Top Secret Twenty-One ~~ Janet Evanovich

Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich
Catch a professional assassin: top priority. Find a failure-to-appear and collect big bucks: top score. How she’ll pull it all off: top secret.

Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures. So Stephanie is going to have to do something she really doesn’t want to do: protect former hospital security guard and general pain in her behind Randy Briggs. Briggs was picking up quick cash as Poletti’s bookkeeper and knows all his boss’s dirty secrets. Now Briggs is next on Poletti’s list of people to put six feet under.

To top things off, Ranger -- resident security expert and Stephanie’s greatest temptation -- has been the target of an assassination plot. He’s dodged the bullet this time, but if Ranger wants to survive the next attempt on his life, he’ll have to enlist Stephanie’s help and reveal a bit more of his mysterious past.

Death threats, highly trained assassins, highly untrained assassins, and Stark Street being overrun by a pack of feral Chihuahuas are all in a day’s work for Stephanie Plum. The real challenge is dealing with her Grandma Mazur’s wild bucket list. A boob job and getting revenge on Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella can barely hold a candle to what’s number one on the list -- but that’s top secret.
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  • Published:
    Jun-2014 (Hardcover)
    May-2015 (Paperback)
  • Formats:
    Print / eBook / Audio
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“’Someone shot a rocket-propelled firebomb into my apartment,’ I said. ‘Again?’ Grandma asked.”

Top Secret Twenty One is the twenty-first full-length book in the popular Stephanie Plum series by American author, Janet Evanovich. Trenton Bounty Hunter, Stephanie Plum is looking for a big money skip, Jimmy Poletti. The used-car salesman has been selling more than just cars, and is proving hard to track down. But that’s not Stephanie’s only problem: Randy Briggs seems to have become the target of a rocket-wielding villain, and by association, Stephanie comes into the firing line. What is worrying Stephanie even more is the fact that Ranger seems to be the target of an assassin who seems much more dangerous. And Grandma Mazur has decided to harass Joe’s Grandma Bella.

Evanovich includes the usual summary of characters and their status, though fans may well wonder why this is necessary: surely no reader is going to sample the twenty-first book of a series to get a taste. The usual annoying skips feature, including the mandatory naked one (an element which is getting a bit tired now), and whereas the last book featured a giraffe, this one features a pack of feral Chihuahuas. Despite the fact that much of the humour relies on slapstick, the plot, the regular characters and their dialogue still manage to carry the novel. Grandma Mazur achieves several items on her bucket list; Bob the dog eats some vital evidence; Stephanie accompanies Ranger to New York City; there are Russian Vodka salesmen, Atlantic City casinos, a scary walk along a building ledge and a vial of Polonium-210.

This volume also includes a 32-page prequel to the first novel in the O’Hare and Fox series, Pros and Cons. Ignoring the irritations noted, this is still a surprisingly good read, possibly good enough to have readers looking forward to the twenty-second instalment.
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