Click here to read reviewer Regan Windsor's take on Twelve Sharp.
Janet Evanovich, the author of the long-running Stephanie Plum series, is back with her twelfth installment titled Twelve Sharp. Evanovichís fans will know that Plum is a sassy, not-so-competent bounty hunter from Trenton, New Jersey. In the latest caper, Plum tries to clear up the backlog of cases that have reached the point of critical mass. The business also needs an influx of cash, so Plum and the always outrageous Lula set out to capture some of the FTAís (failure to appear) on their list.
This sets up the first encounter with a really lonely sap named Melvin Pickle. Caught masturbating in the local Cineplex, Melvin now sells shoes. Plum and Lula confront Melvin at his job, and he takes off. Plum finally catches up to him, but Melvin is on a rooftop, ready to jump. But Plum, with all her sassiness, manages to talk Pickle down, offering him a job as a file clerk at the office so he can pay off his debt. Of course, thereís still plenty of Plumís (and I surmise a lot of women have this fantasy) problem of having two handsome men in her life: at one point, both Morelli and Ranger are living in Plumís apartment (and there is a real twist concerning Ranger in this story). The comedy is present in Evanovichís snappy dialogue, and the over-the-top scenes are aplenty; standouts include the funeral and the cigarette-voiced lady in the sex shop.
Plot? Does anyone really care about that when picking the Plum books up? There is enough story here, but the reason why this series has gone on so long is because Evanovichís readers love the Plum character. This is totally a character-driven series - you either love Plumís sassiness or you donít. This isnít some deep-rooted psychological thriller, but itís not trying to be. Itís a quick, fun, slapstick comedy with a sassy bounty hunter and her colorful cohorts finding themselves in some really odd situations. Take it for what it is, a quick enjoyable listen.