Book reviews

Stephanie Plum series – Janet Evanovich

Release date (book 1): 26 August 1994
Rating: ★★★★★★★★ – 8/10
Goodreads link

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum book 1) blurb:

Stephanie Plum is down on her luck.  She’s lost her job, her car’s on the brink of repossession, and her apartment is fast becoming furniture-free.

Enter Cousin Vinnie, a low-life who runs a bail-bond company.  If Stephanie can bring in vice cop turned outlaw Joe Morelli, she stands to pick up $10,000.  But tracking down a cop wanted for murder isn’t easy…

And when Benito Ramirez, a prize-fighter with more menace than mentality, wants to be her friend, Stephanie soon knows what it’s like to be pursued.  Unfortunately the best person to protect her just happens to be on the run…

Please forgive me as I am writing this the day that I (finally) received book 23 in this series (Turbo Twenty-Three) in the post.

This is the longest running series of books, where nothing happens, known to man.  This is essentially the Seinfeld of book series.  Now, I don’t use this analogy lightly – I enjoyed Seinfeld (mostly).  But just like Seinfeld, it is:

  • funny
  • familiar
  • has good characters
  • there are a few really memorable moments (like the soup Nazi and when Stephanie burns down the funeral home)

But essentially – nothing happens and nothing changes.

Now that I have gotten my rant out of the way, let me tell you why I am still reading these books 23 publications later.

I LOVE THEM.  They’re addictive.  I’ve never tried ice, but I imagine that Janet Evanovich is like the meth cooker of the writing world.

This series is sharp-witted, well written, it has a good (although long) story arc across the series, and I love the characters.

Stephanie is a well-meaning, bumbling, loveable fool who stumbles from one disaster to the next: destroying cars, burning buildings, occasionally doing her job, and falling in and out of the same relationships like a bucket drawing water from a well.  And if Grandma Mazur, Lula, Mrs Plum and Connie are what Stephanie looks up to as her female role models, then it’s no wonder that she ends up this way.

In terms of the men in her life (romantically that is – I think her father has uttered about ten words in 22 books), you have Joe – the hot, bad boy turned good, cop who inherited his aunt’s modest home and occasionally plays house with Stephanie; and Ranger – the mysterious, bad boy turned who knows what, bounty hunter who sometimes hires Stephanie for working purposes, and then drags her into his sheets.

Each book is a new episode of comedic value mixed with melt-worthy swooning, bar-fights and enough explosions to make you wonder why she’s not on some most-wanted list.

It is, as I mentioned before, a prescribed plot that works well for the series.  Sometimes I wish that we could have a bit more from the over-arching storyline – but then I think: would I enjoy it more if I knew that she had a) a proper job, and b) picked a man?

Probably not.  Long live the queen of kick-ass crime.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ – 8/10 hearts

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