My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It’s been a while since I’ve read a Stephanie Plum novel, finding them pretty much the same old, same old. In Explosive Eighteen, however, I think there may be a few signs that she is actually growing up a little. Someone’s gunning for her, and she can’t figure out why until she remembers that photo of a stranger that she found in her luggage after her last vacation. Steph’s also on a losing streak with respect to her bounty hunting, and she’s finally starting to recognize that it might be time to make a choice between Ranger and Morelli.
If the weakest part of this series is the repetitiveness of its plots, its strongest feature lies in its main characters, particularly Lula and Grandma Mazur, who keep up the running line of earthy humor that makes these books entertaining. These are two sharp ladies. If you can live with the knowledge that the witless but likable Steph should have been a dead duck by the end of Two for the Dough and has somehow made it to Eighteen, this can be a light, breezy way to entertain yourself for a few hours.