“Top Secret Twenty-One” by Janet Evanovich is yet another book in the Stephanie Plum series. I almost didn’t get this book just because the last one was so over-the-top ridiculous, even for a Stephanie Plum novel. However, I caved and got it and I’m glad that I did, it ended up being better than I thought it would be.
There were still the expected hijinks that happen in all Stephanie Plum novels, but I find them to be rather endearing, but only if there is more meat to it. That is what I found in this book. Yes, there were explosions, destruction of property, multiple cars, big blue making an appearance, funerals as a social engagement, the usual. But I found myself eagerly reading. In this book, Stephanie is going after a skip, there is a meltdown at Rangeman that leads to investigations into possible terrorism, Lula is up to her usual hilarity, and Stephanie gets an unwanted roommate in the form of Briggs.
“ ‘Holy Hannah,’ Grandma said when she saw Briggs. ‘What happened to him? Did your father catch up to him?’
‘Someone shot a rocket-propelled firebomb into my apartment,’ I said.
‘Again?’ Grandma asked.” (Top Secret Twenty-One, pg 107)
What I found to be pretty entertaining about “Top Secret Twenty-One” was that Stephanie’s Grandma was trying to work her way through her bucket list. One of the items on her list was to get the best of Morelli’s Grandma. Stephanie was trying to figure out why this was so important to her and Grandma did not hesitate to explain some of the outrageous offenses that had been committed against her, “…Remember when she called me an old slut?” Grandma whacked a carrot in half. “Well, I’m not all that old.” (Top Secret Twenty-One, pg 164). I laughed out loud at that.
Another quote that I really enjoyed was: “…I could see a slight bulge under his sport coat, and an earbud attached by a curly wire to a battery pack. Not high-tech like mine. FBI. He’d be jealous of my earbud.” (Top Secret Twenty-One, pg 273)
Would I recommend this book? Yes, I thought this was much better than the last one. It kept me guessing, the book wasn’t the formula I have come to expect from the Stephanie Plum novels. I liked the fact that the book kept going after I expected it to be over. Things didn’t wrap up in a nice little bow all in one shot as it has in the past. This was entertaining and kept me guessing. I do enjoy the series and would recommend them to anyone looking for a fun read.