I have read the 138th book for the book challenge. It was Plum Spooky: A Stephanie Plum Between the Numbers Novel by Janet Evanovich.
Stephanie Plum teams up with Diesel in this Between the Numbers Novel. Stephanie is babysitting Susan Stitch’s monkey Carl. That’s the first problem. Then Diesel shows up chasing Martin Munch, Stephanie’s FTA, who has been hanging out with Gerwulf Grimoire, also known as Wulf, who Diesel is following.
Martin Munch has stolen a magnetometer from the University research lab. Wulf apparently wants this thing, as well as barium and rockets and a transmitter and some chemicals. Stephanie and Diesel go to Munch’s apartment to look for clues and find nothing useful, but find his supervisor’s car parked there. They also find his supervisor’s body in the car with his neck broken and a handprint burned into the neck. Wulf’s work. His name was Ed Scanlon. The two track down his sisters to see is they can get any information from them.
From the one sister in Philadelphia, they learn about the other sister Gail in the Pine Barrens. They meet her at the memorial service and follow her home. The path home is booby-trapped and they are stopped but they resolve to go back.
Stephanie also is trying to bring in Gordo Bollo who works in a fruit and produce warehouse. It isn’t going well. She ends up with Lula looking like an egg and fruit salad more often that actually capturing Bollo. She keeps going back, though. Unsucessfully.
Stephanie and Lula drive to Gail Scanlon’s house in the Pine Barrens. She has a monkey habitat. She has about 20 monkeys in cages, which Carl lets loose. Stephanie and Lula are chased through the Pine Barrens by some men. Ranger’s men rescue them.
Diesel and Stephanie return to the Pine Barrens on ATVs and look around. Stephanie is captured by Wulf and locked in a shed next to a small house where he and Martin Munch are staying. Carl the monkey manages to free her when Wulf and Munch are out. She gets back to Diesel and they escape.
Stephanie goes back to the Pine Barrens and finds Wulf and Munch’s house. They have a shopping list of things they want to buy. Rockets and transmitter and chemicals. She blows up the rockets that they have, 23 of them. She manages to get out. Wulf contacts her and tells her to replace the rockets or he will kill Gail Scanlon. Stephanie manages to find 12 rockets and Wulf gives her instructions to drive to various locations and gets more instructions. Ranger’s men are following her. She is then kidnapped and brought to a house where she is given to Martin Munch to become his “plaything.” She convinces him to unshackle her feet and she kicks him in the nuts and unties her hands and escapes. Elmer the Fire Farter drives her back to Trenton.
Elmer the Fire Farter and Diesel and Stephanie go back to the Pine Barrens to try to find Gail Scanlon. Elmer leads them to an old mine where Wulf has stored the transmitter, the chemicals, and the rockets. He is trying to control weather. That is the plan. He and Munch plan to control weather world-wide. They find Gail and free her just as Elmer farts and sets the mine on fire. The rockets blow everything up and the whole mine is destroyed by Elmer’s fire fart. Ranger’s men are there to rescue them.
On the way home, Martin Munch is spotted driving next to them on the freeway. They bump his car over to the shoulder and Stephanie is able to collar him and take him into the Trenton Police Station. She has caught her FTA.
Back at Stephanie’s apartment, Wulf is sitting on her coach. He is bored and moving on to something new. He disappears in a puff of smoke and lightning. Diesel is moving on too. And Susan Stitch comes home to collect Carl. Stephanie can go back to normal life again.
This was a rather confusing story the way they were running back and forth to the Pine Barrens. There were monkeys all over the place and no one knew where Gail Scanlon was. Martin Munch was just a big kid who was manipulated by Wulf. The plot was sort of complicated, but it was basically a good story.