Does the legacy of her Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle really bring Stephanie Plum good fortune? You be the judge.
There’s never been a better need for a lucky break at Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. Cousin Vinnie has been kidnapped by Bobby Sunflower, the new boss of Mickey Gritch, the bookie to whom Vinnie racked up an improbable debt of $786,000. Even though Vinnie’s father-in-law, Harry the Hammer, has sold ownership of the firm to the venture-capital firm The Wellington Company, it’s clear that without Vinnie, there’ll be no employment for Stephanie, his bounty hunter, or Lula, his file clerk, wheelman and fashionista. So they’re highly motivated to rescue him or come up with enough cash to pay off his debt. Rescuing him means going up against Sunflower’s goons; paying up means bringing in some major Failures to Appear—bigamist/shoplifter Dirk McCurdle, alligator-friendly Choppers (né Eugene Gonzolez), leviathan exhibitionist Butch Goodey—or robbing some of Sunflower’s collection points so that they can pay him off with his own money. Since this bestselling series (Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, 2009, etc.) is more interested in crazy characters and wisecracks than plot, it’s not giving too much away to say that Stephanie and Lula, with occasional help from Det. Joe Morelli, Stephanie’s main squeeze, and much more frequent help from dark-knight security agent Ranger, Stephanie’s other squeeze, try every single one of these strategies, and they all work, sort of.
Worth celebrating, not for the tangled story, but for gems like Lula’s four ways of managing stress: “There’s drugs, there’s alcohol, there’s sex, and there’s doughnuts.”