Finger Lickin' Fifteen

At the start of this book, Lulu, the former prostitute turned filing clerk is shocked to witness a murder in which a famous chef is decapitated right in front of her. She got a good look at the two murderers but they also could identify her. Then they begin stalking her and are determined to kill her.

Stephanie has been working with Lulu as they are both employed by Vinnie Plum and frequently search for bail skippers. They are also friends who have gone through a lot together.

It's a good thing that they have two very different but very capable men in their lives who can help them when needed. Joe Morelli is Stephanie's love interest from childhood. Their relationship can best be classified as "on again-off again". He is a police officer where they live in Trenton New Jersey. He follows the rules and becomes upset when Stephanie's bounty hunter mentor Ranger is involved because he doesn't follow any rules except the ones that he makes up. Ranger is also interested in Stephanie but has made it clear that commitment wouldn't be involved!

In "Finger Lickin' Fifteen" Lulu decides to enter the barbecue competition that might attract the killers so that they could be captured. After all, there is a huge reward being offered and Lulu already has spent it in her head. She recruits Stephanie's Grandma Mazur, a cross-dressing firefighter, Vinnie's office manager Connie, and Stephanie to help her to come up with a winning barbecue sauce recipe. None of them really have any cooking expertise and so their attempts to perfect the recipe usually end up in messy situations.

In the meantime, Stephanie's relationship with Morelli has gone into the "off again" stage and even though Ranger is ready to provide her with some loving, she really doesn't know what she wants. Her vehicles keep getting blown up and she has had to leave her apartment on more than one occasion because of fire. Part of her seems to long for the stability that a routine and committed relationship might provide and part of her thinks that being on her own is the best choice.

Her mother and grandmother, however, think that she needs a man in her life and Stephanie is somewhat horrified by the match-making attempts that they make without her consent.

Most of the time, Stephanie isn't sure where she would be safe. Morelli seems to offer the most comfortable and domestic environment but the two of them drive each other crazy at times. Her parents' house has too many people living there already but she can always show up for supper or to stay in her childhood bedroom for a night. Her apartment does have any food and people keep breaking in no matter how secure she makes it. Ranger offers her the most luxury and physical safety but Stephanie knows that he really wants to have a physical relationship with her and that really scared her.

So, if you are looking for an interesting read that combines nail-biting moments with laugh-out-loud hilarity, try this or any of the Stephanie Plum series.

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