Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum Series #24)

Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum Series #24)

by Janet Evanovich

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Janet Evanovich's #1 New York Times-bestselling sensation Stephanie Plum returns in her latest captivating thriller, where mutilated corpses litter the streets of New Jersey.

Trouble comes in bunches for Stephanie Plum. First, professional grave robber and semiprofessional loon Simon Diggery won't let her take him in until she agrees to care for his boa constrictor, Ethel. Stephanie's main qualification for babysitting an extremely large snake is that she owns a taser—whether that's for use on the wandering serpent or the petrified neighbors remains to be seen.
     Events take a dark turn when headless bodies start appearing across town. At first it's just corpses from a funeral home and the morgue that have had the heads removed. But when a homeless man is murdered and dumped behind a church, Stephanie knows that she's the only one with a prayer of catching this killer.
  If all that's not enough, Diesel's back in town. The six-foot-tall, blond-haired hunk is a man who accepts no limits—that includes locked doors, closed windows, and underwear. Trenton's hottest cop, Joe Morelli, isn't pleased at this unexpected arrival, nor is Ranger, the high-powered security consultant who has his own plans for Stephanie.
     As usual, Jersey's favorite bounty hunter is stuck in the middle, with more questions than answers. What's the deal with Grandma Mazur's latest online paramour? Who is behind the startling epidemic of mutilated corpses? And is the enigmatic Diesel's sudden appearance a coincidence or the cause of recent deadly events?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399179211
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Series: Stephanie Plum Series , #24
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 8,442
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Janet Evanovich is the #1 bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum novels, the Fox and O'Hare novels, the Lizzy and Diesel series, the Alexandra Barnaby novels, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, and coauthor of a graphic novel, Troublemaker, with her daughter, Alex.


Hanover, New Hampshire

Date of Birth:

April 22, 1943

Place of Birth:

South River, New Jersey


B.A., Douglass College, 1965

Read an Excerpt

Simon Diggery and Ethel, his pet boa constrictor, were up a tree about fifty feet from Simon’s rust bucket doublewide.  Ethel looked comfy draped over a branch halfway up the tree.  Simon looked like death warmed over.  He was scrunched into a crook a couple feet below Ethel.  He was barefoot, wearing striped pajamas, and his grey hair was even more of a mess than usual.

My name is Stephanie Plum. I work as a bond enforcement officer in Trenton, New Jersey, and Simon was in violation of his bond. 

Simon is a professional grave robber.  When he gets caught robbing a grave my cousin Vinnie is his bail bondsman of choice.  Vinnie posts a cash bond guaranteeing the court that if Simon is released he will return when scheduled.  If Simon doesn’t show up on time, I’m sent out to fetch him. 

I was presently standing a respectable distance from the tree, looking up at Simon, keeping a watch on Ethel.  I was with my sidekick, Lula.

If Lula was a pastry she’d be a big chocolate cupcake with a lot of frosting.  I’d be more of a croissant with a ponytail.  I have curly shoulder length brown hair, blue eyes, and some people think I look like Julia Roberts on her day off. 

“Simon,” Lula yelled.  “What the heck are you and Ethel doing in the tree?”

“I been up here since last night,” Simon said.  “I’m afraid to come down on account of the zombies.”

“You gotta stop drinking that home-made grain liquor,” Lula said. 

“I wasn’t drinking,” Simon said.  “I was working my trade at that cemetery on Morley Street last night, and I accidentally dug into a zombie portal.”

“Say what?” Lula said.  “I never heard of no zombie portal.”

“It’s not widely publicized that they exist.  Mostly people in my profession know about it.  It’s an occupational hazard.  I only dug into a portal once before, and I was able to beat the zombies back with my shovel, but this time was a whole other deal.  There was too many of them, so I ran for my truck and took off.  Only thing is they tracked me down.  They got a real good sense of smell.  They’re like raggedy bloodhounds.  They come at me when I was sleeping.  They wanted my brain.  That’s what they kept saying.  Brains, brains, brains.  I’d be a goner if it wasn’t for Ethel.  She don’t like getting woke up, and I guess zombies don’t like snakes.  Anyways I was able to get away, and Ethel and me climbed this tree.”

