For this post I'm going with the more traditional definition of a Beach Read, one that is escapism as its best. Today’s selection is laugh out loud funny and takes you on an heart-pounding adventure that is far removed from one’s own life (at least I hope it is!). The reading experience may be enhanced while lounging on the beach or poolside, icy beverage at the ready. Just be careful not to spew strawberry margaritas on your new swim suit!
Title: Smokin’ Seventeen (Stephanie Plum Series #17), by Janet Evanovich
Beach Setting: It’s set in
, which is a state that has beaches and pools (okay, it’s a stretch!) New Jersey
Publication date: June 2011
Cover Price: $28.00 USD (but you can find deals! Unfortunately, ebook versions are not much cheaper, garnering a lot of complaints on review sites.)
Publisher: Bantam Books,
Favorite Passage: A half-rotted hand was poking out of the disturbed dirt, and not far from the hand was something that might be part of a skull. I see a lot of bad things in my job, but this was right up there at the top of the Gonna Gork Meter.
Beach Read Rating: 5 (out of 5) Beach Umbrellas
Review: Stephanie Plum is back and is up to her same old tricks, but that is what I like about this series. You know there’s gonna be crazy people who are FTA (failure to appear) and it’s bonsdwoman’s Stephanie Plum and her sidekick Lula’s job to bring them back to police custody. You know there’s gonna be Cluck in the Bucket visits (along with so many other food references you gain 10 pounds just reading it!) You know she’s gonna lose a few cars. You know she’s gonna bounce back between Joe Morelli and Ranger (which is refreshingly good in this book, but still it’s my opinion that storyline needs some closure.) But it's a new twist that Stephanie is involved in a mystery that revolves around her. After what I considered a sameness in the past few books, Smokin’ Seventeen was the the kind of fun read that first attracted me to the series. The only problem with this kind of action-packed, fast-paced, well-written book is that it is so engaging, the kids may have to rely on Cap’n Crunch for dinner until you are done reading and can get back into the kitchen to cook a real meal. The good news is, we don’t have to wait a whole year for the next installment. The last page of the book announces Explosive Eighteen due in November 2011! Yeah!
Short on time to find evidence proving the killer’s identity, Stephanie faces further complications when her family and friends decide that it’s time for her to choose between her longtime off-again-on-again boyfriend, Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and the bad boy in her life, security expert Ranger. Stephanie’s mom is encouraging Stephanie to dump them both and choose a former high school football star who’s just returned to town. Stephanie’s sidekick, Lula, is encouraging Stephanie to have a red-hot boudoir “bake-off.” And Grandma Bella, Morelli’s old-world grandmother, is encouraging Stephanie to move to a new state when she puts “the eye” on Stephanie.
With a cold-blooded killer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke.
Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and no one knows this better than
Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves on the empty construction lot of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what is clear is that Stephanie’s name is on the killer’s list.