Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Meh. I'd give it 2 1/2 stars, maybe. The whole Stephanie/Morelli/Ranger triangle is getting really stale. I think Evanovich wrote herself into a corner when she based so much of the humor and sexual tension of her earlier books on those relationships. Who can Stephanie choose, and who gets the shaft? And would either choice be believable, or would it kill the series? I understand Evanovich's dilemma, but if she continues to do nothing, she's going to alienate readers by the droves.
There were a few chuckles in this book, but no belly laughs. The bail bonds office hasn't yet been rebuilt since it burnt to the ground, so Vinnie, Connie, Lula, & Stephanie are sharing "office space" in Mooner's bus. Then a backhoe uncovers a body where the dumpsters used to be, and the search is on to figure out who did it and why. (I actually guessed really early on who the killer was.) More bodies turn up. Business slows down. Vinnie comes up with some...creative advertising.
Meanwhile, Stephanie's mom decides Stephanie will never get married at the rate she's going, so she fixes Stephanie up with Dave Brewer, recently returned to the Burg to live with his folks after his divorce and a scandal over foreclosure fraud. Now Stephanie has three men, not just two, vying for her attention.
For readers' advisors: story doorway. The character development is virtually nonexistent in this one.
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