“Because zombies can’t climb trees?” I asked Simon.

“You got it,” Simon said.  “Zombies only walk straight ahead.  They can’t back up neither.”

“You were supposed to be in court first thing this morning,” I told him.

“Well excuse me,” Simon said, “but I had bigger problems.  “Suppose I was able to get to court, and the zombies followed me there, and they ate all the people’s brains who were in the court?”

“This is Trenton,” Lula said.  “You might not notice.”

I cut my eyes to Lula.  “There are no zombies.”

“How can you be sure?” Lula said.

I blew out a sigh and looked back at Simon.  “Here’s the deal.  You come down, and we’ll protect you from the zombies.”

“You gotta either chop off their head or shoot them in the brain,” Simon said.  “That’s the only way.”

“I got a gun,” Lula said, shoving her hand into her over-sized imitation Jimmy Choo bag.  “It’s in here somewhere.”

“What about Ethel?” Simon said.  “If I stay in jail awhile until the zombies forget about me, who’s gonna take care of Ethel?”

“You’ll have to make arrangements,” I said.

“I don’t got no one,” Simon said.  “My cousin Snacker is in West Virginia, and my neighbors would chop her up and fry her in bacon fat.  You gotta promise to take care of Ethel.”

“No way,” I said. 

“Me neither,” Lula said.

“She’s no bother,” Simon said.  “You just gotta feed her once a week.  Just come in and leave her a groundhog or something.”

“They don’t usually sell groundhog in the supermarket,” Lula said.

“I get them from the side of the road,” Simon said.  “Ethel don’t care if they’re swelled up or anything.  She likes fried chicken too.  And she wouldn’t stick her nose up at a pizza.  And if worse comes to worse I keep a bag of rats in the freezer.”

“You got electric?” Lula asked.

“Course I got electric,” Simon said.  “This here’s a civilized neighborhood.”

“How are you going to get Ethel out of the tree?”

“I got some hotdogs,” Simon said.  “I’ll leave a trail of hotdogs that goes straight to the kitchen.  And then once she’s inside we’ll lock the door.”

Ten minutes later Simon had the hotdogs all laid out.

“She don’t look interested,” Lula said, staring up at Ethel.

“It could take a while,” Simon said.  “She don’t move so fast.  I guess we could just leave the door open for her.”

“You could get robbed if you do that,” Lula said.

“I got a fifty-pound snake for a pet,” Simon said.  “Nobody comes near here excepting the zombies.”

I cuffed Simon, loaded him into my SUV, and drove him to the police station.  I handed Simon over to the cop in charge, and Simon explained that should a zombie show up, the cop needed to shoot the zombie in the brain.  The cop assured Simon it was a done deal.

