Hot Six picks up right were High Five left off – Stephanie has just called over either Morelli or Ranger and we find out which one it is. The timeline then jumps forward 5 months, by which time she and Morelli are apparently dating. The title of this post comes from a line in the book in which Stephanie recognizes that she and Lula do not exactly make the most experienced team.
After the time jump, we find out that Ranger was arrested for carrying concealed (by a cop who didn’t know to look the other way). He becomes FTA (failure to appear) and then becomes a suspect in the arson and murder of the son of a major gun-runner. Vinnie wants Stephanie to go after Ranger, but she refuses even when he threatens to give the case to her nemesis Joyce Barnhardt (and then follows through on the threat). Instead, Stephanie and Ranger make contact and she helps him out, while also going after a dangerous FTA.
We meet Bob the dog in this one, which I liked. Grandma Mazur makes multiple appearances because she had a row with Stephanie’s dad and decided to move in with Stephanie until she finds a place of her own; Stephanie is less than thrilled.
I enjoyed this one enough to read it in a day, although I started to have a couple of issues with it near the end. First off, why does Stephanie so rarely tell anyone when she’s threatened by dangerous people? She has these two goons following her around for most of the book, and eventually gets a serious threat from their boss, so why doesn’t she press charges? I guess I know the answer – it would affect the plot and take away the danger Stephanie ends up in, but can’t Evanovich at least put in the effort to have Stephanie provide a half-assed excuse for why she’s not telling anyone?
Another issue I have is that Evanovich is a little lacking in the sensitivity to diversity department. I can kind of look past it when it’s Grandma Mazur saying something inappropriate (e.g., I think in one of the books she says she’s never had dinner with a “Negro”); I can chalk that up to her being older, sheltered in the Burg, and the books having been written in the early 90s, although I still don’t like it. In this novel, one of the goons following Stephanie around is from Pakistan and is basically portrayed as both backwards and not very bright. I know we’re not supposed to like him, but the fact that he’s one of the bad guys is enough reason for that. It’s not necessary to have him going around calling women “whores” and saying that his job in Pakistan was to beat unruly children working in a rug factory, that it was a highly skilled position, and that the children liked it because they were able to bring money home to their families. Basically, I continue to think that these books aren’t aging well, and although I like them enough to keep reading, I hope it gets better as the series progresses.