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Visions of sugar plums
2002
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Summary

It's five days before Christmas and things are not looking merry for Fugitive Apprehension Agent Stephanie Plum. She hasn't got a tree. She hasn't bought any presents. The malls are jam-packed with staggering shoppers. There's not a twinkle light anywhere to be seen in her apartment.

And there's a strange man in her kitchen.

Sure, this has happened to Stephanie Plum before. Strangers, weirdos, felons, creeps, and lunatics are always finding their way to her front door. But this guy is different. This guy is mysterious, sexy-and he has his own agenda. His name is Diesel and he is a man on a mission. And Diesel is unlike anyone Stephanie has ever met before in her life. The question is, what does he want with her? Can he help her find a little old toy maker who has skipped out on his bail right before Christmas? Can he survive the Plum family holiday dinner? Can he get Stephanie a tree that doesn't look like it was grown next to a nuclear power plant? These questions and more are keeping Stephanie awake at night. Not to mention the fact that she needs to find a bunch of nasty elves, her sister Valerie has a Christmas "surprise" for the Plums, her niece Mary Alice doesn't believe in Santa anymore, and Grandma Mazur has a new stud muffin. So bring out the plastic reindeer, strap on your jinglebells, and get ready to celebrate the holidays-Jersey style. Visions of Sugar Plums -the world of Plum has never been merrier!

Trade Reviews
Booklist Review
This magical little sweetmeat is clearly a Christmas present from Evanovich to the legions of fans of Stephanie Plum, Trenton bounty hunter. It begins just before Christmas, when a tall, long-haired blond in boots and jeans materializes in Stephanie's kitchen. Really--the door and windows are locked. He says his name is Diesel, and he needs Stephanie's help to find someone. She's looking for someone herself, a toy maker named Sandy Claws who has skipped his court appearance. Crazed elves (really little persons with fake ears), the inevitable blown-up car, and the latest in Grandma Mazur's boyfriends form a counterpoint to Stephanie's incompetence at getting it together for the holidays, her sister Valerie's possible pregnancy by the unfortunately named Albert Kloughn, and a small, boxed gift from Morelli. Through it all, the ingratiating and very pretty Diesel appears and disappears, trying to track someone who may be close to Sandy Claws and hinting that he is not all he seems. If you don't know the characters, you'd be pretty confused, but if you do, you can surrender to the hint of fantasy and the heavenly scent of Christmas cookies from the Plum kitchen. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido
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