Narrator: Lorelei King
Length: 6 hours 16 mins
Series: Stephanie Plum #21
Published by Bantam on June 17, 2014
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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Catch a professional assassin: top priority. Find a failure-to-appear and collect big bucks: top score. How she’ll pull it all off: top secret.
Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures. So Stephanie is going to have to do something she really doesn’t want to do: protect former hospital security guard and general pain in her behind Randy Briggs. Briggs was picking up quick cash as Poletti’s bookkeeper and knows all his boss’s dirty secrets. Now Briggs is next on Poletti’s list of people to put six feet under.
To top things off, Ranger—resident security expert and Stephanie’s greatest temptation—has been the target of an assassination plot. He’s dodged the bullet this time, but if Ranger wants to survive the next attempt on his life, he’ll have to enlist Stephanie’s help and reveal a bit more of his mysterious past.
Death threats, highly trained assassins, highly untrained assassins, and Stark Street being overrun by a pack of feral Chihuahuas are all in a day’s work for Stephanie Plum. The real challenge is dealing with her Grandma Mazur’s wild bucket list. A boob job and getting revenge on Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella can barely hold a candle to what’s number one on the list—but that’s top secret.
I admit, it is getting harder and harder to continue with the series. The triangle going on between Joe, Stephanie and Ranger sometimes has me wanting to scratch my eyes out. I know that Stephanie seems to think she has made her choice with Joe, so why does she still get panty-melting kisses from Ranger and think about what it would be like if she could get him to settle down. I know Ranger and Steph must work together in a lot of situations, but seriously, the sexual tension is way too much, and if she has any doubts about being able to stay out of Ranger’s bed she shouldn’t be making any kind of commitment to Joe. Poor guy.
Anyway, put aside that love triangle and we have an ok story. Top Secret spends a whole lot of time with Ranger and dealing with someone from his past. Yes, Ranger has a past! He actually pulls Stephanie in to help him with his case, instead of the other way around, which was different.
We also have our side characters that almost always seem to crack me up. We have a wee return of a past character involved in Steph’s case, then of course Grandma Mazur and Lula. Joe is in domestic, trusting boyfriend mode, which makes me even more pissed at Stephanie at times. I can’t say I didn’t get what I paid for, which was a light hearted mystery with some comedy, with this book including some scary, relatable creatures. I don’t know how much more of the triangle I can take though.
This was the first Plum book I listened to and I loved the accents and the general overall narration of the book. I love Lorelei King and I think she did an amazing job on this book!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: