Book: Four To Score
Author: Janet Evanovich
Rating the fourth (out of fourteen) book in the Stephanie Plum series proved challenging due to the nature of the genre. Evanovich's books are fabulously entertaining fluff; not the stuff of high brow literature. With "Four To Score," Evanovich serves up a helping of romance and mystery so delicious that my first inclination is to award it an "A." However, literary gold; it is not. While the writing is fun and readable, technically and stylistically it isn't on par with the majority of my reviewed authors - leaving me reluctant to upgrade my rating from a "B" to an "A." Given the vastly different genres and accompanying expectations; this reeks of unfairness. The bottom line is this: in the category of "lighthearted mystery/romance," Evanovich receives an enthusiastic "A+" from me. In the category of "Literature (with a capital "L"), I'm forced to dock it a letter grade. Sorry Janet!
"Four to Score" is packed with romance and intrigue. We finally get to see Stephanie (the single most unlikely bounty hunter imaginable) make headway in her precarious like/love/hate relationship with cop Joe Morelli (a relationship so complicated that it goes all the way back to elementary school). In a cruel turn of events, Plum's arch-enemy Joyce Barnhardt (reason for hatred: sleeping with Stephanie's ex-husband) is assigned to the same case as Stephanie. And with that, the case stops being about apprehending the missing crook and becomes about revenge - significantly ramping up the entertainment value for the reader! Now throw in a pair of transvestites (one of whom is on a mission to kill Ms. Plum) and you won't stop laughing until the last page.
As with the preview books in this series - the ending veers on predictable. Still, I highly recommend it for mindless enjoyment. And you can be sure I will be reading the next book in the series as soon as I can get my hands on it!