Jan Evanovich: Turbo Twenty-Three

Twenty third in the series featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, the entire cast we know and love is assembled once again for a romp around Trenton, NJ. Stephanie, who knows for sure there aren’t regular jobs she would care for, works for Vinnie, who posts bail bonds for the local criminal element. She works with Lula, whose most recent job description was ‘ho. Together they run down bail jumpers for Vinnie and collect a piece of the bond.

In this book, Stephanie is self described as looking like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. She has two ultra masculine boyfriends. Ranger, who was a Ranger and now owns and operates Rangerman Security, and Joe Morelli, a Trenton cop whose mom makes better-than-sex lasagna. Stephanie feels more domestic around Morelli, and more dangerous around Ranger. Both are generally available to jump in to rescue Ms. Plum should she and Lula get in over their heads as they apprehend criminals.  Most of Stephanie’s income goes to purchasing used cars since she wrecks at least one in every book.

This particular adventure unfolds when a delivery of ice cream from Bogart’s yields the frozen body of the Bogart’s human resources manager dipped in chocolate and covered with nuts – just like a Bogart Bar. Ranger has a deal with Bogart’s to fix up security at the plant, and Stephanie takes an assignment to go into the Bogart Ice cream factory undercover and see what she can learn. What she learns is further validation of her antipathy towards assembly line work. Along with her undercover efforts, she and Lula continue to apprehend a variety bizarre lowlifes, so there is never a lull in the action.

Grandma Mazur, Stephanie’s maternal grandmother dyes her hair red and takes up with a biker. Stephanie’s mom continues to toss back whisky shots and her dad continues to bark single word orders like Gravy! or Potatoes! at the dining room table. Stephanie continues to mooch pot roast and meatloaf dinners at Mom’s house in the Burg, her own larder being stocked only with peanut butter, hotdogs and hamster food.

Turbo Twenty-Three is classic Stephanie Plum. Jan Evanovich is irreverent, funny and comfortably predictable in this series. Her cast of characters are well known to her readers and we revel in their antics. No need for a dictionary here, this is a fast fun read and perfect for the plane. Did I want to keep on reading? I’ve read ’em all and look forward to the next.

– Dave

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