Monday, December 13, 2010

Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich

Book Details
Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich
Paperback, 368 Pages
2006, St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312985347
Series: Book 11 of Stephanie Plum

Stephanie Plum is thinking her career as a fugitive apprehension agent has run its course. She's been shot at, spat at, cussed at, fire-bombed, mooned, and attacked by dogs. Stephanie thinks it's time for a change. So she quits. She wants something safe and normal. But the kind of trouble she had at the bail bonds office can't compare to the kind of trouble she finds herself facing now…

Stephanie is stalked by a maniac returned from the grave for the sole purpose of putting her into a burial plot of her own. He's killed before, and he'll kill again if given the chance. Caught between staying far away from the bounty hunter business and staying alive, Stephanie reexamines her life and the possibility that being a bounty hunter is the solution rather than the problem. After disturbingly brief careers at the button factory, Kan Klean Dry Cleaners, and Cluck-in-a-Bucket, Stephanie takes an office position in security, working for Ranger, the sexiest, baddest bounty hunter and businessman on two continents. Tempers and temperatures rise as competition ratchets up between the two men in her life--her on-again, off-again boyfriend, tough Trenton cop Joe Morelli, and her boss, Ranger. Can Stephanie Plum take the heat? Can you?

Eleven on Top has Stephanie Plum off kilter, and not in the usual bumbling bounty hunter way. In fact, she's no longer a bounty hunter at all, and as a result we get to see Stephanie bumbling through a couple of different jobs that seem like rather strange choices for our beloved heroine.

Eleven on Top is a bit different than the previous Plum books. Stephanie is still hunting down criminals, albeit almost against her will, but she has an aimless quality about her that is definitely more pronounced in this installment. Personally I enjoyed the change in direction. It gave the long running series a fresh new angle that it was starting to show signs of needing. Can the series survive with Stephanie being something other than a bounty hunter? Perhaps. But while I like the new direction now, I'm not convinced I'd want things to stay as they are.

The mystery in Eleven on Top is entertaining and exciting. It's twisty when you least expect it, making the entire "case" surprising. Stephanie seems tougher than before, which adds to some of the unexpected happenings. If anything from Eleven on Top is carried on into future Plum books, I hope it's Stephanie's new attitude.

Eleven on Top makes the Stephanie Plum series feel shiny and new, taking things in a new direction without losing all that we've come to love thus far. This is a very good addition to the series.


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