Seven Up - Janet Evanovich I read this as an unabridged audiobook and though the story was as amusing as ever the narrator slaughtered the story.

Initially I was thrilled when I received the unabridged audiotape version of Seven Up. I love Stephanie Plum and her bumbling bounty hunter adventures and figured these tapes would be a welcome distraction during my long drive to and from work. But once I actually started listening to tape one I wasn't quite so thrilled.

Now don't get me wrong, the story here is your typical Plum novel that's filled with madcap adventure and larger than life zany characters. This time around Stephanie Plum, our lovable bounty hunter, is chasing after an old coot named Eddie DeChooch. What should be an easy catch and easy money for Stephanie turns into so much more when a body is found on DeChooch's property. Kidnappings follow and a mad search for a missing organ ensues. To complicate matters Stephanie's sister returns home and decides she's going to try out life as a lesbian. Along with her are her two annoying kids, one who thinks she's a horse. Fellow bounty hunter Ranger tempts Stephanie by simply being Ranger but Stephanie is still somewhat engaged to Joe Morelli the drop dead sexy cop. The action is pretty much non-stop and there are many more characters (a few too many, if you ask me) who make appearances and add to the overall wacky tone of the story.

Like I said, this is standard Plum fare. Though not as laugh out loud funny as some of the earlier Plum outings this story is a great way to spend a few hours. BUT please make sure you buy the paperback and not this unabridged audiotape version with a very flimsy box, I might add.

Why? Simply put the narrator, Tanya Eby, single-handedly saps the enjoyment out of the tale by slaughtering the voices. Her reading makes the listening experience highly painful. The New Jersey accents are horrendous and, what with all the "R" dropping, sound to my MA/NH ear more like a cartooney Boston accent than anything else. Adding to the problem is the fact that most of the characters come off sounding very much alike and at times the accent falters completely. It became very confusing and headache inducing. There are too many moments where Stephanie's voice spouts out Morelli's lines or vice versa. It was disconcerting to say the least. Mooner (or should that be Moona?) and Dougie sound like identical morons instead of the lovable pot heads we know them to be. Daffy Grandma Mazer sounds like Katherine Hepburn on a very bad day and, well, I could go on but I'm sure you get the picture. This narrator may be a fine actress but she was a poor choice for this story. This is a cringe-worthy performance to be sure.

I give this production 2 stars. The story actually rates a four but the torturous reading of the book drags it down to a three.