If you read HIGH FIVE, you know that we were left with a cliffhanger. Who is behind Door Number 1? Stephanie has given in to her baser instincts and invited the man of her increasingly erotic dreams for the night. Is it the dark, mysterious and definitely interested Ranger? Is it her sometime boyfriend and childhood nemesis, Officer Choo Choo, Joe Morelli? Well, you'll find out in the prologue, but not here.
Three months pass and Stephanie, Trenton New Jersey's scariest bounty hunter, is assigned the job of tracking down Ranger when he fails to make a court appearance on a concealed weapons charge. Morelli is looking for him because he's the number one suspect in the arson-related murder of a local drug dealer, son of a high powered mobster. Stephanie and Joe team up in their usual dysfunctional fashion to run Ranger to earth, with the help of yet another of Trenton's oddball denizens --- a guy named Moon --- a former classmate of Stephanie's who lives down the block from her parents.
Now, Moon is mellow. Moon makes Qualudes look nervous. Moon wants to be helpful, and in his own spaced out fashion, aids not only in finding Ranger, but he provides a clue to who murdered the bad guy found crispy-crittered in the fire. Along the way, Stephanie encounters an old Mafia Don --- in fact, she is practically adopted by him, but that's just part of the story. She gains Grandma Mazur as a roommate, blows up at least two more cars and becomes convinced that Big Blue, her father's '53 Buick, is the Detroit version of Excaliber.
Evanovich continues to entertain her growing coterie of fans with a good mystery, some earthy (some might call it raunchy) humor, and in HOT SIX, some genuine romance thrown in. Despite the brash ploy to keep fans clamoring over her next book by producing that romantic cliffhanger at the end of HIGH FIVE, Evanovich manages to deliver in HOT SIX. A risky move, given how many series mystery writers begin to flag as they progress through their titles. Unlike Sue Grafton, who has an end in sight with her alphabetical series, Evanovich has infinity as the limit. You can be sure there'll be a number seven, because...well, trust me. You know you'll want to know what happens next.
Reviewed by Roz Shea (HOST BKPG Roz) on June 15, 2001