If you're like me, you approach the latest books by your favorite authors with mixed emotions. Excitement, joy and anticipation are often dampened by the knowledge that, when you finish, it will be all over for another year at least. And don't the good ones read too darn fast?
Somehow I need to learn to savor, but once I get started I just keep soaring through to the end.
TO THE NINES by Janet Evanovich takes the reader on another zany adventure with Stephanie Plum, queen of the bounty hunters, and her wacky entourage of weirdos…that is, they are weirdoes to anyone who does not live in Trenton, New Jersey. In Trenton it is perfectly normal to see a bail jumper like Punky Balog mooning the entire block from his second story window --- that being his most effective way of expressing how he feels about Stephanie trying to apprehend him. And in Trenton, no one gives a second look at a large, black woman with a purse full of freshly fried pork chops. After all, Lula is just trying to become a supermodel by losing weight on "this great new diet where you eat meat all day long." Thus begins the ninth book in the Stephanie Plum series, and Evanovich keeps up the pace all the way through.
This time out, Stephanie has gained some stature in the bounty hunting business and doesn't mess up her captures nearly as much as she used to. Growth, I like that. However, the laughs keep coming and a smile just seems to stay on your face as you read the book. I like that too. Reading this series is like going to a dysfunctional family reunion, as we get to spend plenty of time with Morelli, Ranger, Grandma Mazur and the other wacky players we've come to know and love. I especially like that.
It's easy to get so caught up with the zany characters and merry mayhem that you forget that there's a darn good mystery going on that needs to be solved as well. In To the Nines, it's finding a bond jumper and a psycho stalker. This quest leads Stephanie and her companions on a wild chase that takes them to Las Vegas and back with nothing to show for but another dead body. You may figure out "whodunit" but the why will keep you guessing.
Janet Evanovich has done it again. For the ninth time she has written a book that will satisfy her many fans and attract a horde of new ones. Irresistible!
Reviewed by Reviewed by Maggie Harding on June 14, 2004