Friday, February 08, 2013

Review: Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich (audio)

Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich
Read by Lorelei King
Audio Renaissance
Length: 3 hours

From the back of the audio case: It's five days before Christmas and things are not looking merry for fugitive apprehension agent Stephanie Plum. She hasn't got a tree. She hasn't bought any presents. There's not a twinkle light to be seen anywhere in her apartment. And there's a strange man named Diesel in her kitchen.

Sure, this has happened before. Strangers, weirdos, felons, creeps, and lunatics are always finding their way to her front door. But this guy is different. He's mysterious, sexy - and he's a man on a mission. The question is, What does he want with her? Can he help her find a little old toymaker who has skipped out on his bail right before Christmas? Can he survive the Plum family holiday dinner? Can he get Stephanie a tree that doesn't look like it was grown next to a nuclear power plant?

Plus, Stephanie needs to find a bunch of nasty elves, her sister Valerie has a Christmas "surprise" for the Plums, her niece Mary Alice doesn't believe in Santa anymore, and Grandma Mazur has a new stud muffin. So bring out the plastic reindeer, strap on your jingle bells, and get ready to celebrate the holidays - Jersey style.

My thoughts: I have probably said this before but I love Stephanie Plum and all her bounty hunting escapades. The books never fail to make me laugh hysterically. This is the first of Janet Evanovich's between-the-numbers book and it was short and sweet.

In Visions of Sugar Plums, Stephanie finds a strange man in her kitchen - a hot, sexy man - named Diesel. She is on the case to find a toymaker who skipped his court date and Diesel seems to be sticking to her pretty close. Needing to track down the toymaker, Sandy Klaws, Stephanie relies on Briggs, an old client she once helped. It's quite funny when she and Diesel end up being attacked by a bunch of elves!

Of course, Stephanie's family plays a major role in this short story, too. Stephanie's mother is on her case to send out Christmas cards, to find out if she bought her presents or got a tree. Grandma Mazur is still hanging out at funerals and seems to have a new man in her life. Valerie has gotten herself into a pickle, and Kloughn is still hanging around.

I'm not sure how I feel about the supernatural element that plays a main part in this story. At first I thought it might just be contained to the between-the-numbers books, but then at the end, a revelation is made that makes me think maybe it will be part of the rest of the regular books, too. I guess I will just have to see.

Audio thoughts: Lorelei King does a good job with this story. Even though I love when CJ Critt narrates the Stephanie Plum books, Lorelei King is growing on me. This is the second Plum book I've listened to her narrate and while she does things differently than CJ Critt, she gives her own spin to the characters. 

When you are reading a series, do you read the novellas that sometimes authors include or do you stick to the main books?

(I borrowed this audiobook from the library.)

*** Devourer of Books hosts Sound Bytes every Friday - a meme to share the audio books that everyone is listening to. Stop by and you just might find your next audio book!

Books in this series:

     1.  One for the Money                         12.  Twelve Sharp
     2.  Two for the Dough                         12.5  Plum Lovin'
     3.  Three to Get Deadly                      13.  Lean Mean Thirteen
     4.  Four to Score                                   13.5  Plum Lucky
     5.  High Five                                           14.  Fearless Fourteen
     6.  Hot Six                                                14.5  Plum Spooky
     7.  Seven Up                                           15.  Finger Lickin' Fifteen
     8.  Hard Eight                                         16.  Sizzling Sixteen

     8.5  Visions of Sugar Plums              17.  Smokin' Seventeen

     9.  To the Nines                                      18.  Explosive Eighteen

    10.  Ten Big Ones                                    19.  Notorious Nineteen

    11.  Eleven on Top



  1. I've read the first 15 or so of the Stephanie Plum books, including the novellas that came out. I enjoyed Visions of Sugar Plums a bit more than the rest of the series, probably because of the paranormal aspects. Diesel is in at least one other book (can't remember the name right now), and I remember liking that book also.

    I'm not sure exactly why, but I haven't read the recent releases of Stephanie and Co. They're enjoyable still, but after 15 of them, I'm a little over the whole Morelli or Ranger thing. I still plan to read them at some point in the future, though. Evanovich does know how to write a fun novel. Always good for a few laughs. :)

    1. Yes, they are definitely good for a few laughs...the audio versions are hysterical.

  2. I do give the novellas a try. After reading the first couple of the "in betweens", I quit picking them up and stuck with the novels.

    1. I have a feeling I might do the same...I'll try the next one and see how it is!

  3. Generally I don't read the novellas where they fit in the series, although sometimes I go back and do them later.

    1. I have read novellas in other series and haven't found them to be that different. This one just seems completely out of character almost, introducing the supernatural element.


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