I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Look Alive Twenty-five by Janet Evanovich
Genres: Humorous, Romantic Suspense
on November 13, 2018
Source: the library
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Also by this author: Takedown Twenty, The Chase, Top Secret Twenty-One, The Job, Stephanie Plum #3 – #7, Wicked Charms, Love Overboard, Stephanie Plums, Plum Spooky, , Tricky Twenty-Two, The Pursuit, The Scam, Curious Minds, Turbo Twenty-Three, Dangerous Minds, Hardcore Twenty-Four, "The Shell Game", The Big Kahuna, Fortune and Glory, The Bounty, Full House, The Recovery Agent
Twenty-fifth in the Stephanie Plum humorous romantic suspense series and revolving around a bumbling and cute bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey.
Blah-de-blah… No great highs or lows. Sure, it’s funny. It’s Stephanie, of course there are going to be funny bits. But it’s all at one level. The “heat” between Joe and Stephanie and Ranger and Stephanie is not there. Yep, it’s one basic level on all counts.
What is there is the humor, specifically the freak show the deli turns into. What can you expect when you’ve got Lula making sandwiches and those, ahem, “costumes” of hers, lol. On the negative side, Evanovich tells us of all the Rangeman employees who help out the deli, including Ranger and Ella, but she doesn’t really go anywhere with this. Well, other than the one comment that Ranger doesn’t allow sweets at headquarters. Nor is there any immediate feedback on sandwich making. I’d be thinking some customers would be objecting. Then and there.
Ya gotta love Lula, though…
“‘I’m not fat,’ Lula said, ‘I’m excessively proportioned. It goes with my extra-large personality.'”
There are plenty of loser characters…some are so far below the bar…it’s scary.
One repeating theme throughout is how lucky the men think Stephanie is, which we get from first person protagonist point-of-view from Stephanie’s perspective. She may be a klutz but she does stumble over everything eventually.
Harry the Hammer is branching out. He’s decided to keep a restaurant-style deli that a bond put up as collateral…and Vinnie sends Stephanie and Lula to run it as manager and assistant manager.
The big problem? Three managers have already disappeared from the deli.
Stephanie Plum is a commitment-phobic bounty hunter who somehow gets her man, er, men. Rex is her hamster. A neighbor, Mrs Delgado, keeps an eye on Rex. Valerie, Stephanie’s sister, appears very briefly along with her husband, Albert Kloughn, a lawyer. Val and Albert have two kids of their own, two-year-old Lisa and Baby Bert. Angie is Val’s oldest and still the goody-two-shoes. Mary Alice still thinks she’s a horse. Grandma Mazur lives with her daughter and her husband, Stephanie’s parents. There is an interesting tidbit about Grandma’s parents, desertion, and coercion.
Detective Joe Morelli works in plainclothes in crimes against persons. He’s known Stephanie since they were kids, and they’re involved in an on-again, off-again romance. He and Bob, his orange eats-everything dog, live in the house he inherited from his aunt Rose. Grandma Bella is his crazy grandmother. Anthony is Joe’s jerk of a brother. Big Wanger and Mooch are friends. Richie Schmidt is married to Doris, Morelli’s cousin, and is part of the poker night crowd.
Jimmy Krut was the detective who has been investigating the missing managers.
…Ranger’s (Ricardo Carlos Manoso) security company and is all things super hero. His men who help keep an eye on Stephanie include Hal (who faints at the sight of blood), Randy does tech (and so much more), Ella is Ranger’s housekeeper, Tank is Ranger’s second-in-command, Carl, Eugene, Jamil is a city boy, and Luis is new. Slick is an independent contractor and excellent with safes.
Vincent Plum Bail Bonds is…
…owned by Vinnie’s father-in-law, Harry the Hammer, a.k.a., Harry Hammerstein, the long-suffering Lucille’s father. Connie Rosolli is the office manager. Stephanie suspects Connie’s uncle Jimmy of helping out; he works with Billy Raguzzi, a.k.a., Billy Coldcok and Billy the Eye Gouger, a former classmate of Stephanie’s. The plus-sized Lula who fits herself into two-sizes-smaller ho clothing is supposed to be filing but is actually Stephanie’s sidekick.
Madame Zaretsky is Vinnie’s dominatrix; Little Sally is his happy endings masseuse; and, there’s the transsexual bookie.
Outstanding bonds include Victor Waggle, who sleeps around and is the lead singer in the Rockin’ Armpits; Annie Gurky wants her Miss Muffy back (Dolly is her cookie-baking friend); Wayne Kulicki used to be a trust officer who’ll become manager; Ernie Sitz once sold his little sister to a classmate (his Aunt Sissy drove off a bridge one day); Darren Boot is a repeater with a taco truck (Darlene is his Disneyesque mother while Bobby Sunflower is a cuddly chicken); and, Walter Jesus Santiago is a drug dealer with gang ties.
Leonard Skoogie is an entertainment agent for Rockin’ Armpits; Miriam is Skoogie’s assistant. The rest of the Rockin’ Armpits includes Jaimie Rolls, a pizza delivery specialist; Zigmund Klug; Russel Frick is the drummer who’s retired from his job as an accountant and now works as a bagger at Food Stuff; and, Martin Kammel who works as a barista.
Red River Deli had been…
…put up as collateral for a bond. Raymond (who has his green card, yeah, right) and Stretch are the line cooks. Dalia Koharchek is the waitress. Frank Russel “Frankie” Lugano drives the Central GP truck for his uncle Constantine, delivering most of their basic supplies. Mike is one of their regulars. Bucky is Stretch’s roommate.
Elroy Ruiz was the first. Kenny Brown was the second. Ryan Meir was the third.
Gerwulf Grimoire, a.k.a., Wulf, (Lizzy & Diesel series) is a Swiss-born magician with scary powers and Diesel’s cousin. Lateesha now runs a beauty salon. Robert Smith rented an apartment. Jillian is a Rockin’ Armpits groupie. Ernest Jingle is missing his passport.
The Cover and Title
The cover is futuristic with its hologrammatic rows of silver alternating with iridescent ones. All the text is embossed to one level or another with the info blurb (at the top), the author’s name, and the series information in black while the title (at the bottom) is in purple.
The title is a reference to this story’s place in the chronology, Look Alive Twenty-five.