Sunday, July 31, 2011
CR Review #23: Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich
Janet Evanovich is a writing machine. Between the incredibly successful Stephanie Plum books (this is book #17, not including the teeny little "interlude" novellas that she publishes about Stephanie) and her NASCAR mysteries and her romance novels, she must never stop writing. I've only read the Stephanie Plum books, and can't speak for her other series, but I find them to be something similar to comfort food -- they aren't fancy, they aren't particularly good for you, but they are easy going down and make you feel a little bit better.
If you've never read a Stephanie Plum book, the plots are usually something similar to this: Stephanie works as a bond enforcement agent (aka, a bounty hunter) for her scuzzy cousin Vincent in Trenton, NJ. She isn't a very good bounty hunter, but gets "help" from her friend/coworker Lula (usually in crazy spandex outfits and heels). She has two boyfriends: The handsome cop Joe Morelli and the dangerous security expert Ranger, and she can't decide between the two. Her Grandma Mazur is crazy, carries an enormous gun for protection, and goes to every wake and funeral in town for fun. She lives alone with her hamster. She eats an ungodly amount of fast food. She gets involved with bad guys unknowingly and they always try to kill her, but she always ends up alive and safe in the end. And her car blows up at least once per book.
The new book is nothing different. Stephanie is still trying to decide between Joe and Ranger, and has a new guy, Dave thrown into the mix by her mother. While Stephanie is juggling her three men, she is also trying to track down a geriatric vampire and a huge robber who got his toe shot off by Lula (seems to me that Lula shoots a lot of people in these books and nobody ever seems to care). Meanwhile, an angry woman that Stephanie captured earlier is trying to run her down with a Lexus, and the recently out-of-prison NIck Alpha (brother of the bad guy from the first book) has vowed his revenge on Stephanie. Joe's crazy grandmother keeps putting curses on Stephanie so Joe will dump her (she'll get boils, she'll turn into a slut, etc.). Oh, and a serial killer is ditching bodies in the charred ruins of the bail bonds office (it burned down in book #16 -- they are holding their office in Mooner's RV these days). And Stephanie eats and eats and eats and eats, but is still adorable and desirable.
Just another few days in the life of Stephanie Plum.
Is this good literature? Of course not. But I always reserve the new book at the library and enjoy spending a quick afternoon in the ridiculous world of Stephanie and her friends. The next book comes out in November (seriously, how does Janet Evanovich do it? This one just came out!?!?), and once again, I'll be there to read it.