2010, St. Martin's Press
Series: Book 16 of Stephanie Plum
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 local stoner Walter “Moon Man” Dunphy's vibe, running up pay-per-view porn charges in security expert 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 mysterious bottle, they just might raise enough money to save Vinnie and the business 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, Ranger. With any luck at all, Uncle Pip’s lucky bottle will have Stephanie getting lucky---the only question is . . . with whom?
Why read: Reading the series
What impressed me: The mystery was good and really carried the entire book. The focus on Vinnie is what made this installment readable.
What disappointed me: I'm sort of getting disgusted with the complete refusal to evolve that goes on in this series. Sixteen books in and nothing has changed at all. Stephanie is still inept at her job. She still refuses to chose between Ranger and Morelli. And why the heck do they just stand around and let her flit back and forth between them? They seriously need to man up and put an end to that nonsense. I'm not sure how many more of these I can read if they're always going to be exactly the same.
Recommended: Not really. If you've read any of the previous books, you pretty much know what's going to happen here too.
Continue series: Yes, but honestly I'm not even sure why anymore.