In Hot Six, Stephanie’s bounty hunting mentor, Ranger, has been seen on camera walking out of a meeting with Homer Ramos, who is found minutes later with a bullet in his head and his body burnt to a crisp. Although the blurb makes it sound like it’s up to Stephanie to find him, she refuses to look because she knows he’s much better than she is at the bounty hunter business.
Joyce Barnhardt, Stephanie’s arch nemesis (haha), is the woman who was caught on the dining room table with Steph’s now-ex-husband, Dickie Orr, and she is the one who takes the FTA on Ranger. In the meantime, he charges Stephanie with keeping surveillance on the gun-running Ramos family to help find out who really killed Homer. Stephanie manages to kill four cars in this book, and it is pretty funny. She has many people following her, including a guy who is constantly escaping her, and two hit men who are determined to follow her everywhere to get a lead on Ranger.
This book was a nice change in pace, as rather than having Ranger help Stephanie, she got to help him. There’s just something about most books with romance in them that makes the female character seem weak and passive, and this book definitely helped to fight that. Other than that, not much else stands out. It was almost as enjoyable as High Five.
In Seven Up, Stephanie has to bring in semi-retired bail jumper Eddie DeChooch. Although he’s old, I guess you could say he’s wily. She finds a course riddled with bullets in his garage, and every time she gets close to capturing him, he easily manages to get away. He ends up riding around town in a white Cadillac and stops to talk to Stephanie many times, including once at a funeral viewing, and yet neither she nor the cops can get a hold of him. Ranger makes a deal with Stephanie that if she finds DeChooch, she can call him to help bring her in… but then she has to spend one with him.
Stephanie’s sister, Valerie, also shows up with her two kids. Her husband ran off with the babysitter, and now the Plum house is much too full to feel comfortable. There are also a bunch of kidnappings and break-ins in this book. Two older gentlemen who are also looking for DeChooch break into Steph’s apartment many times, and are actually pretty funny, nice, guys.
Seven Up was decent. I liked the added romantic interest of Ranger, who is much more mysterious than the cop, Joe Morelli. It was a nice change-up from the rest of the books, where she was only frustrated by one man, rather than two. Although the romance was more fun in this book, I feel like the mystery suffered a bit. Maybe it was meant to be this way, but it only took about 100 pages to figure out the majority of the mystery. Usually, it takes me until they reveal the answer to the riddle of the mystery to figure out whodunnit, and in this book, that wasn’t the case. Again, I suppose it was a nice change, but reading the book after I figured it out felt rather pointless.