Thursday, 5 January 2012

Review: Four to Score/High Five/Hot Six by Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum #4,5 &6)

Four to Score (My Rating - 3 out of 5: I liked it)
The problem with being a bounty hunter is it's all on-the-job training. And Stephanie Plum is still learning the ways to get yourself killed. Take the case of Maxine Norwicki....
When Maxine failed to turn up for her day in court, Stephanie was given the task of bringing her in. Simple. Except Maxine's boyfriend has now begun receiving mysterious, coded notes from the runaway that hint at buried treasure. In fact the notes are so indecipherable that Stephanie has to call on the help of Sally Sweet, giant drag queen and code-breaker extraordinaire.
And Steph's knight errant, cop Joe Morelli. is also proving useful - although he can't decide what he wants most: Maxine's bounty or Stephanie's body. Meanwhile a friend loses a finger, a mother is scalped, an apartment is firebombed and a store clerk is murdered. And out in the street, the crazy treasure hunt game goes on....

High Five (My Rating - 3 out of 5: I liked it)
Stephanie Plum has a whole lot of trouble on her doorsteps. Her Uncle Fred has disappeared and Grandma Mazur is convinced he's been abducted by aliens. Meanwhile, cousin Vinnie has asked her to bring in the vertically challenged Randy Briggs who's jumped bail. But instead of coming quietly, he has taken up residence in Stephanie's closet. The mysterious man called Bunchy is trailing Stephanie in the hope of tracking down Fred. And Benito Ramirez is back from jail, quoting Scripture and vowing to introduce Stephanie to God - face to face. Thankfully Joe Morelli, the irresistible cop, is still around to give her the odd sleepless night - through now he faces tough competition from the enigmatic Ranger...

Hot Six (My Rating - 3 out of 5: I liked it)
First there's fellow bounty hunter Ranger, currently on the run from a murder rap and requesting Stephanie's help. Trouble is she can't decide if she should turn him in or keep him for herself. Then there's sexy vice cop Joe Morelli - the man her heart says she's in love with (even though her head says otherwise). He's after Ranger too - but for less romantic reasons...
And now there's another male in her life. He's big, he's orange, and he howls when he's left alone. Sexual temptation, homicidal maniacs, car crashes and doughnut addiction are all part of Stephanie Plum's daily routine. But all that pales into insignificance when Grandma Mazur moves in...

My Thoughts - In books 4, 5 and 6 of the Stephanie Plum series, the author has managed to deliver the things that I loved about the first three books in the series - mystery, humour and romance. Although I felt that High Five was missing out on a lot of the humour that I have come to expect from Ms. Evanovich, Four to Score and Hot Six were still completely hilarious and had me in tears of laughter.

Most of this humour comes from the crazy situations that Stephanie manages to find herself in as a Bounty Hunter, but there are also a lot of laugh out loud moments provided by her family. They are all complete nut-cases and I would give pretty much anything to be a fly on the wall in the Plum household. The author's biggest strength is definitely in creating characters who the reader can grow to love, whilst making them completely hilarious at the same time.

As in the first three books there are a huge number of supporting characters which did, at times, confuse me and make me have to read back over pages as I tried to remember who was who. Each time there is always a lot of leads/witnesses/suspects and I think this is done to provide plenty of red herrings to stop the reader from guessing who is behind the crimes. However, I still always managed to guess from quite early on who was responsible.

Stephanie is still in the will they/won't they romantic situation with Joe Morelli, which I absolutely love. I really enjoy reading about the chemistry between these two and trying to work out if they will ever get together properly. But in these books Ranger also comes into play as a possible love interest for Stephanie and we start to find out more about him. At first, I wasn't sure if I liked this turn of events - I liked him as a mysterious character in the background - but the more I found out about him the sexier he became! I am looking forward to reading more about this love triangle in the future.

Summary - More light-hearted fun from the queen of humourous mysteries. The Stephanie Plum books are a great way to pass the time and are a fun escape from reality for the reader.

Other books in the series:
1. One for the Money
2. Two for the Dough
3. Three to get Deadly
4. Four to Score
5. High Five
6. Hot Six
7. Seven Up
8. Hard Eight
9. To the Nines
10. Ten Big Ones
11. Eleven on Top
12. Twelve Sharp
13. Lean Mean Thirteen
14. Fearless Fourteen
15. Finger Lickin' Fifteen
16. Sizzling Sixteen
17. Smokin' Seventeen
18. Explosive Eighteen


Raine said...

I didn't know Stephanie Plum's a bounty hunter. The colorful covers didn't convey that. It has made me recall how many Janet Evanovich I've passed up. I'll check again book one when I come across it again. :D Thanks.

Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

Yep, she's a bounty hunter - although not a great one! That's where the humour comes in ;)

Melliane said...

I've just read the 18th book, it was really nice. This series is always the same and it's a pleasure to read it.

Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

Melliane - I agree. You just can't go wrong with this series :)

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