To The Nines is a funny book, and part of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. Even though this is the ninth book in her series, it can be read as a standalone. Each of her mysteries builds upon the previous one, so it’s best to read them in order, but not necessary.
Stephanie Plum is a ditzy, inexperienced bounty hunter who is often in need of rescuing. As a bounty hunter in Trenton, N.J., Stephanie has a gun registered to her. But since she’s actually afraid of hurting people, Stephanie leaves her gun at home in a cookie jar for safe keeping. Fortunately Stephanie has two men in her life, and a plus size ex-ho sidekick, with an attitude, who come to her aid on a moment’s notice and on a regular basis.
One of her rescuers is Joe Morelli, an undercover cop and her main squeeze. He’s a rough around the edges, Italian stallion type of guy. Joe and Stephanie have known each other all their lives, and both secretly know that they’ll probably marry one another at some point. But for the moment the two of them have an “understanding”.
The other rescuer in Stephanie’s life is Ranger. He’s an ex-special forces-turned-bounty hunter- alpha male. Ranger is every woman’s dream fantasy man. He’s drop dead gorgeous, sexy and mysterious. Ranger cares for Stephanie a great deal, but not enough to have an actual relationship with her. He loves to tease her though, with his not so innocent flirtations. Stephanie can’t seem to stop her reaction to him and feels guilty about it, but not enough to actually put an end to his flirting. And since Mr. rough around the edges-Italian stallion is my favorite character, I’m not one of those women who swoon at the very mention of the verbally challenged, dark and sexy Ranger. In fact I would really like for the two word conversationalist to keep his “babe” and “yo” to himself and leave Stephanie alone.
In this book, Stephanie’s boss, Vinnie, is on the verge of a major public embarrassment and has charged everyone in his office with the assignment of bringing in a Mr. Singh. Stephanie is hot on the evasive man’s trail, but it also appears that he is hot on hers’. Someone is leaving signature presents for Stephanie. And the deeper she digs into her assignment, the more threatening these signature gifts become, and the more deaths she finds popping up around her.
Janet Evanovich writes funny very well. Her characters are always quirky, dysfunctional and lovable – even the secondary ones. To The Nines is a light, ridiculously unrealistic, but hysterical read. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to read a light mystery and to laugh…a lot.
5 out of 5 stars, Review by Peg Glover