You have three top-of-the-line locks on your door and it doesn’t deter anyone.’ He glanced over at me. ‘Your door was locked, right?’

‘Yes. It was locked.’ Yeesh. ‘Do you think this is serious?’

Morelli looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. ‘Someone broke into your apartment and left you gunshot pictures. Don’t you think it’s serious?’

‘It’s a wig,’ Grandma said. ‘I got it at the mall.’

‘Maybe that’s what I should get,’ Kloughn said. ‘Maybe I’d get more cases if I had more hair. A lot of people don’t like bald men. Not that I’m bald, but it’s starting to get thin.’ He smoothed his hand over his few remaining strands of hair. ‘You probably didn’t notice it was thin, but I can tell when the light hits it just right.’

‘You should try that chemical stuff you pour on your head,’ Grandma said. ‘My friend Lois Grizen uses it and she grew some hair. Only problem is she used it at night and it rubbed off on her pillow and got on her face and now she has to shave twice a day.’

Also recommended: Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson; Lost in a Good Book by Jaspar Fforde; High Fidelity by Nick Hornby; Shopaholic Ties The Knot by Sophie Kinsella.

Also by this author: Motor Mouth; Metro Girl; Hot Stuff; Plum Lovin’; Lean Mean Thirteen; Twelve Sharp; Eleven on Top; Ten Big Ones; Visions of Sugar Plums; Hard Eight; Seven Up; Hot Six; High Five; Four to Score; Three to Get Deadly; Two for the Dough; One for the Money; Full Scoop; Full House; Full Tilt; Full Blast; Full Speed; Full Bloom; How I Write; Back to the Bedroom; The Rocky Road to Romance; Love Overboard.

Author’s website:

© Lisa Yanaky 2003-2007

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