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    SEVEN UP by Janet Evanovich (see her website)


    St. Martin's, June 2001

    Dragging in an old man who's missed his court date should be a piece of cake, even for a relatively incompetent bounty hunter like Stephanie Plum. But when she tries to bring in ex-mobster Eddie DeCooch, Stephanie finds herself in a world of trouble--trouble that includes semi-fiance Joe Morelli and lust-object Ranger.

    DeCooch and about half the gangsters in New Jersey are after something and they think Stephanie's friends Dougie and Mooner have it. When the two doped-up (but lovable) losers vanish, Stephanie knows she needs to escalate the pressure and manages to do so while creating chaos all around her.

    Stephanie's family life, and descriptions of the 'burg' are a large part of why the Stephanie Plum series is so enjoyable (see also our review of HOT SIX, the previous novel in the series). Grandma is still a piece of work who just happens to be dating the missing mobster. Her 'perfect' sister is back from California with a number of wild ideas including joining Stephanie as a bounty hunter. Her long-suffering father suffers on, and her mother looks ready to try something new.

    Author Janet Evanovich (see all reviews of novels by this author) has toned down some of the more outrageous aspects of her previous novel, but manages a completely enjoyable mix of action, suspense, and knee-slapping humor. Whether she's losing another car, mud-wrestling with semi-nude women, riding around with her ex-'Ho' friend Lula, or continuing her campaign against the woman who had sex with Stephanie's ex-husband on her dining room table, Stephanie Plum is a wonderful treat.

    But which of her two men is she going to end up with this time?

    Four Stars

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