Explosive Eighteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel

Hardcover | November 22, 2011

byJanet Evanovich

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Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum’s life is set to blow sky high when international murder hits dangerously close to home, in this dynamite novel by Janet Evanovich.
 
Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. And a ragtag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.
 
Only one other person has seen the missing photo—Stephanie Plum. Now she’s the target, and she doesn’t intend to end up in a garbage can. With the help of an FBI sketch artist Stephanie re-creates the person in the photo. Unfortunately the first sketch turns out to look like Tom Cruise, and the second sketch like Ashton Kutcher. Until Stephanie can improve her descriptive skills, she’ll need to watch her back.
 
Over at the bail bonds agency things are going from bad to worse. The bonds bus serving as Vinnie’s temporary HQ goes up in smoke. Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls in love with their largest skip yet. Lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie’s apartment. And everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii?
 
Morelli, Trenton’s hottest cop, isn’t talking about Hawaii. Ranger, the man of mystery, isn’t talking about Hawaii.  And all Stephanie is willing to say about her Hawaiian vacation is . . . It’s complicated.

The hardcover edition of Explosive Eighteen contains a tear-out calendar inside! 

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From the Publisher

Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum’s life is set to blow sky high when international murder hits dangerously close to home, in this dynamite novel by Janet Evanovich.   Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she’s flying back to New Jers...

Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.56 × 6.39 × 1.06 inPublished:November 22, 2011Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345527712

ISBN - 13:9780345527714

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great fun Once again Stephanie risks life and limb to get her quarry, with hilarious results. This time underground explosives make for part of the action.
Date published: 2015-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Explosive Eighteen As ever I loved the humour and adventure
Date published: 2014-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another great one Janet never fails me mirth and murder, a favorite combination
Date published: 2014-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Explosive eighteen I love these books! Stephanie is always getting into binds that are entertaining. And Lula is always fun. She cracks me up!
Date published: 2014-06-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from An Avid Reader Good as always. Fun read for fiction lovers.
Date published: 2014-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Avid Reader The usual fun and frolic you can expect from a Stephanie Plum novel, love it!
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read As usual...entertaining...love when Ranger is active ;)
Date published: 2014-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read I absolutely love Janet's writing style! She is funny, sassy and mysterious. Her characters are vivid and lovable and she writes about them as if they were friends of hers. I can't wait to get to her next novel and wish the one I am reading would never end!
Date published: 2013-10-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from More Plum Fun! Stephanie Plum has plenty of FTA's to catch after returning from her trip, but her capture ratio is low! While this should be a top priority since rent needs to be paid, Steph's far more concerned with all the interested parties wanting to question her about a missing photograph. Yet, all her family and friends seem to care about is what exactly happened on her Hawaiian vacation. And that's one thing she does not want to talk about! Meanwhile a problem with the bonds bus forces Vincent Plum Bail Bonds to seek yet another location. Now Steph has to sort out this photo mess without getting killed and still earn enough money to make ends meet. Picking up shortly after the (small) cliff-hanger at the end of Smokin' Seventeen, Explosive Eighteen changes things up a bit by having two fun mysteries that don't even involve the bonds office. And those are on top of Steph and Lula's hilarious adventures in Bounty Hunting! I personally found this deviation from the normal formula to be fun and refreshing. I also really liked that we got a direct continuation of the story from the last installment. Often the Plum books are fairly self-contained, but I'm a fan of the continuing arc. I've read complaints about Steph's back and forth between Morelli and Ranger, and the fact that she hasn't improved much as a Bounty Hunter in all these years. While both these issues are still present, what was different in book 18 is that Stephanie seems to have realized that it's time to make a choice and some improvements. Yay for progress! And it wouldn't be a Plum novel without the many laugh-out-loud moments, which were in full supply in Explosive Eighteen. I found Lula was especially hilarious this time around. With some fun mysteries and hilarious antics, Explosive Eighteen is one of my favourite Plum adventures in quite a few numbers! BONUS! The hardcover edition of Explosive Eighteen contains the cutest tear-out 2012 Plum calendar!
Date published: 2011-11-22

