August 19, 2014

Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich

Top Secret

This series is such fun brain candy. It doesn't take a lot of thought to understand and enjoy these books. They are perfect for cleansing the literary palate between courses of more intense reading.

The main character, Stephanie Plum, is cute, sassy, quirky, clumsy, and sought after by two hunky men. She fell into her job as a bounty hunter because she needed to pay the bills. One of the hunky guys showed her the ropes of bounty hunting, and they still work together on some cases. The other hunky guy is a cop with the Trenton Police Department. In the first installment in the series, Stephanie was pursuing him in a case where he had been accused of killing an unarmed drug dealer, and they had to work together to clear his name and get her the bounty. Now they have an on-again, off-again romantic relationship.

In this book, Stephanie is after a guy accused of trafficking drugs and Mexican girls. He is probably also the guy trying to blow up Randy Briggs, the surly, unpleasant, little person Stephanie has arrested before, but now he wants protection from her. Also, she is working with Ranger (the bounty hunter hunky guy) to find the guy who tried to kill him and his entire company with a polonium canister.

There are a few events that seem to crop up in every book in this series. Firstly, a car always gets destroyed in some fantastic way. Usually, it's an explosion of some kind. Once it got squished by a toppling garbage truck. The dispatched car is never her uncle's '53 powder blue Buick. This never even gets a scratch no matter how it is mistreated. Secondly, there is a psychotic animal. There have been a monkey, an alligator, and exploding squirrels, just to name a few. In this book, there is a pack of feral Chihuahuas.

I enjoyed this one. I snickered out loud in a few places, which is always a good sign. The situations Stephanie gets herself into are nearly Kafkaesque in their absurdity and the way in which reality bends itself around the events. Stephanie always takes it in stride and perseveres until she nabs the bad guy and saves the day.