My favorite Stephanie Plum book so far. Totally blew the other recent books in the series out of the water with depth of plot and character development.
(By the way, I didn’t just skip book #14. I had actually read it when I posted my review of 7-13, just forgot that I had finished it. Awkward, but what I said in that review works for book 14, so I’m not going to review it separately.)
Note: This review will contain spoilers for this book and the previous books in the series. Usually, I don’t include any spoilers about the book I’m review’s plot, but this time I am because I NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT. I don’t feel like I can discuss the parts of this book I loved without going into detail about certain plot events. Ergo, if you haven’t read up this point in the series and are planning to (which you should be, because it’s awesome), stop reading.
Amazon description of Finger Lickin’ Fifteen:
Stephanie Plum is working overtime tracking felons for the bonds office at night and snooping for security expert Carlos Manoso, aka Ranger, during the day. Can she hunt down two killers, a traitor, and five skips, keep her grandmother out of the sauce, and solve Ranger’s problems and not jump his bones?
This book really highlighted the emotional connections Stephanie has with both Ranger and Morelli. In this book, she is “off again” with Morelli, after an argument about peanut butter blew out of proportion. Unlike previous “off again” sessions, the two seem genuinely pissed at each other, and at the circumstances that keep bringing them back into each other’s worlds.
When they did eventually gravitate back together, it was in really touching scenes (that were often then get shattered by her working for Ranger). Morelli’s reactions to thinking she is sleeping with Ranger tugged at my heartstrings. For the first time in a while, I felt like we as readers got proof of Morelli’s emotional connection to Stephanie, not just his sex drive.
In the same way, this book quantified Ranger’s appreciation for Stephanie as a person, not just a sexy body or entertaining snafu. His security company has been severely compromised by a series of break-ins, most probably the work of an inside man. Ranger hires Stephanie to investigate his employees and give him her opinions on the case. Throughout the book, he asks her to look at crime scenes and reports to get her perspective. This reveals that Ranger honestly respects Stephanie’s admittedly kind of hit-and-miss ability to solve crazy mysteries. For me, this fundamentally redefined their relationship, making me respect the possibility of a Ranger-Stephanie coupling more.
To be clear, I’m still convinced Stephanie and Morelli are meant to be together. They’re perfect. They have twoo wuv. They are OTP. The extent to which I need their ship to sail is up there with Captain Swan on OUAT and Spuffy on Buffy.
Please forgive that tangent into fandom geekiness. I’m aware that wasn’t really English. Apologies.
I also loved the plot of this book. The cooking competition was a classic Stephanie and Lula trainwreck, and it was hilarious to read. Plus, it actually tied into the title of the book, which is a freaking novelty for this series.
I loved this book, and I can’t wait to read more of the series, once it comes in the mail. This book renewed my faith in the series, which was running the danger of becoming simplistic and repetitive (though it was still hilarious and addicting, I’m not going to lie).