Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson
TWISTED TWENTY-SIX. By Janet Evanovich. Penguin Audio. Read by Lorelei King. 6 ½ hours; 6 CDs, $32. Also available in print from G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
Janet Evanovich is amazing. Here we have entry No. 26 in the adventures of Stephanie Plum, improbable New Jersey bounty hunter, and it’s just as funny, surprising and fresh as any of the 25 that preceded it.
The usual elements are here – Stephanie is still often accompanied by her sidekick Lula, the over-the-top former ho’, as she pursues ne’er-do-wells who have run out on the bail her Cousin Vinnie posted for them. She still has two (sort-of) love interests in her life, Morelli, the sexy homicide detective who’s been her boyfriend for a long time, and Ranger, the sexy head of a security company who looks after her even when his efforts to lead her astray don’t succeed. She still comes home alone many a night to the apartment she shares with no one but her hamster, Rex. She’s still always short on money.
She’s still regularly having whatever car she’s driving destroyed in some dramatic fashion. And she’s still woefully unsuited for her job.
Stephanie Plum is not a tough gal, and she knows it.
But she can be tough when she has to, and when her family is threatened, she has to.
Stephanie’s beloved Grandma Mazur decided to get married again, to a local gangster who she’s sure is really a nice guy these days. Problem is, he drops dead of a heart attack less than an hour after they exchange vows.
Her new husband’s untimely death plunges Grandma into a world of trouble, with various relatives furious that she’s now his heir, and his mobster associates convinced that Grandma has the keys to some sort of treasure.
In between chasing – sometimes successfully, sometimes not – fugitives who have skipped bail, Stephanie does what she can to protect Grandma as well as her mom and dad, who are in harm’s way because Grandma lives with them. She tries to find the keys, or at least to convince the bad guys that Grandma doesn’t have them.
Suffice it to say all sorts of hilarious adventures ensue, with some life-threatening peril thrown in.
I look forward to each new Stephanie Plum book, knowing I’m in for a few hours of delightful entertainment. They are great as audio books. Lorelei King gives voice to Stephanie perfectly, and the stories are easy to follow. Even if totally unexpected.