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Live is never dull in the 'Burg. Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows that her boyfriend, Joe Morelli, would rather her job was a little more tame and domestic. Anything really would be acceptable that didn't involve guns, getting her car regularly blown up and being in close contact with the dangerously attractive Ranger, also a bounty hunter on the side. Stephanie lands herself with a teenage son of the 'Burg when his mother fails to make her court appearance and it isn't only Stephanie who is noticing that the kid looks a heck of a lot like Morelli. Distant cousins supposedly, and so trouble is taken to Morelli's doorstep when he agrees to keep an eye on the apprentice graffiti artist and junior gamer master.
In trying to locate Loretta the skipper, Stephanie makes contact with Loretta's unbalanced brother Dom, fresh out of the clink and supposedly in possession of certain stolen proceeds that she feels could help with Loretta's bonding fee. Dom still holds the family suspicion that Morelli could be sitting on dear departed Auntie Rose's fortune and is determined to get his piece of it. If that involves half the 'Burg fronting up with shovels to the house, then so be it. Meanwhile Stephanie has a high-profile customer to protect on her visit to Trenton who isn't averse to shining the loving light of cheap publicity a little more brightly on herself, caring little of how hard that will make poor Stephanie's life become.
Everything is thrown into the pie with FEARLESS FOURTEEN, with most of the supporting cast from previous novels poking their heads into the mayhem. This is comforting and familiar territory for the regular reader, and not at all a bad thing. Dear Stephanie's antics are pretty much the same as they always have been, and Evanovich remains a genius with the snap and sass of her character's life collisions. The everyday is hilarious and the stoic forward motion of Stephanie Plum when friends and foe alike go off on their own little tangents around her is something to be admired. From potato bombs to reluctant grooms (don't worry, this is not a spoiler), Evanovich finds something to work with in every situation and continues to do a sterling job in making the reader laugh at her cast, while adoring them also.
The character of Steph has had a rest from life changing decisions and is in a holding pattern here with FEARLESS FOURTEEN, making one wonder how much further this series can go. The Plum novels have all been brilliantly good fun and should go out on a bang rather than with a whimper. The laughs are a little less, the madcap begins to seem a bit repetitive and the hammering of the supporting characters little foibles is beginning to be a bit tiring. Every book in the series has been a fun diversion from more serious reads and they have earned their place in the affections of many who now just pick up each book to catch up on what Steph, Morelli and Ranger are up to.
Who can resist a novel that features a humping monkey, gamer grannies and a fast-food joint called "Cluck-in-A-Bucket"? Enjoy FEARLESS FOURTEEN.
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