I have read the 118th book for the book challenge. It was Hot Six: Stephanie Plum No. 6 (Stephanie Plum Novels) by Janet Evanovich.
In this latest offering of the Stephanie Plum novels, Stephanie is conflicted over Ranger. Ranger is FTA (failure to appear). He has been collared for carrying concealed and didn’t show for his court date. In addition, he is wanted by the police for questioning in the demise of Homer Ramos, a thug who died in a fire in a downtown building, but who also had a bullet in his head. Ranger was seen going into this building and leaving just before the fire.
Stephanie refuses to go after Ranger for the FTA; she leaves that to Joyce Barnhardt. But she is in contact with Ranger to see if she can help him. So she winds up helping him by spying on Hannibal Ramos’s condo. Hannibal is Homer’s brother. She climbs a tree to do this and falls out into Hannibal’s yard. Not a good move. But she keeps her word to Ranger and keeps spying on Hannibal’s condo.
She also is trying to bring in FTA Morris Munson. Munson murdered his wife by driving over her and then beating her with a tire iron and setting her on fire. But he still got bail. And now Stephanie has to go after him. With Lula’s help, after a few bad starts, she manages to capture Munson in his shower and take him naked to the police station. This after he takes a tire iron to her and tries to set her on fire.
Brian Simon asks Stephanie to dog-sit his golden retriever Bob. Stephanie agrees but then realizes that it is a long-term thing. Simon was looking to get rid of Bob. Now Stephanie has Bob and Rex her hamster. Bob eats everything and doesn’t like to stay alone.
Grandma Mazur has moved out of the house and has moved in with Stephanie. She snores and Stephanie can’t get any sleep, between Grandma’s snoring and Ranger’s popping in in the middle of the night. Grandma is also taking driving lessons. And she has a boyfriend.
There is another person after Ranger–Arthur Stolle, the rug king. Two of his goons, Mitchell and Habib, are tailing Stephanie thinking that she will lead them to Ranger. So Stephanie has Mitchell and Habib following her as well as Joyce Barnhardt, all thinking that she will lead them to Ranger.
In her watching of Hannibal, she follows him to a house in Deal. She has Bob with her and pretends to walk Bob on the beach and watches the house. When she gets into her car, the father of the clan, old Ramos gets in the car and wants her to take him to buy cigarettes. He wants to get away from his sons. They also go for a drink. She then takes him home. He tells Stephanie to come back later.
Stephanie keeps up her surveillance on Hannibal’s condo. She and Lula go into the condo and see what is in the rooms. The go out to the garage and find a Porsche with a dead man in it. Cynthia Lotte shows up. It is her Porsche. She is Homer’s girlfriend. They move the dead man out of the Porsche so Cynthia can take it. Stephanie calls Morelli and tells him about the dead man. Cynthia leaves and is later found in the Porsche, dead.
Stephanie picks up another FTA at a Star Trek party at Dougie Kruper and the Mooner’s house. She and Lula cause a riot bringing him in.
Then Stephanie is kidnapped by Mitchell and Habib. They are going to cut off a finger and make Ranger come to save her. She manages to escape from the factory where she is being held. They first tried to kidnap Bob. She gets Morelli to take Bob. Then she asks Morelli to take rex, too.
Her plan is to get Joyce Barnhardt to get Ranger and then she’ll free Ranger. But she doesn’t really know how that will work. Instead, Lula has a Ranger lookalike that they will pawn off on Joyce. So they do that. Only Mitchell and Habib show up and take the fake Ranger. They are mad.
Then the whole Ramos thing falls apart. Homer isn’t dead. He is hiding out in the house in Deal. Ranger is in the clear. They arrest the entire Ramos gang and Arthur Stolle. This was all about drugs, guns, and money.
Morelli and Stephanie are finally alone in Morelli’s house. He is feeling amorous. His mother and grandmother show up. He wants them to leave. He announces he wants to marry Stephanie. The women are happy. Stephanie is happy but wary. The women finally leave. Finally Morelli and Stephanie can mull over Morelli’s proposal.
This was a great story. There was a lot of action and the plot was fantastic. Ranger added the spice to the story. Stephanie is attracted to both Morelli and Ranger and that adds to the tension of the story. Grandma Mazur is a hoot. She is the comic relief. Bob is a welcome addition to Rex in the animal department. I look forward to Stephanie Plum No. 7.