Marriage, dead bodies & a bear hanging out at bars in Trenton….Just another day in Stephanie Plum’s life. Smokin’ Seventeen picks up around the time Sizzling Sixteen ended. The bail bonds office is being rebuilt after it exploded & in the middle of the construction site dead bodies start turning up.
It seems to be coincidence as the killer might have just been looking for an easy place to dump the bodies, but the more it happens the creepier it gets. The bodies start having notes attached to them addressed to Stephanie. Ranger is not thrilled about it and is doing everything in his power to keep her safe, that includes starting up his version of a relationship as Stephanie and Morelli are “off” again. He also finally admits to why he always loans her cars.
“That’s nice of you, but it’s not necessary to loan me a car.”
“I loan you cars all the time.”
“And I almost always destroy them or lose them. I have terrible luck with cars.”
“Working at Rangeman is a high-stress job, and you’re one of our few sources of comic relief. I give you a car and my men start a pool on how long it will take you to trash it. You’re a line item in my budget under entertainment.”
― Janet Evanovich, Smokin’ Seventeen
Morelli comes in and out throughout the book, more concerned with Stephanie’s safety than anything. Lucky for Ranger, Grandma Bella puts “the eye” on Stephanie causing her attraction to Ranger to increase at lightening speed. Picking up where they left off in Hot Six Ranger and Stephanie spend a lot of their time in bed as she takes a break from Morelli. Unfortunate for Ranger, Stephanie does have a level of guilt about the situation and is being forced by her mother to date other men.
Dave, a former high school football star, is back in Trenton and is first on the list of people Stephanie’s mom invites for dinner. He shows up in her apartment to cook dinner nightly & ultimately Morelli starts to go back and lay his claim on Stephanie. Dave isn’t exactly thrilled about that but continues to cook for Stephanie and show up at dinner at her parents house. Little did Stephanie know revenge was on the line.
When the action goes down, both guys are involved and they both are there to make sure she is okay. This leaves Stephanie in a bit of situation as she has to finally make her decision.
Janet Evanovich is smart & the book leaves us hanging.
As I mentioned about Sizzling Sixteen I felt like this book was another good one that kept readers going. Not only did the cliffhanger result in me picking up the next book in an instant but I also had a hard time putting the book down throughout the day. Yes, I read it in an afternoon because it was Saturday & chores just didn’t sound like fun.
The mystery in this book seemed to be a pretty obvious answer somewhere around halfway through the book. I took this book more to pay attention to the Ranger/Morelli drama vs. the actual crime solving aspect. Plus there were donuts mentioned & we may have had to make a donut run on Father’s Day because of Smokin’ Seventeen.
I quicky started Explosive Eighteen in hopes of finding out which man she decided on. As Janet Evanovich’s style she doesn’t hand it out in the first few chapters, onto finish it and find out.