Extra Content

Read from the Book

ONENew Jersey was 40,000 feet below me, obscured by cloud cover. Heaven was above me, beyond the thin skin of the plane. And hell was sitting four rows back. Okay, maybe hell was too strong. Maybe it was just purgatory.My name is Stephanie Plum, and I work as a bail bonds enforcer for Vincent Plum Bail Bonds in Trenton, New Jersey. I’d recently inherited airline vouchers from a dead guy and used them to take a once in a lifetime Hawaiian vacation. Unfortunately the vacation didn’t go as planned, and I’d been forced to leave Hawaii ahead of schedule, like a thief sneaking off in the dead of night. I’d abandoned two angry men in Honolulu, called my friend Lula, and asked her to pick me up at Newark Airport.As if my life wasn’t enough in the toilet, I was now on the plane home, seated four rows ahead of a guy who looked like Sasquatch and was snoring like a bear in a cave. Good thing I wasn’t sitting next to him because I surely would have strangled him in his sleep by now. I was wearing airline-­distributed earphones pumped up to maximum volume, but they weren’t helping. The snoring had started somewhere over Denver and got really ugly over Kansas City. After several loud passenger comments suggesting someone take the initiative and smother the guy, flight attendants confiscated all the pillows and began passing out free alcoholic beverages. Three-­quarters of the plane was now desperately drunk, and the remaining quarter was either under age or alternatively medicated. Two of the underage were screaming crying, and I was pretty sure the kid behind me had pooped in his pants.I was among the drunk. I was wondering how I was going to walk off the plane and navigate the terminal with any sort of dignity, and I was hoping my ride was waiting for me.Sasquatch gave an extra loud “snork” and I ground my teeth together. Just land this friggin’ plane, I thought. Land it in a cornfield, on a highway, in the ocean. Just get me out of here!•••Lula pulled into my apartment building parking lot, and I thanked her for picking me up at the airport and taking me home.“No problemo,” she said, dropping me at the back door to the lobby. “There wasn’t nothing on television, and I’m between honeys, so it wasn’t like I was leaving anything good behind.”I waved her off, and trudged into my apartment building. I took the elevator to the second floor, dragged my luggage down the hall and into my apartment, and shuffled into my bedroom.It was after midnight, and I was exhausted. My vacation in Hawaii had been unique, and the flight home had been hellish. Turbulance over the Pacific, a layover in L.A., and the snoring. I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself. I was back to work tomorrow, but for now I had to make a choice. I was completely out of clean clothes. That meant I could be a slut and sleep naked, or I could be a slob and sleep in what I was wearing.Truth is, I’m not entirely comfortable sleeping naked. I do it from time to time, but I worry that God might be watching or that my mother might find out, and I’m pretty sure they both think nice girls should wear pajamas to bed.In this case, being a slob required less effort and that’s where I chose to go.Unfortunately I was in the same wardrobe predicament when I dragged myself out of bed the next morning, so I emptied my suitcase into my laundry basket, grabbed the messenger bag that serves as a purse, and headed for my parents’ house. I could use my mom’s washer and dryer, and I thought I had some emergency clothes left in their spare bedroom. Plus they’d been babysitting my hamster Rex while I was away, and I wanted to retrieve him.I live in a one bedroom, one bath apartment on the second floor of an aging three-­story brick-­faced apartment building located on the edge of Trenton. On a good traffic day, at four in the morning, it’s a ten-­minute drive to my parent’s house or the bonds office. All other times it’s a crapshoot.Grandma Mazur was at the front door when I pulled to the curb and parked. She’s lived with my parents since Grandpa Mazur took the big escalator to the heavenly food court in the sky. Sometimes I think my father wouldn’t mind seeing Grandma step onto that very same escalator, but I can’t see it happening any time soon. Her steel grey hair was cut short and tightly curled on her head. Her nails matched her bright red lipstick. Her lavender and white running suit hung slack on her bony shoulders.