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Hardcore Twenty-Four 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 219 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the Stephanie Plum series and count down the days to the release of each new book. This was the first book in the series that was an utter disappointment. Zombies, decapitated bodies and Diesel with his magical powers made for a bad storyline that was painful to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very disappointing. I’ve had this book on preorder for months and couldn’t wait for it to come out. Get back to the funny stuff of the other books. I will keep reading Stephanie books as long as you write them but I hope the next one is better. No more snakes please! I think I only laughed out loud two times. I used to laugh all the way through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Probably the last book I will bother with. Not well written. Lacks substance, reads like it was written quickly. Should just end the series. Morrelli needs to meet an interesting, good looking Italian female attorny and marry her. Stephanie needs to hook up with Bunch from a previous book and help him investigate . Lula needs to open a bedazzale shop.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little to much fantasy. Not one of her best books..not the usual humor I look forward to..hope the next one is more like her earlier books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the feeling after reading this was like the writer ran out of words I have read all of this authors books this one left me blank sorry I ordered it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Janet and Stephanie have become stale and predictable. It is the same situations dropped in a bag and then drawn out changing the order. Grandma does something crazy, goes to a veiwing at the funeral home and calls someone a pip. Lula follows Stephanie around sits on a few FTA's and goes to cluck in a bucket, and Stephanie has so called comical situations capturing fugitives, destroys her car and eats at her mothers. After 24 of these books isn't it time that Janet put some effort into this? The only change in the last few books is that Stephanie has no moral issues cheating on Morelli with Ranger. I know that this has got to be a cash cow for Janet but using her mad lib approach to slapping together 300 pages of same crap different book is terribly dissapointing. If you are interested in reading these books just pick up any one of the books in this series and just read it 24 times, it will have the same effect, or just spend your money and time on authors who put effort in their craft, like Darynda Jones
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Trying too hard to continue rehashing the same plot for twenty-four years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all of the characters, Stephanie, her family, Lula, Connie, Morelli, Ranger, and Diesel. However, I feel like Evanovich should write a final wrap up book. I found this book lol funny in a few places, but disappointing in the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an insult to new readers and die-hard fans. It is more an ill-written short story than a book. The text is derived as a 'cut & paste' of dialogue from previous books. It is boring and contrived. Let's face it. The characters are too old to be acting as they do. Stephanie would be upwards of 200 lbs. and would certainly not be the sought after sex goddess portrayed in the book. Frankly, Janet, you should conclude this series. This book was hastily written in an attempt to keep the series alive and in stores.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love reading the stefanie plum books have them all. But this book didn't have enough Ranger moments. Lulu fantastic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’m glad I’ve read it, but it seems like a lot of money to pay for a tired heroine who should maybe retire.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the Stephanie of early "Plum" books. The imagination of J.E. is still strong though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it’s time to end these! This one was just plain dumb. The zombie thing was monotonous. Glad I borrowed the book from a friend. Wouldn’t have been worth the cost.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The going back & forth is getting old. What use to make this series fun to read is no longer there. Morelli needs to give Stephanie a dose of her own medicine & start seeing someone else. His character has become whimpy with all her cheating behind his back. The plot was very thin on this one, the book seemed rushed. Ive read the entire series & hopes it continues, but really hope 25 has a little more substance
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the worst of the series. I think The Stephanie Plum series had reached the end. So very disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was more of an in between book. It was a short read, good but just kinda meh for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Turbo 24 more like sluggish 42. Some laugh out loud funnies but slow as get out. Not the usual for a Plum series. All well all good things have to come to an end eventually.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’ve read all of the “numbered” Stephanie Plum books. Great reads, but this one left me wondering when it was going to move on...grandma wasn’t as funny as usual, and Lula almost seemed brighter than she usually is. Story was good, but not as good as the others in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Also, I don't really like Diesel all that much. Quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read in under an hour!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What has happened to Janet Evanovich? The series has been steadily declining since #10 or so. I stuck it out until this latest one, but have officially given up. 24 is an insult to her readers' intelligence. Simply awful. Goodbye, Janet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was ok, but it just keeps repeating itself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok I dont think its ok for stephanie to have sex with ranger (or anyone other than Joe) when she wouldnt accept Joe having sex with anyone else . I know its supposed to add to the fun but it doesnt . Enough already . Wed be skewering Joe if he gave into temptation like stephanie does .
Connie155 More than 1 year ago
Definitely not one of the better ones. Couldn't finish this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’ve read the entire Stephanie Plum series, and can confidently claim that I highly doubt Ms. Evanovich wrote this book! First off, the regular characters are not behaving or speaking like they have in past books. Suddenly Morelli is not overprotective of Stephanie. Ranger is speaking (more often than usual) in full sentences instead of with his usual one-word “Babe” answer. Mrs. Plum is more verbose than usual. Mr. Plum is never around, and barely mentioned. Grandma Mazur is not as spunky as usual. Stephanie is boring, playing by the rules, and now interested in a 3rd guy we’ve never heard of (until this book)... Lula goes back and forth between her sassy street-smart lingo, and talking like a characterless business woman.... I doubt the same person even wrote this entire book. None of it is characteristic of previous books, storylines, or the characters themselves. I could’ve done a better job of writing this book because at least I’m familiar with the characters. Whoever wrote this was NOT familiar with the characters at all. I honestly feel like I wasted my time and money on this one. You will too if you’ve read and enjoyed the previous books in this series...