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    Review of ELEVEN ON TOP by Janet Evanovich (see her website)


    St. Martin's Press, June 2005

    Stephanie Plum, one of the world's worst bounty hunters, has quit her job with her cousin's bail bond agency and decided to make something of her life. Which leads to a string of disastrous jobs--at a button factory, a dry cleaners, and a fried chicken drive-through. Stephanie might not be the world's best bounty hunter, but she manages to leave a string of ruined businesses behind her--especially as a mysterious someone seems obsessed with destroying her, blowing up her cars (again) and her dangerous, and disgusting gifts. Meanwhile, Ranger is pursuing a missing felon and Joe Morelli is looking for a missing businessman--both of whom vanished on the same day.

    Stephanie's life is conplicated by her sister's plan to marry. Stephanie is stuck with a dress which makes her look like an eggplant and her prospective brother-in-law is having nightmares of being smothered by a white whale (or possibly Stephanie's no longer swelt sister in her wedding dress). When Stephanie lies (she does this a lot) and claims to play the 'Cello, plans for the wedding take an even more distressing turn.

    With Stephanie retired from bounty-hunting, her friend Lulu takes on the role as the world's worst bounty hunter. Lulu's incompetence sets a standard that even Stephanie never approached, letting her first catch get away after he seduced her, then handcuffed her naked to his bed. Even though she had wanted to get away from bounty hunting, Stephanie ends up accompanying her friend on attempted apprehensions.

    If all of this makes sense to you, that means that you, like me, are a fan of the Stephanie Plum series. In ELEVEN ON TOP, author Janet Evanovich (see more reviews of novels by Evanovich) cranks up both slapstick antics and family pathos to deliver a superior addition to the fine Stephanie Plum collection. It would seem that Stephanie leaving the bounty-hunting business would help her relationship with Joe, but with someone coming after Stephanie, Joe gets caught in the cross-fire. And Stephanie's constant physical attraction toward Ranger doesn't help.

    ELEVEN ON TOP is a quick read, with plenty of laughs to keep the reader going. Stephanie Plum is definitely back in prime form.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 7/09/05

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