Friday, August 20, 2010

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

It took me FOREVER to get into this book. I skipped the last half of the first chapter, and chunks of Chapters 2-3. It wasn't until about half way through the 4th chapter that I actually became interested.

The book starts with an elderly man opening his birthday present, and adding it to his collection.   The gift makes his heart ache.

Then, we are introduced to one of the book's main characters, Mikael Blomkvist, and his troubles.  This is where the book bored me to death.  It went on and on about Blomkvist's trial, and went a little to far into what goes on in the corporate world - something that I, personally, have very little interest in.

Once Lisbeth Salander is introduced and Blomkvist is offered a new job, the book becomes much more interesting.  Together, they work to find out what happened to Harriet Vanger, almost 40 years earlier, and what they find is utterly shocking.

If you decide to read this book, be patient.  The first few chapters are uber boring, and a lot of the Swedish pop culture references might fly right over your head (as they did mine), but it is definitely worth it to finish this book.

Up Next:  Under the Tuscan Sun

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Book 15)

Lula is running late for work so while she's trying to drive and put her make-up on at the same time, she misses her turn, and watches a man get beheaded. It turns out, the man who lost his head is a celebrity chef who is in town for the local BBQ Cook Off.

Not only did Lula see the murderers, but the murderers also saw Lula. Lula's life is in danger, and the murderers find her at her house, so she decides to move into Stephanie's apartment, which sends Stephanie to Ranger's apartment.

Stephanie is working overtime trying to keep up with her FTA's, finding the men who are after Lula, and trying to help Ranger with a problem he has at his securtiy business. There's plenty of laughs and explosions in Finger Lickin' Fifteen, and I look forward to the next book in the series.

Up Next: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: Fearless Fourteen (Book 14)

It's just another fugitive pick-up for Stephanie when she stops to get single mother, Loretta Rizzi. Loretta has a boy that needs to be picked up from school, and doesn't want to go in to get rebonded until she finds someone to take care of him till she's able to get back home. Stephanie agrees to pick him up, and ends up having the spitting image of Joe Morelli living with her and her boyfriend for longer than expected.

In Fearless Fourteen, it's not just Stephanie that's getting threats, Joe is getting them, too.  Loretta's brother, Dom, robbed nine million dollars from a bank, stashed it somewhere, served his time, and now that he's out, he and his partners want their money.  The money's hiding place has something to do with the house that Aunt Rose left to Joe, and Loretta has been kidnapped.

While trying to find the money so the crazy men will release Loretta, Ranger has also hired Stephanie to do some bodyguard work for a celebrity who comes to town.  The extra work forces Stephanie to hire Mooner, and the celebrity's stalker, to watch over the house and Loretta's son.

Fourteen books into the series, and Janet Evanovich is still able to keep things quite entertaining!

Up Next: Finger Lickin' Fifteen

Monday, August 9, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: Lean Mean Thirteen (Book 13)

Stephanie was married for about 15 minutes to a jerk named Dickie Orr.  In Lean Mean Thirteen, she's doing a favor for Ranger, and needs to plant a bug on Dickie.  She goes into his office, and the conversation starts out civil enough.  Then Stephanie sees a picture that sets her off and she begins threatening to kill Dickie and Lula points a gun at him, and there are witnesses.

When Dickie disappears and blood is found in his house, Stephanie is the prime suspect.  Her archenemies, Joyce Barnhardt, who is involved with Dickie when he disappears, also thinks Stephanie is guilty, so she does what she can to make all of Trenton turn against Stephanie. 

The two main men involved in Stephanie's life believe in her innocence, and work to keep her out of jail.  Not only does Stephanie find out a few surprising things about Dickie, but she also finds out that Joe Morelli has been keeping a big secret from her.

Up Next: Fearless Fourteen

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: Twelve Sharp (Book 12)

In Twelve Sharp, Stephanie is back to working for Vinnie. Ranger has left town to take care of some "bad business" in Miami. While he's gone, Stephanie is approached and shot at by Carmen Manoso, Ranger's wife.

While Ranger is gone, the news reaches Trenton that Ranger's daughter is missing, and he is wanted for her kidnapping.  He comes back and convinces Stephanie to help him find his daughter and the madman who is responsible.

After agreeing to not only help Ranger, Stephanie also invites him to hide out at her apartment.  Her boyfriend, Joe Morelli, is also on the case, and when he finds out about the sleeping arrangement, he decides to move in to her apartment, too.

As always, Janet Evanovich keeps things interesting on all different levels, and it's hard to put the book down once you start it!

Up Next: Lean Mean Thirteen

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: Eleven on Top (Book 11)

Stephanie has had it with being shot at, bombed, and having her apartment broken into. In Eleven on Top, she quits her job as a bail enforcement agent, thinking that her life could finally regain some normalcy.

After trying out a few different jobs, and receiving threats, including a couple of bombs, she agrees to go to work for Ranger.  When Ranger has to go out of town for a couple of weeks, he gives Stephanie the keys to his truck, and she uses the GPS system to find his Bat Cave.

