To the Nines

Vinnie Plum runs a bail bond business in Trenton, New Jersey. He posts bail for individuals who are charged with crime. When they do not appear for their Court hearings, he becomes worried that he might not get his money back so he offers ten percent of the amount to bounty hunters who can find and bring the skipper to the police station.

Vinnie's cousin, Stephanie, is one of his contracted workers. She doesn't have any training and her lack of experience often leads her into serious and/or hilarious situations. She has been doing this since she was laid off from her job as a lingerie purchaser. Stephanie has bills to pay that this motivates her to stay with this work.

In "To The Nines", Vinnie assigns Samuel Singh's file to Stephanie. He has disappeared without a trace and his visa bond is in jeopardy. His employers at TriBro Tech are three brothers who are very different from each other. Stephanie thinks that at least of them is involved or at least knows something about the disappearance but isn't sure which one is most likely.

The danger to Stephanie and her associates increases as the search for Singh continues. In fact, every lead results in the death of the person who Stephanie approaches for information. Stephanie's fear increases every time she receives red roses, white carnations and threatening emails.

The two love interests in Stephanie's life are Joe Morelli, a police officer and Ranger who is rather mysterious and usually involved in questionable activities. Each of them makes efforts to protect Stephanie but she does not follow their advice and the task becomes more and more difficult.

Stephanie's family is also worried about her. They are also concerned about her divorced sister, Valerie who is unmarried but pregnant with her third child. Valerie just sits and eats complaining that she isn't the same person who she was in the past.

The author of "To The Nines", Janet Evanovich actually allows Stephanie and two of Vinnie's other employees, Lula and Connie, to leave Trenton during the search. The three women head for Las Vegas after receiving word that Singh has applied for a job there. Danger and humour are mixed together through interesting dialogue and a plot that turns and twists with every single chapter.

Stephanie begins to examine her values in this book. Some of the things that she committed to in the past are now being questioned by her. Things like whether she wants to continue working as a bounty hunter, if she should consider marriage and even her firm stance about having children is tested.

On the other hand, however, some things stay the same - like Grandma Mazur who lives and thinks more like a young rebel than an older woman, and Stephanie's parents who lead predictable and rather boring lives and Bob, the dog, who will eat anything and then throw up at the most inconvenient times.

I really enjoy the easy-reading but captivating books that are part of the Stephanie Plum novel series. Sometimes I'm shocked by the evil characters who appear. At other times I find myself laughing right out loud!

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