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Review: Janet Evanovich delivers with 'Twisted Twenty-Six'

“Twisted Twenty-Six,” Putnam, by Janet Evanovich

In “Twisted Twenty-Six,” Janet Evanovich’s latest Stephanie Plum novel, Edna Mazur, Stephanie’s eccentric grandmother, marries a gangster named Jimmy Rosolli but becomes a widow less than an hour later when he keels over from a heart attack.

His associates and exes immediately come out of the woodwork accusing Mazur of arranging his death so she could grab his money. It doesn’t help that Jimmy hid a set of keys that, if rumours are to be believed, grant access to his enormous fortune. Now everyone believes that Mazur has those keys and is waiting for the right moment to grab the money. When Stephanie and her family start getting threatened, and both her apartment and her mom and dad’s house are ransacked, she knows that she will have to protect the people she cares about and will have to find the truth about the missing keys.

Grandma Mazur doesn’t want the fuss, and she even doubts that anyone would kill for this missing set of keys, so it’s up to Stephanie with the help of her cop boyfriend Joe Morelli and bounty hunter Ranger to keep her safe. They all need to be at the top of their game if they are to find who is behind the threat before Mazur joins her husband in the great beyond.

This ongoing series featuring Stephanie Plum and an oddball supporting cast of characters has always delivered exciting story lines with flat-out hilarious dialogue. This one is no exception, though the characters should know by now not to trust Stephanie with an automobile. How Evanovich can continue to deliver consistent fun on the page is mind-boggling. “Twisted Twenty-Six” feels extraspecial by focusing on arguably the best character in the franchise plus an ending that highlights a significant change is coming. Fans and newcomers alike will finish the book with a big smile on their faces.

Jeff Ayers, The Associated Press