Stephanie is in a difficult position...she can't stay at her apartment because she's not safe there, and she doesn't want to endanger Joe or her family.  So, she decides that since Ranger is out of town, she may as well crash at his place while she hunts for her stalker.

When Ranger returns and finds Stephanie sleeping in his bed, he agrees to help her.  What they find is a surprise to them all.

Up Next: Twelve Sharp

Friday, August 6, 2010

Water For Elephants

I'll add just about any book to my list, and I definitely have doubts about some of them. This is one of those I doubted. I was told that it's a book about an orphan that joins the circus. And that is exactly what it's about.

It's also about so much more. The orphan is really Cornell senior Jacob Jankowski, whose parents are killed in a car accident just a couple of weeks before he is to take his final exams so he can join his dad's veterinary clinic. Jacob is shocked to find out that his parents were broke, and that everything he thought they owned now belongs to the bank.

He tries to go back and finish college, but just can't keep his mind on things, so, on a whim, he jumps a train and spends the next 3 months working for a circus. He learns a lot of life's lessons during that time, but is still able to maintain his own morals.

The story is told from Jacob's point of view, and jumps back and forth between current day, when Jacob is ninety...or ninety-three, and the 1930's when he's on board the circus train. The story is beautifully written, I fell in love with Jacob Jankowski, and teared up at the end.

If you haven't read it, do it. Go out today and find it, whether it's at your library, or you buy it. You have to read this one.

Up Next: Eleven on Top

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: Ten Big Ones (Book 10)

Ten Big Ones makes in painfully obvious how big of a trouble magnet Stephanie is. She and Lula are on a nacho run when the deli-mart is help up. The molotov cocktail that is meant for the store winds up hitting Stephanie's car, and yep. Her most recent car is destroyed. She also becomes the only one who sees the face of the Red Devil.

When a rumor is spread about Stephanie wanting to take on a local gang, she becomes a target.  The gang has hired a thug from LA to take her out.  She decides that she needs to go into hiding, but is going to do it her own way, and finds herself not only driving Ranger's truck, but also sleeping in his bed.

As with the other books in the series, Ten Big Ones has equal parts mystery, romance, suspense, and comedy.  This series is definitely on my "Books wanted" list.

Up Next: Water for Elephants

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: To the Nines (Book 9)

Stephanie is back, and in To the Nines, she is on the case of illegal immigrant, Samuel Singh. This is a high profile case for Vinnie, and he does not want to look like an idiot.

Singh seems to have disappeared from the Trenton area, so when Stephanie gets a lucky tip that he's in Vegas, she hops on a plane (along with Connie and Lula)  as soon as it's possible.  She is shocked when her stalker finds her in Vegas, and finds out Samuel Singh has been murdered.

When she gets back to Jersey, she uncovers the secret, deadly, game that Singh was playing and is horrified to find out that she is the prize.

Up Next: Ten Big Ones

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: Hard Eight (Book 8)

Hard Eight is the eighth installment of the Stephanie Plum series, and just like the previous seven books, this one is just as fun.

This time, Stephanie main focus isn't a fugitive assigned by Vinnie, but is recruited by her parents' neighbor to find a little girl, Annie, and her mother, Evelyn, who has violated a custody bond.  Stephanie isn't the only one looking for Annie and Evelyn.  Jeanne Ellen Burrows works for the man who wrote the custody bond, and she's the female equivalent of Ranger.

Then, there's Eddie Abruzzi, a very dangerous man who is after Evelyn because she has something that he wants.  He also hates Stephanie because he owned Benito Ramirez, and blames her for Ramirez's death.

It's a good thing Stephanie has Morelli and Ranger on her side, especially when it's her life on the line.

Up Next: To the Nines

Monday, August 2, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: Seven Up (Book 7)

In Seven Up, Stephanie is assigned to pick up semi-retired mob guy Eddie DeChooch. He's an old guy who can barely see or hear, and he's living in the burg, so how hard can it be?

Just like everything else with Stephanie, nothing is as it seems.  A couple of Stephanie's former classmates have inadvertently become involved with Eddie DeChooch, and when they both go missing, she decides she needs help, and turns to Ranger.  He agrees to help, if she's willing to pay the price.  Given that she is kind of engaged to be engaged to Joe Morelli, Ranger's asking price could get her into trouble.  He wants one night with Stephanie, from dusk till dawn.

Up Next: Hard Eight

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stephanie Plum Series: Hot Six (Book 6)

When Stephanie stops by the office to pick up her new list of fugitives, she is given a file that she never expected, and never wanted.

In Hot Six, Ranger, Stephanie's mentor, is the one being hunted.  He is accused of murdering a man, then setting fire to the building to cover up the crime.  There's a lot that just doesn't feel right about this case, and Stephanie definitely has her work cut out, especially when Vinnie also assigns Joyce Barnhardt to the case.

As if Stephanie didn't already have enough on her plate, Grandma Mazur decides she's moving into the apartment with Steph, which seriously affects her alone time with Joe Morelli.

Up Next: Seven Up