Stephanie forced her cousin Vinnie into hiring her when she lost her job as a lingerie buyer She didn't have any experience or training so she is really quit incompetent but her bills keep her motivated.
In this novel, Stephanie is a big trouble because she is dealing with gang members from a dangerous area of Trenton New Jersey. They have threatened to hurt her and she isn't sure how to stay safe. Her mentor, Ranger, is a mysterious and private individual who seems to do everything well. He offers her a vehicle to drive and Stephanie discovers that the key ring allows her into his private living quarters. Stephanie knows that he is out of town so thinks it makes sense for her to stay in his apartment.
Stephanie and Ranger are sexually attracted to each other. In fact they had one night together in the past that helped to confuse Stephanie. She has had a "on again, off again" relationship with Joe Morelli since she was young and now is attracted to two men at the same time. Living in Ranger's apartment confuses her even more.
Stephanie often gets her friend Lulu to help her capture those who have failed to appear in Court. Lulu was a prostitute who decided to change careers and is supposed to be the filing clerk in Vinnie's office. She likes action though and is always eager to chase the individuals who have skipped Court causing Vinnie's bond money to be at risk.
Sally Sweet is a cross-dresser who singing in a band at nigh and drives a school bus during the day. He has helped Stephanie in the past with capturing the failure to appear cases she was assigned.
In "Ten Big Ones" Stephanie is afraid and all of these characters know that her life is at risk. Each of them is determined to try to help Stephanie, not only to get the "bad guys" but also to ensure her safety.
As in all the other novels for the series, Stephanie's family provides the predictable for her. Her mother is a homemaker who does everything on time and in a routine. Supper is always exactly at six o'clock and stress is handled with drinking, ironing and eye-rolling. Stephanie's father says little but always presents as someone who just puts up with everyone else. Stephanie's sister, Valerie, has gone from being the perfect individual to someone who is an upset parent in a new relationship with the father of her third child. Grandma Mazur is the young-thinking and risk-taking matriarch who does the unexpected.
Added to the excitement of the job in this novel is planning for a wedding - Valerie's wedding.
Like the others in the series, this book offers a mix of serious and humorous channelled through the interesting characters in Stephanie Plums life and work.