Age Group: Adult
Genre: Mystery Thriller, Women's
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list.
Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Grandma Bella, Morelli’s old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts “the eye” on Stephanie.
With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.
“You think he believe you over his grandma? You think he believe you when you ugly with boils? You think he believe you when you fat? When you stink like cabbage?” –Grandma Bella, Smokin’ Seventeen.
I love Grandma Bella and she was super hilarious in this story. I’m not going to recap the entire series because that would be counterproductive, but the basic gist is Stephanie Plum works for her cousin Vinnie in Trenton as a bounty hunter. She catches failure to appear’s (FTAs), blows up cars, and is constantly tore between two very sexy, but very different men. She enjoys tasty cakes, her hamster Rex, and eating dinner at her parent’s house in the Burg.
I have been reading Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels since high school and I have to tell you they are highly addicting. A lot of people thought Smokin’ Seventeen fell short, but I don’t see it. I laughed so hard at Grandma Bella and Lula. Those two might have some of the best lines in this story.
Then of course there’s Morelli. Forget Steph, I’ll have your babies Joe! I’ll admit seventeen stories in and I don’t think she’s any closer to picking between him and Ranger, which gets a little frustrating, but I like the dynamic between them. Bringing in Jimmy Alpha’s brother was also a nice idea and I liked how that played into the plot.
One thing I did not like was the back-to-back sexytime with Morelli and Ranger. Come on Steph even I know that’s a no, no. I figured out who the killer was in chapter twenty-four, but when you’ve been reading Evanovich’s stories for as long as I have you learn to pick up on subtle hints about characters.
That didn’t make this book any less interesting though. I love the dialogue and I’ve come to expect her books to make me laugh out loud, which I then get funny looks about, but still. It seems that Stephanie finally made some kind of choice at the end of the book, so I’m moving onto Explosive Eighteen in a little bit so I can see who she decided to go on vacation with. I’ve got a feeling he’s sexy and owns a gun. Haha, yes I know that describes most men in her life.
If you like romance, mystery, humor and a little insight into how us Jersey girls think definitely check out Smokin’ Seventeen.
Janet Evanovich is the #1 bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum novels, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and graphic novels, Wicked Appetite (the first book in the Lizzy and Diesel series,) and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author.