Saturday, April 15, 2017

REVIEW: Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich

Title: Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21)
Author: Janet Evanovich
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: June, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy the Book: Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble

Description: Catch a professional assassin: top priority. Find a failure-to-appear and collect big bucks: top score. How she’ll pull it all off: top secret.

Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures. So Stephanie is going to have to do something she really doesn’t want to do: protect former hospital security guard and general pain in her behind Randy Briggs. Briggs was picking up quick cash as Poletti’s bookkeeper and knows all his boss’s dirty secrets. Now Briggs is next on Poletti’s list of people to put six feet under.

To top things off, Ranger—resident security expert and Stephanie’s greatest temptation—has been the target of an assassination plot. He’s dodged the bullet this time, but if Ranger wants to survive the next attempt on his life, he’ll have to enlist Stephanie’s help and reveal a bit more of his mysterious past.

Death threats, highly trained assassins, highly untrained assassins, and Stark Street being overrun by a pack of feral Chihuahuas are all in a day’s work for Stephanie Plum. The real challenge is dealing with her Grandma Mazur’s wild bucket list. A boob job and getting revenge on Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella can barely hold a candle to what’s number one on the list—but that’s top secret.

My Thoughts: Stephanie Plum is back and shenanigans are running high when she has to track down Jimmy Poletti and protect Randy Briggs, a 3 foot tall thorn in her side and pain in her ass. If that isn’t enough to keep a girl awake at night, Stephanie also is working with Ranger who is trying to bring down a professional assassin who has Ranger in his cross-hairs. Then there’s Grandma Mazur, who is out to get Joe’s Grandma Bella, evil eye curses be damned. Frankly, I’m surprised that Stephanie hasn’t packed it all in and high-tailed it out of Trenton long before now. How many times can someone endure having her apartment and vehicles blown up? Trouble seems to find Stephanie no matter what she does, but what I love about this character is that she continues to get on with her day in spite of the bad luck that seems to follow her. Of course, having two hot dudes like Ranger and Morelli at her beck and call (most of the time) is definitely a check-mark in the “pro” column of the “why I should stay in Trenton” list. I would probably put up with ex-hookers and grandmothers packing heat too if I had a Ranger on my speed dial. Just sayin’…

This series is a lot of fun. The characters are so realistic in their chaos and dysfunction, that I am pretty sure I know them in person. Stephanie has a big heart that often gets her in trouble and she is willing to go out of her way to help someone in need, even if that someone is Randy Briggs. Grandma Mazur is in top form, providing plenty of hilarity when she discloses items that are on her bucket list. When she and Lula are in the same room, I know it will be an interesting, if not hilarious, moment.

My Final Verdict: A really good installment in the Stephanie Plum series, I recommend reading the whole series for hours of side-splitting pee your pants laughter, action, adventure, eye-candy with a Cuban accent and characters that stay with you long after the story is over.

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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)