FINGER LICKIN’ FIFTEEN is pure Janet Evanovich. And who
would have it otherwise?
Trenton bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is off men. TOTALLY. She
and on-again, off-again Joe Morelli, her hottie cop boyfriend, are
so over. Equally hot Ranger is also off her list, but when she
finds herself side by side, and more, with both former romantic
interests, she has to remind herself several times a day just why
she’s on a man-free diet.
Stephanie is plugging away at her usual list of bail jumpers
when Ranger offers her an opportunity to go undercover for his
high-tech Rangeman Surveillance company. A series of break-ins at
the homes of some of his most valued customers leads him to suspect
that a major security leak is an inside job. He enlists
Stephanie’s help to uncover the hacker.
Meanwhile, Stephanie’s bounty hunting sidekick Lula is
front and center as only she can be in luminous spandex and
platform ’ho shoes when she’s an eyewitness to a
decapitation in broad daylight. A popular Trenton TV personality,
the Chipotle Chef, loses his head and his leading position in a
local barbeque sauce cook-off with a $1 million prize. A rival chef
may be a suspect. Lula tries to figure out a way to spy on the
contestants, and snooping around the grounds seems her best bet to
track down the killers. Solving the murder will up her status in
the fugitive apprehension business. With the prize money in the
sauce cook-off, plus the reward from the Chipotle BBQ Sauce company
to find the killers as incentive, she decides to enter as a
Lula’s concept of home cooking is microwaved leftovers
from Cluck-In-A-Bucket, and her acquaintance with barbeque sauces
comes out of a squeeze bottle at a local rib shack. No obstacle is
too great for Lula, so even when she realizes that her kitchen is
equipped with only a hot plate and a microwave oven, she dangles
the prize money in front of Connie, the office manager at the
bonding agency. When Connie won’t let her within a mile of
her kitchen, she moves the operation into Stephanie’s mom and
dad’s house. Grandma Mazur jumps at the chance to split the
prize money, and the Flamin’ A** BBQ lab is open. When Lula
recognizes the giggling maniac with a meat cleaver who starts
stalking her as one of the killers, she moves the whole operation
to Stephanie’s apartment in the wee hours of the morning
while Stephanie is on an overnight stakeout for Ranger.
When the killers track her down at Stephanie’s and
firebombs the apartment, Stephanie is left homeless. Now would be a
good time to patch it up with Morelli, even if temporarily.
Morelli, who wants her back and doesn’t have a clue where it
all went wrong, has a houseful of relatives.
Where to go? With Ranger working around the clock, he offers
Stephanie his apartment while she does her undercover snooping of
his employees. What could be simpler than to move in to his
sumptuous living quarters?
Nothing is simple in Stephanie’s life.
FINGER LICKIN’ FIFTEEN is not named for the number of cars
destroyed in this edition of the hit bestseller. You can count on
at least one spectacular demolition, but it’s close.
Stephanie has her own incentive plan to keep Trenton car dealers in
Without a scorecard I can’t report how many autos explode,
burst into flames or roll, but at one point Ranger moans,
“Babe --- I only had that one for 12 hours!”
“That” being the brand new, jet black Porsche Cayenne
that was stolen under Stephanie’s nose after its twin was
blown up the preceding day.
Our Wonder Woman bounty hunter juggles two jobs and two of the
hottest law enforcement agents on the Eastern Seaboard at arms
length, wraps up the mysterious computer hacking incident, and with
Ranger’s help nabs her bail jumpers just in time for the end
of the book. The mystery of her sex life we’ll leave for you
to discover, but remember, Stephanie never had any intentions of
becoming a nun, even if her mother occasionally wishes
Reviewed by Roz Shea on January 21, 2011