Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich or Stephanie's wild ride!

Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. And a ragtag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.
Only one other person has seen the missing photo—Stephanie Plum. Now she’s the target, and she doesn’t intend to end up in a garbage can. With the help of an FBI sketch artist Stephanie re-creates the person in the photo. Unfortunately the first sketch turns out to look like Tom Cruise, and the second sketch like Ashton Kutcher. Until Stephanie can improve her descriptive skills, she’ll need to watch her back.
Over at the bail bonds agency things are going from bad to worse. The bonds bus serving as Vinnie’s temporary HQ goes up in smoke. Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls in love with their largest skip yet. Lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie’s apartment. And everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii?

Morelli, Trenton’s hottest cop, isn’t talking about Hawaii. Ranger, the man of mystery, isn’t talking about Hawaii.  And all Stephanie is willing to say about her Hawaiian vacation is . . . It’s complicated. ( synopsis from

Bantam books, Hardcover, 320 pages

Ah Stephanie, could your life get any more messed up!  Our intrepid heroine finds herself on a plane flying home from Hawaii all alone. She sits next to a noisy guy who misses the connection and disappears. Later, at her mother's she finds a photo that isn't hers and tosses it in the trash. Everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii and there is a lot of speculation about the stripe of white flesh on her tanned ring finger.

As usual, Stephanie finds herself in the middle of a big mess with little to no understanding of why.  She has lots of bad dudes, good dudes, bad dudes posing as good dudes and the like chasing her around Trenton.  She and Lula go after some interesting FTA's which leads to more confusion and trouble for Stephanie. Joyce Barnhart makes a significant appearance and continues to be a major fly in the ointment. A good part of this story we have seen before in other incarnations but it still works.

I have to admit I did not have any laugh out loud moments but I did find the suspense level was kicked up a bit to compensate.  The never ending question of Ranger vs Morelli continues but I think there are some definite leanings in this book. Ms. Evanovich is not completely back to the hilarious early books but this one is an improvement on the lackluster numbers 14-16 books. 
RPL Notes: This book will be available on November 22, 2011 in the Adult New book section. The audio version will also be available around that time


  1. This sounds like a great book! I appreciate your honest review. My mom loves these books- I have read some of them.


  2. Sounds good! Can't wait to hear it on audio from!