Trenton, New Jersey, bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has inherited a “lucky” bottle from her Uncle Pip. Problem is, Uncle Pip didn’t specify if the bottle brought good luck or bad luck. . . .
Vinnie, of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, has run up a gambling debt of $786,000 with mobster Bobby Sunflower and is being held until the cash can be produced. Nobody else will pay to get Vinnie back, leaving it up to Stephanie, office manager Connie, and file clerk Lula to raise the money if they want to save their jobs.
Being in the business of tracking down people, Stephanie, Lula, and Connie have an advantage in finding Vinnie. If they can rescue him, it will buy them some time to raise the cash.
Finding a safe place to hide Vinnie turns out to be harder than raising $786,000. Vinnie’s messing up Mooner’s vibe, running up pay-per-view porn charges in Ranger’s apartment, and making Stephanie question genetics.
Between a bonds office yard sale that has the entire Burg turning out, Mooner’s Hobbit-Con charity event, and Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle, they just might raise enough money to save the business, and Vinnie, from ruin.
Saving Vincent Plum Bail Bonds means Stephanie can keep being a bounty hunter. In Trenton, this involves hunting down a man wanted for polygamy, a turnpike toilet paper bandit, and a drug dealer with a pet alligator named Mr. Jingles.
The job of bounty hunter comes with perks in the guise of Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, and the dark and dangerous security expert, Ranger. With any luck at all, Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle will have Stephanie getting lucky–the only question is . . . with whom?
Sizzling Sixteen . . . so hot, the pages might spontaneously combust!
Review From Publishers Weekly
In this tepid Stephanie Plum adventure from Evanovich (Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, etc.), a personal case distracts the Trenton, N.J., bondswoman from tracking the usual group of eccentric skips–the kidnapping of her cousin, Vinnie, who’s being held for ransom in the high six figures. As Stephanie, sidekick Lula, and office manager Connie soon realize, Vincent Plum Bail Bonds is seriously in the red due to Vinnie’s gambling. Vinnie’s also gotten caught up with local mobster Bobby Sunflower in a complicated scheme. Even though her sleazy cousin isn’t her favorite person and chasing oddball felons isn’t her ideal career, Stephanie knows family loyalty counts for something, plus she owes him for giving her a job all those years ago. So with Lula and Connie in tow–and romantic interests Morelli and Ranger lurking in the background– Stephanie must save the day once again. Evanovich is at her best spinning the bizarre subplots involving Stephanie’s bail jumpers, but the larger story simply recycles elements from previous installments.
Review From Booklist
Stephanie Plum, half-Italian, half-Hungarian, a shrewd mixture of smarts and dumb luck, works for her cousin Vinny as a bail bondswoman in Trenton, New Jersey. Vinny, however, is in deep fecal matter, owing too much money to the very scary guys who have kidnapped him. Stephanie, office manager Connie, and Lula, plus-sized and focused (if not on the job at hand), manage to spring Vinny (more than once) and find a lot of money to pay what he owes. Along the way, they facilitate a cow stampede and an alligator escape; are assisted by a bunch of Hobbit con-goers; and find their office going up quite thoroughly in flames. Stephanie wrecks the usual car and ping-pongs between the hot and dangerous Ranger and the hot and domestic Morelli. Ranger says the “love” word to Stephanie, but it is Morelli at the end, offering her a pink, lacy thong. In the first few pages, Evanovich both catches readers up on the hilarious and cockeyed history of the preceding 15 books and gives fans a little more of everything they want, including the return of beloved stoner Mooner. Funny, scary, silly, and sweet. –GraceAnne A. DeCandido