“What a good surprise,” Grandma said, opening the door to me. “Welcome home. We’re dying to hear all about the vacation with the hottie.”My parents’ home is a modest duplex, sharing a common wall with its mirror image. Mrs. Ciak lives in the other half. Her husband has passed on, and she spends her days baking coffee cake and watching television. The outside of her half is painted pale green, and the exterior of my parents’ house is mustard yellow and brown. It’s not an attractive combination, but it feels comfortable to me since it’s been that way for as long as I can remember. Each half of the house has a postage stamp front yard, a small covered front porch, a back stoop leading to a long narrow back yard, and a detached single car garage.I lugged the laundry basket through the living room, and the dining room, to the kitchen where my mother was chopping vegetables.“Soup?” I asked her.“Minestrone. Are you coming for dinner?”“Can’t. Got plans.”My mother glanced at the laundry basket. “I just put a load of sheets into the washer. If you leave that here I’ll do it later for you. How was Hawaii? We didn’t expect you home until tomorrow.”“Hawaii was good, but the plane ride was long. Fortunately I sat next to a guy who got off when we stopped in LA, so I had more room.”“Yeah, but you were also next to Mr. Tall, Dark, and Mysterious,” Grandma said.“Not exactly.”This got both their attention.“How so?” Grandma asked.“It’s complicated. He didn’t fly back with me.”Grandma stared at my left hand. “You got a tan, except on your ring finger. It looks like you was wearing a ring when you got a tan, but you’re not wearing it no more.”I looked at my hand. Bummer. When I took the ring off, I hadn’t noticed a tan line.“Now I know why you went to Hawaii,” Grandma said. “I bet you eloped! Of course being that you don’t got the ring on any more would put a damper on the celebration.”I blew out a sigh and poured myself a cup of coffee. I took a sip, and my phone rang. I dug around in my bag, unable to find my phone in the jumble of stuff I’d crammed in for the plane trip. I dumped it all out onto the little kitchen table and pawed through it. Granola bars, hairbrush, lip balm, hair scrunchies, note pad, wallet, socks, two magazines, a large yellow envelope, floss, mini flashlight, travel pack of tissues, three pens, and my phone.The caller was Connie Rosolli, the bail bonds office manager. “I hope you’re on your way to the office,” she said, “because we have a situation here.”“What sort of situation?”“A bad one.”“How bad? Can it wait twenty minutes?”“Twenty minutes sounds like a long time.”I disconnected and stood. “Gotta go,” I said to my mother and grandmother.“But you just got here,” Grandma said. “We didn’t get to hear about the eloping.”“I didn’t elope.”I returned everything to my messenger bag with the exception of the phone and the yellow envelope. I put the phone in an outside pocket, and I looked at the envelope. No writing on it. Sealed. I had no clue how it had gotten into my bag. I ripped it open and pulled a photograph out. It was an 8X10 glossy of a man. He was standing on a street corner, looking just past the photographer. He looked like he didn’t know he was being photographed, like someone had happened along with their cell phone camera and snapped his picture. He was possibly mid-­thirties to early forties, and nice looking in a button-­down kind of way. Short brown hair. Fair-­skinned. Wearing a dark suit. I didn’t recognize the street corner or the man. Somehow on the trip home I must have picked the envelope up by mistake—­maybe when I stopped at the newsstand in the airport.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Janet Evanovich
 
“No less than her plotting, Evanovich’s characterizations are models of screwball artistry. . . . The intricate plot machinery of her comic capers is fueled by inventive twists.”—The New York Times
 
“[Evanovich’s novels are] among the great joys of contemporary crime fiction.”—GQ