Barbara’s rating: 3.7 of 5 Stars
Series: Stephanie Plum #29
Publication Date: 11/1/22
Period: Contemporary – Trenton, New Jersey
Number of Pages: 336 (Audiobook)
What can I say about another Stephanie Plum book? While they are very formulaic and you pretty much know what is going to happen from scene to scene, they are also witty and entertaining. Just perfect for those times when you need a pick-me-up.
The mystery in this book was a bit different than usual because you have absolutely no idea who the villain is. There is just this voice over the phone threatening and demanding the return of a coin that was used as collateral during a bail hearing. Oh! My! The coin is missing and so is Connie Rosolli, the office manager at Vinnie’s Bail Bonds. Connie is never late and never misses work, so where is she? That is the question Stephanie and Lula have to solve after a mysterious caller tells them he has Connie and she won’t be returned until the coin is given to him. Easy enough, right? No, because the coin is missing from their office and they have no clue where to even begin looking.
Things become really intense when Vinnie is also kidnapped and they receive a picture of a mutilated hand. Is Vinnie being tortured? Add Stephanie’s near abduction and actual abduction and things are getting really dangerous. What is so very valuable about an old coin that came with a game that hasn’t been made in years?
You’ll just have to read the book to find all of the answers. You’ll also find a good bit of Ranger in this one and less of Morelli. In the last few books, Morelli seems to have been staying as clear of Stephanie’s investigations as possible – and I don’t blame him. Another character we get a good bit more of in this book is Bellissima Morelli, Joe Morelli’s grandmother. You see, Bella gives people the Evil Eye – so, what could be more entertaining than that?
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Lorelei King and enjoyed it very much. I believe she has done every book in the series and has done an excellent job of it. The voices she uses for each character are distinctive and fit that character perfectly. Her pacing and delivery are also excellent.
My bottom line for these books is that I enjoy them when I need a mindless, entertaining read – and that is an important thing to have in your life. Frankly, I’ll say I am overly tired of Stephanie and her wishy-washy love life. For the entire series, she’s been going back and forth between Morelli and Ranger. She sees and sleeps with Ranger when she and Morelli are on the outs – and the rest of the time she is with Morelli – but she is still lusting after Ranger. ENOUGH! Frankly, after all of this time, if one of them wanted to marry her, they’d have already done so. Of course, I’m not sure who else would put up with her, so maybe she has to stay where she is. She’s not ready for marriage either, so I guess we’ll continue bed-hopping for a while.