Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: Four to Score by Janet Evanovich (audio)

Four to Score by Janet Evanovich
Read by CJ Critt
Recorded Books LLC
June 1998
Length: 9.75 hours

From the back of the audio case
: The unflappable, fashion savvy bounty hunter Stephanie Plum returns to action when her bondsman cousin hires her to haul in a waitress-gone-bad, Maxine Nowicki. With her unruly sidekicks, transvestite rock musician Sally Sweet, ex-hooker and wannabe bounty hunter Lulu, and crazy Grandma Mazur, Stephanie braves hot Jersey streets and endless threats to track down the fleeing felon. Stephanie figures apprehending Nowicki will be easy money, but she couldn’t be more wrong. Besides having to contend with loathsome rival bounty hunter, Joyce Barnhardt, she faces escalating scare tactics from a new enemy. Even more dangerously, she finds herself getting involved again with buff vice cop Joe Morelli, who also wants a piece of the Nowicki action. 

Best-selling author Janet Evanovich packs rapid-fire action and outrageously funny dialog into this audacious mystery thriller. Right on target as the saucy Stephanie Plum, narrator C.J. Critt will keep you pumped as she ushers you through some of the least scenic neighborhoods of Trenton, New Jersey.

My thoughts: This is the 4th in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series and I just this series. It's light, funny, and the story moves along at a good pace.  

This time around, Stephanie is after Maxine, a first time offender who stole her boyfriend’s car after a fight. The problem is Stephanie isn't the only one after her. Her nemesis, Joyce, has decided to quit selling cosmetics and become a bounty hunter. Luckily, Stephanie has help from her friends - there's Lula, the 200 lbs ex-hooker in hooker clothes; Grandma Mazur, who is always up for anything especially when it involves guns and criminals (my favorite character); vice-cop Joe Morelli, Stephanie's current flame; and Ranger, bounty hunter supreme! She also enlists the help of a cross-dressing singer who has a knack for cracking codes. 

Traveling all over Jersey, from Trenton, to the shore, to Atlantic City, Stephanie manages to find herself in some sticky situations. Another car blows up and her apartment catches fire, forcing her to stay with Morelli, which leads to some interesting scenes. Will she be able to apprehend Maxine before Joyce does?  Will she ever be able to keep a car in drivable condition?

I find these stories are fun and the plot moves quickly along, but what really draws me to this series are the characters. I mean, between Grandma Mazur who lives for being able to join Stephanie on her outings and carry a gun, to all the antics with Lula, and even Sally, the cross-dressing code cracker - what isn't to like? I finish up one book and can't wait to see what will happen to these characters next!

Have you ever found yourself reading a series not so much for the action of the book, but rather for the characters?

Audio Thoughts: I just love listening to CJ Critt - she does one mean New Jersey accent. She is able to give all the characters their own unique voice that carries over from book to book. This is one series that I love listening to - not only because it's helping me get caught up faster, but also because it's quite funny and CJ Critt seems to enhance that humor.

(I borrowed this audio book from the library.)

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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 - due out Nov. 2012
    11.  Eleven on Top 
 
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