Twelve Sharp (©2006)
by Janet Evanovich
The 12th installment of Janet Evanovich's wildly popular mystery saga featuring the feisty and ever-endearing lingerie buyer turned bounty hunter Stephanie Plum pits the New Jersey bond enforcement agent against her most formidable foe yet: a completely deranged psycho obsessed with one of Plum's two longtime love interests.
Twelve Sharp begins with Plum faced with the usual unsavory duties of a bounty hunter -- tracking down a bevy of criminals who have skipped out on their bail. Targets on her "skip" list include the aptly named Melvin Pickle, a self-proclaimed pervert who is eerily reminiscent of Pee-wee Herman; Mary Lee Truk, a menopausal housewife who stabbed her husband where the sun don't shine; and Caroline
Scarzolli, a 72-year-old porn peddler. But Plum's hunt for wayward criminals is rudely interrupted by a crazed, gun-toting woman claiming to be the wife of Ricardo "Ranger" Manoso, the tall, dark, and handsome Cuban-American bounty hunter who, along with Trenton cop Joseph Morelli, make up Plum's love triangle -- one as steamy as it is dysfunctional. After Ranger's alleged wife turns up dead and his estranged daughter is kidnapped, Plum discovers that someone has stolen Ranger's identity and is slowly and systematically taking over his life. Next on the unhinged impostor's list is Ranger's hot girlfriend -- Plum herself.
In an interview, Evanovich talked about giving her fans exactly what they want: "I don't want to go beyond their comfort zone…. I'm their feel-good read." In Twelve Sharp, she delivers the goods in a big way. Riotously entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, Evanovich's novel is, to steal a particularly perverse line from its pages, "hours of pleasure guaranteed."