This is actually only the second Stephanie Plum novel I’ve read. My husband has read the whole series but I always end up finding something else to read before I get to them. I don’t know why I always leave them behind because they are really funny.
This story focuses on the apprehension of Maxine, who failed to show for a court appearance for stealing her boyfriend’s car. As Stephanie begins her investigation, the people she starts talking to end up with fingers missing…or worse. Maxine decides she wants to lead her ex-boyfriend on a wild goose chase to collect some ‘love letters’. Trying to break the codes in Maxine’s clue letters to her ex-boyfriend, Stephanie meets Sally Sweet, the nephew of one of the elderly ladies in Stephanie’s apartment building. Sally is transvestite singer who has some local popularity and is hilarious to read about in the book. Coupled with Lula, the retired prostitute turned bounty-hunter helper and file clerk, Ranger, Joe Morelli, and Grandma Mazur, the book is one hilarious calamity after the other. Blown up cars, fire bombs, dead old ladies who aren’t really dead, and bodies in the cellar are a few of the funny situations Stephanie gets herself into in this book.
The characters are well developed throughout the entire series. Most of the characters you know from previous books, but the author does a good job of giving/refreshing some background on each character you run into. The new characters like Sally, Maxine, and Eddie (Maxine’s ex-boyfriend) feel like full fledged characters you’ve known for a while and are easy to think of someone they relate to. The story line moves quickly, there is very little drag, and comedy is around every turn, even the sad turns.
If you’re looking for a good laugh, I’d recommend the book. It’s light-hearted and entertaining, most of the books in this series are. This is one is pretty much about a jealous lover and a crazy ex-girlfriend with crime thrown in. There are others that focus on different comedic topics, but that is the focus of this particular book. I gave it a three because it was mostly just for laughs. The story is thought out and well-developed but I can’t say it’s something I’ll pick up again.