(Tampa Bay Online, Jan 4, Mary Beth Thompson)
The tree is down, the decorations are put away, and the last cookies have been eaten. I can’t think of a better way to start out the new year than with Janet Evanovich and Stephanie Plum.
If you are as loyal to Stephanie as I am, you are waiting impatiently for that 15th numbered book to come out. But in the meantime, this fourth “Between the Numbers” novel does not disappoint. If you haven’t read any of the “between” novels – which Evanovich knocks out between the regular Plum series, all of which have numbers in the title – you are missing out.
“Plum Spooky” brings Diesel back into Stephanie’s complicated, barely-making-it-as-a-bounty-hunter life. Diesel is on the hunt for his bad cousin, Wulf, who is involved with the latest bail jumper Stephanie is trying to apprehend.
Diesel shows up out of nowhere, “smells like Christmas,” travels the world tracking Unmentionables who have gone to the dark side (these are people with abilities beyond what normal folks have) and “neutralizes” them, whatever that means.
Stephanie is looking for Martin Munch, a nerdy little guy who looks like he is about 12. He assaulted his boss and took off with a “magnetometer” from the research facility he was working for. He is in cahoots with Wulf to develop a way to control the weather that involves shooting off rockets causing lightning and torrential rain. The trail takes them through the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, which, for those who have never been, is basically the middle of nowhere.
Stephanie’s on-again boyfriend Joe Morelli is busy cleaning up after his brother Anthony, who is staying with Joe until his wife will take him back. For reasons too complex to address here, Anthony ends up a victim of a nail-gun blast in the backside and becomes an even bigger pain in the butt to Joe.
Ranger, another of Stephanie’s admirers, along with his crew of minions, has Stephanie’s back from a distance to make sure she doesn’t get into too much trouble. She always ends up with one of his vehicles, and he seems to show up when she needs him the most.
Also thrown into the mix is Lula, our favorite former prostitute, and Carl the Monkey (anyone remember him?), who tag along to the Pine Barrens in search of creepy little Munch, who is hiding out with a bunch of other Jersey nuts, such as Sasquatch. Did I forget to mention that Munch also has the hots for our bounty hunter and wants her to be his “first”?
Now here I am waiting impatiently for the next numbered book to come out …